City of Fort Wayne

Animal Control Officer

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Job Code: 2024163
Posted On: Wednesday, 27th March 2024
Category: Regular Full Time
Department: Animal Care and Control
Shift: Hours vary depending upon shift bid and assignment
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
200 E. Berry Street
Pay Rate: $28.58 per hour

Job Description:


Works under the direction of the Deputy Director. Incumbent receives, investigates, prioritizes, and responds to calls related to public and animal safety. Calls for service range from; barking and sanitation; animals running at large; injured domestic animals and wildlife; aggressive and biting animals; cruelty, neglect, and hoarding cases; and calls regarding compliance to City and State regulations. Incumbent determines levels of intervention needed for each unique situation from educating public, removing animals from properties, issuing court summons for non-compliance with City Ordinances and submitting formal charges for violations of State Statutes. Maintain accurate record keeping and documentation of all interactions with the public, intake, and redemption of animals. Evaluate animal behavior and medical health to determine when animals require vaccinations / treatment / veterinary care and/or euthanasia. The incumbent is expected to exercise good judgment, independence, initiative, and professional expertise in conducting day-to-day operations. All work duties and activities must be performed in accordance with the City safety rules and operating regulations, policies, and procedures as well as federal, state, and local regulations.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the ability to interact with the public, City incumbents, and outside agencies with patience, tact, respect, and professionalism and the following. Other duties may be assigned.


  • Evaluates each situation to determine the appropriate behavioral approach to successfully work with the animal and public. Maintains confidentiality and integrity of case investigation;
  • Conducts a thorough investigation for all calls received and determine the appropriate course of action. Deescalates hostile situations and determine when other agency assistance is warranted in order to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the animals and public. Coordinates, corresponds, and contacts partnering agencies such as local Police Department, Fire Department, Board of Health, County Animal Control, Neighborhood Code, Adult Protective Services and Child Protective Services as the situation requires. Photographs crime scene, animals, victims, potential evidence, environmental elements, and other photographs as required;


  • Works alone with minimal supervision. Uses police dispatching equipment, police codes, and criminal justice database Spillman and CAD daily to accurately receive, send and investigate calls. Reviews and prioritizes all incoming calls based on facts unique to each individual situation. Respond to calls with the required urgency and priority. Calls will range from low priority non-urgent calls to urgent priority calls requiring immediate response from the Animal Control Officer and FW Police Officers;
  • Educates the public about animal care and training, process for lost and found animals, solutions for nuisance wildlife problems, departmental policies, animal control ordinances and State laws;
  • Performs public speaking engagements as requested or assigned;
  • Contact supervisor as questions on policy/procedure arise;


  • Monitors and assesses the behavioral and medical health of all animals received into Animal Control custody. Begins treatment for medical conditions within their scope of training and authority. Administer subcutaneous vaccines upon intake to animals. Documents all medications and vaccines in the shelter database, outlining dosage, frequency and timing.   Informs the supervisor of concerns regarding the animal’s health that requires immediate veterinary care and/or changes in behavior or medical condition;
  • Evaluates incoming animal’s health and behavior and determine the need for euthanasia as outlined by City Ordinance, shelter policies and/or as requested by the owner. Calculates the dosage and determine the appropriate route of euthanasia solution for each individual animal.   Administers euthanasia solution in an accurate and humane manner in accordance with National Shelter Standards of Euthanasia.   Assists supervisor and other technicians in the humane restraint and care of animals when not administering euthanasia.   Implants microchips in animals and/or assist as needed;
  • Processes animals into the shelter either from the field, office, after hours which includes but is not limited to: documents the animals breed, age, sex, color, etc. along with the contact information for the owner / finder in a specialized database; photographs all incoming animals; ensures that the unique shelter identification follows the animal and is placed on their kennel; locate and trace microchips and any other form of ID on the animal; attempts to contact owner to reunite the animal with its owner; ensures all animals have the proper food, water, bedding, and toys appropriate for the breed, weight and special conditions of each individual animal;  
  • Performs other duties including those duties of an Animal Care Specialist, Dispatcher, Adoptions Counselor, and/or Maintenance as needed or required;
  • Performs on-call duties on a rotational basis;
  • Demonstrates a historically safe driving record and maintains a valid Driver’s License, will drive a city vehicle;

