Humane Law Enforcement/Animal Control Officer

When a person treats another person badly, by physically hurting them, or by not taking care of them and feeding them, the police are called. But who do you call if you see an animal being treated badly? The answer is a Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) Agent! (Also known as an Animal Control Officer).

You have probably seen the commercials on T.V. with the mistreated cats and dogs and the shelters that the live in now. HLE agents are the people that rescue those animals and arrest the people that caused the animals to be hurt.

Every month the ASPCA HLE Division investigates 400-500 complaints about people mistreating their dogs, cats, or other pets. And sometimes the pets of their neighbors or even wild animals!

HLE Agents and ACOs are also responsible for removing dangerous animals from areas that could be potentially harmful to people by being as humane as possible. That means that instead of shooting animals or using traps that hurt the animal, they are trained in the use of leashes, cages, “bite-sticks”, snare poles, and in some cases tranquilizer guns.

Each state has its own rules on what is needed to become a HLE/ACO. The National Animal Control Association (NACA) provides training for people who want to become HLE/ACOs. Their courses teach people about types of animals and how to identify, diseases animals may have, how to capture animals safely, about the laws about animal control and care, and other things like crime scene photography. Many states require HLE agents to be trained in regular law enforcement training (like a police academy).

Learn More about NACA Training
Click on the link below to see the topics that people learn on their way to becoming Humane Law Enforcement/Animal Control Officers:

Learn More about Humane Law Enforcement Agents
Click the link below to read about a HLE agent:

Click the link below to see a video about HLE agents:

Learn More about What You Can Do to Be Humane to Animals.
Explore the website at the link below to learn what you can do to help fight animal abuse:

Volunteer At A Local Shelter!
Learn about ways you can make a difference in your local community by spending time with shelter animals: