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Animal control and field services

Animal control officers and humane investigators have a shared mission of helping animals and bringing abusers to justice, which takes flexibility, compassion and courage. Learn best practices, new tools and techniques, and how animal care and control leaders can promote our work through positive interactions and collaboration with their communities. 

  • Making the case against animal cruelty

    The evidence couldn’t have been clearer, because the perpetrator videotaped his crimes on his phone. In one video, the man wraps his girlfriend’s cat in duct tape and taunts the animal. The other recording, dated three weeks later, shows the same man beating his girlfriend so badly she would end up in the hospital. (Fortunately, the cat and the woman survived.)

    Both videos were disturbing, says Chris Brosan, former manager of strategic campaigns and special projects at The HSUS. But only one of the crimes—the assault on the girlfriend—would appear in national crime statistics.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Animal control and field services

  • Magazine Article

    Lives on the line

    Every day, animal control officers and humane investigators face unpredictable situations with limited knowledge, stepping onto unknown turf where they may encounter a dangerous animal or—more likely—an angry member of the public. What can they do to protect themselves?

    Animal control and welfare work can be dangerous. How can we reduce the risks?

    When animal control officer Bobby Evans reported for duty at the Bellmead Fire Department on June 18, 2007, he probably expected it to be a typical Monday morning. After checking in around 8:30 a.m., Evans—the lone ACO for the community located near Waco, Texas—headed to the shelter to check on the animals. When Evans failed to respond to radio calls, Bellmead fire chief James Karl went to the pound around 10 a.m. to check on his officer, only to discover that he’d been murdered—shot in the back multiple times.

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  • Magazine Article

    Answering the calls of the wild

    Chief animal control officer Jennifer Toussaint checks the condition of a baby fox.

    Fox in the yard? Bat in the bedroom? Injured bird in the road? No call is too small for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington

    In suburban Northern Virginia, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s service calls are an even split between domestic and wild animals. Pledged to resolve all human-animal conflicts safely and humanely, AWLA staff find daily ways to promote peaceful coexistence among all the region’s creatures.

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  • Store Product

    Return-to-Field Handbook

    Return to field handbook cover

    A collaboration between the Humane Society of the United States, Neighborhood Cats and Alley Cat Advocates

    This Return-to-Field Handbook was developed as a practical guide to help shelter staff develop the processes and protocols needed to provide positive outcomes for healthy stray cats. Detailed chapters cover everything from how to gather important information at intake to managing returns and everything in between. Whether you are just starting out or looking for ways to improve your existing program, this handbook is for you!

    This complete handbook is also available for free download online.

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