Document Management, Processing & Analysis

  • Applies elements of City Ordinance or State Statutes in case investigations to determine enforcement action. Conducts competent in-depth investigations on animal bites and more serious criminal and animal related civil violations. Determines when a situation is a possible crime scene and secure and process as necessary to maintain integrity and evidence of the scene. Collects, secures, and documents evidence that supports City or State cases. Prepares paperwork for City and State cases as required by the Courts and Prosecutor’s Office. Ensures all documentation, evidence, witness statements, photo logs, and other required information is accurate and concise in order for the Court or Prosecutor to determine if formal charges will be brought against the alleged individual. Testifies in Court regarding investigations conducted and knowledgeable on rules of evidence;
  • Utilizes numerous databases in the field to assist in the quick identification of an animal, owner, and previous interactions with the animal owner or address. Completes field redemptions to eliminate the animal being brought into the shelter. Intake animal into the specialized database, collect money as required, and ensure the necessary paperwork is completed by the owner. Completes work in various software programs, Microsoft office databases, mapping programs, in the field and in an office environment. Maintains confidentiality of information acquired from any and all databases along with sensitive information on current animal cases;
  • Conducts inspections for all individuals or businesses requesting or renewing City Permits. Determine if all elements and requirements for permits have been met. Approves or revokes permits as deemed appropriate by City Ordinance and issue the required paperwork based on the determination. Documents all findings into the specialized database;


  • Captures unconfined animals, picks up confined animals and dead animals, and provides animal rescue and citizen service assistance according to policy. Determines when a situation requires the utilization of Chemical Capture Equipment and other nonlethal capture techniques. Applies the Tufts Animal Care and Condition (TACC) Scale used by the National Animal Control Association to provide a useful and objective system for evaluating animals. The TACC is used to determine body condition, weather safety, environmental health, and physical care to appropriately score the various elements to objectively determine if removal is warranted and needed.   Documents the scores for each element and the conditions present to necessitate the animal being removed from the property;
  • Handles dangerous and aggressive animals in a humane manner in accordance with shelter regulations on animal handling. Recognizes and interprets animal body language and reacts accordingly to ensure appropriate and safe handling during interactions to minimize safety risks to employee, animal, public, and visitors. Documents behavior and/or specific handling procedures to ensure safety of the animal and employee.   Escorts all animals received into appropriate kennels;
  • Performs required and strict disinfecting protocols of equipment, building, and/or vehicles. Performs extensive disinfecting upon the threat or confirmation of a disease-causing shelter wide outbreak being brought into the shelter.


  • Performs any and all other duties as required.


ACO Level I

  • Performs duties with assistance of other ACOs / Supervisors;
  • Completes bite cases with assistance from supervisors / coworkers;
  • Observes / assist with state level investigation with supervisor / coworkers;
  • Obtains and maintains Special Police Commission;
  • Obtains and maintains Spillman certification and clearance;
  • Obtains and maintains CPR/First Aid certification;
  • Completes self-defense tactics including baton, pepper spray and hand-to hand;
  • Completes 4th amendment training;        
  • Completes Confined Spaces training;
  • Completes Fear Free Shelter Program;
  • Assists in handling and restraining fearful/aroused/aggressive animals in a humane manner using National Standard practices;
  • Completes NACA Level 1.

ACO Level II

  • Crime Scene Investigation Training;
  • Demonstrates Investigative Photography proficiency;
  • Completes Euthanasia by Injection training;
  • Completes advanced bite cases with assistance from supervisors / coworkers;
  • Conducts State level investigations and case packaging with assistance from supervisors/ coworkers;
  • Handles and restrains fearful/aroused/aggressive animals in a humane manner using National Standard practices;
  • Performs routine duties of an animal control officer with minimal assistance from other ACOs / Supervisors;
  • Completes NACA Level 2.


  • Released to perform euthanasia w/o assistance;
  • Certified in Chemical Capture;
  • Completes advanced bite cases without assistance;
  • Leads Investigator on State Level Investigations and complete state package;
  • Represents ACOs at events / speak to AC Teens / camps etc.;
  • Completes Reed Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation or its equivalent.


The incumbent is responsible for managing their performance in accordance with this job description and the performance expectations provided to them by management. If at any time the incumbent is unsure of their role or specific responsibilities, it is the incumbent’s responsibility to refer to their job description and ask for clarification from their supervisor. Management will work with the incumbent, as needed, to ensure performance expectations are clearly communicated and performance goals are achieved.


No supervisory responsibilities.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


An Associate’s Degree with A.S. in Criminal Justice or Animal Science preferred with one to two years full time employment related experience and/or training; or the A.S. degree may be substituted by 5 years’ full time employment experience as a Police Officer or Animal Control Officer.


  • Knowledge of or the ability to learn and appropriately apply City and State laws regulating the licensing, treatment, care quarantining and impounding of animals;
  • Ability to be available for 24-hours on-call as needed;
  • Ability to complete a variety of relatively complex tasks involving the enforcement of the City’s Animal Control Ordinance and State Law;
  • Ability to use effective communication skills, both orally and in writing;
  • Ability to safely drive an extended length full size van through narrow and congested alleys and streets;
  • Ability to read animal behavior and handle dangerous and aggressive animals, or be trained to do so;
  • Ability to maintain a good public image and an attitude of good public relations;
  • Ability to testify in Court using the rules of evidence or be trained to do so;
  • Ability to operate a personal computer, using specialized software and attached to a network, or be trained to do so.
  • Ability to type 30 + wpm.
  • Ability to attend, complete, and pass all sections of the required on-site Staff Wide Training Program.
  • Ability to attend, complete and pass all required training.


Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, procedure manuals, City Ordinance and State Statutes. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public. Incumbent has frequent contact with staff members and the public. These contacts involve handling questions and complaints requiring tact and judgment to provide service and carry out policy.


Ability to add, subtracts, multiply, and divides in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.


Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form. Follows standard procedures and regulations when performing the duties of the position. Incumbent makes choices and takes action on a variety of relatively standardized assignments that will require analysis and judgment to effectively complete. Work may be reviewed upon completion to ensure compliance with procedural requirements.


  • Valid Indiana Driver's License;
  • Police Commission;
  • Certified to perform euthanasia within 1 year of successfully completing level 1 and 2 of the ACO requirements;
  • Self Defense Tactics including baton, pepper spray, hand-to-hand.
  • Chemical Capture Certification
  • Confined Spaces Certification
  • First Aid/ CPR
  • Obtain and maintain current Tetanus vaccinations within 1 year of employment.
  • Obtain and maintain current rabies vaccinations within 1 year of employment.
  • Obtain and maintain Spillman certification and clearance.
  • Crime Scene Photography and other trainings required.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee frequently is required to climb or balance and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to sit. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 75 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job employee is regularly exposed to poor working conditions with frequent exposure to extreme outdoor weather conditions. The duties of the position involve frequent bending, lifting and other activities requiring physical strength and stamina. The noise level in the work environment is usually loud.

Apply Online

All applications for currently posted positions will be submitted on line at Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Reasonable accommodations for persons with a known disabling condition will be considered in accordance with State and Federal Law.

(Those individuals who accept employment with the City and live outside one of the six contiguous Indiana counties that border Allen County (DeKalb, Whitley, Noble, Huntington, Wells, and Adams) will have six (6) months from their start date to become residents of either Allen County or one of the six counties listed above. Policy and Procedure Number 204 Page: 1 of 1).

Equal Opportunity Employer

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regards to age, race, color, religion, sex, disability, veteran's status, national origin, or sexual orientation. Reasonable accommodations for persons with a known disabling condition will be considered in accordance with State and Federal Law.