Primary Function
To serve the spcaLA as a Humane Officer under the course and scope of Corporations Code § 14502 and to serve as a member of the Disaster Animal Response Team (DART). spcaLA Humane Officers are dedicated to investigating animal cruelty cases and prosecuting individuals or organizations who neglect or abuse animals anywhere within the state of California and responding to rescue animals in disasters anywhere in the country.

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Humane Officer Level I: Successfully completed basic training established by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) for a Level 1 Reserve Officer or full basic academy.

Humane Officer Level II: A minimum of two years as an Animal Control Officer, Humane Officer or equivalent animal welfare field experience.

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Hiring Process

All candidates must satisfactorily complete a comprehensive selection process in accordance with POST Peace Officer Selection Requirements Regulations.

The eight steps below are designed to identify those best qualified for a Humane Law Enforcement career with spcaLA.

STEP 1: Application – Send resume and cover letter to Human Resources by email to Resumes without cover letters will not be considered.

STEP 2: Reading and Writing Ability Assessment and Physical Agility Test – Candidates meeting the minimum qualifications will be invited to participate in a written examination and physical ability test.

A written examination and physical agility test will be administered on the same day. This will also be an opportunity for candidates to ask any questions of spcaLA Humane Officers regarding the job.

The physical agility test will consist of:
• Run one (1) mile in twelve (12) minutes or less
• Lift and carry a fifty (50) pound ladder twenty (25) yards within thirty (30) seconds.
• Perform twenty-five (25) push-ups within one (1) minute in a non-kneeling, flat back position.
• Perform twenty-five (25) sit-ups within one (1) minute with knees bent at a forty-five (45) degree angle and arms crossed against chest.

STEP 3: Oral Interview – Candidates who pass the written examination and physical agility test will be invited to participate in an oral interview.

An interview board asks job-related questions designed to assess the applicant’s knowledge and skills. Candidates are expected to have detailed knowledge of spcaLA programs, history, etc. and animal cruelty laws (California Penal Code § 597.)

STEP 4: Conditional Offer of Employment

STEP 5: Background Investigation – The selected candidates will be assigned a background investigator and will begin the background process. Candidates shall be the subject of a thorough background investigation to verify good moral character and the absence of past behavior indicative of unsuitability to perform the duties of a Humane Officer.

STEP 6: Psychological Evaluation – Every Humane Officer candidate shall be evaluated to determine if the candidate is free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a Humane Officer and to otherwise ensure that the candidate is capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position.

STEP 7: Medical Evaluation – Every Humane Officer candidate shall be evaluated by a licensed physician to determine if the candidate is free from any physical (i.e., medical) condition that might adversely affect the ability to exercise Humane Officer powers

After completion of these steps, the successful applicant can begin his or her career in humane law enforcement with spcaLA. Trainees are scheduled for the (basic) Animal Law Enforcement Training Academy at the San Diego Humane Society & SPCA or the Marin Humane Society. Animal Law Enforcement Training Academy graduates are assigned directly to the Field Training Officer program. Level II Humane Officers will also be scheduled to attend a powers of arrest course (PC § 832).

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Job-Related & Essential Qualifications

• Eligible to be sworn as a Humane Officer per Corporations Code 14502.
• Insurable to drive company vehicles and operate motor vehicles in a safe and lawful manner.
• Ability to successfully complete all training courses mandated by state law and the spcaLA.
• Requires the (Level I) ability to safely operate a firearm and meet qualification standards in accordance with department policy and state laws.
• Understand the elements of a crime and apply it appropriately to a criminal investigation.
• Must be able to read and write at the levels necessary to perform the job of a peace officer (POST guidelines).
• Enforce applicable state and federal law as relating to animal welfare.
• Process criminal investigation cases as required for prosecution.
• Process daily caseload, including all related paperwork, in an orderly and timely manner.
• Communicate effectively and professionally, both orally and written, with the public, staff and agency volunteers.
• Ability to brief others in an articulate and professional manner.
• Show maturity and good judgment; perform the job in a professional manner and work efficiently under pressure.
• Understand and carryout oral and written instructions.
• Detect symptoms of illness and injury in animals.
• Operate a two-way radio in a professional effective manner.
• Must be willing to work irregular hours, nights and overtime as requested (regular hours are Monday-Friday 8am-5pm).
• Originate and execute projects with little supervision.
• Manage multiple priorities.
• Perform other duties as needed.

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Duties & Responsibilities

• To investigate animal cruelty and neglect cases.
• Investigate and enforce violations of applicable local and state animal laws professionally and expediently in a manner that is consistent with spcaLA policies.
• Maintain a professional and positive attitude at all times while on-duty and representing the spcaLA.
• Actively support and promote the missions and goals of the spcaLA.
• Maintain a professional appearance at all times and abide by spcaLA uniform and grooming standards.
• Maintain the highest level of ethical standards in all affairs and be of good moral character.
• Provide truthful testimony and always be a fair and impartial witness.
• Proactively develop and maintain good working relationships with other animal welfare organizations, law enforcement agencies and the public.
• Document investigations in a concise and detailed manner as necessary for prosecution.
• Maintain records as required to ensure that accurate and timely information is available.
• Maintain a high level of communication and work collaboratively with all personnel.
• Assist the APS Department Director in the administrative and operational functions of the department.
• Perform other essential duties as required to maintain and improve the functioning of the entire organization.
• Provide mutual-aid assistant to other organizations during disasters and animal rescues.

• State and federal laws, ordinances and regulations relating to animal welfare
• Laws of arrest, search and seizure, probable cause and evidence gathering
• Police report writing
• Courts and legal system
• Basic domestic animal care and behavior
• Safe and humane animal handling
• Various breeds of dogs, cats and other animals

• While performing this job the employee is regularly required to use hands & fingers; handle or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; and talk and hear.
• Requires the ability to stand, walk, run, sit and kneel, crouch or crawl and climb different height levels.
• Perform work which involves frequent lifting, carrying and/or pushing of 75 lb. and occasionally lift, push and/or move up to 100 lb. or more. The employee will also be required to lift and carry equipment and disabled animals long distances (up to 1/4 mile) over varied and rugged terrain.
• Work with and restrain animals of all sizes.
• Handle animals in emergency situations in order to provide rescue of livestock and pet animals caught in disaster situations such as fires, floods and earthquakes.
• Use of force according to department policy and state law.
• Ability to successfully complete a pre-employment physical ability test.

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Do Humane Officers have full peace officer powers?

Humane Officers have Peace Officers powers while investigating animal related crimes and they get their powers from Corporations Code § 14502.

Are spcaLA Humane Officers part of a federal, state or local government?

spcaLA is not a government organization and is not associated with any federal, state or local government. The spcaLA is an independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization that does not receive funding from any federal, state or local government agency. Financial support for the organization’s humane programs are provided solely by donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations.

What is the difference between level I and level II Humane Officers?

Level I and level II Humane Officers have the same powers and authority under the law (Corporations Code § 14502). The only difference is that level I Humane Officers are required to have attended a police academy (basic POST certificate) and carry a firearm while on-duty.

Do (level I) Humane Officers fall under the state exemption to carry a concealed firearm?

No, Humane Officers have a limited scope while on-duty and have no peace officer authority while off-duty. In addition, per spcaLA policy, Humane Officers are not permitted to self-activate (as a peace officer) while off-duty.

Is spcaLA a branch of another SPCA?

spcaLA is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, independently chartered organization that is not affiliated with any other “SPCA” or humane society. There is no national SPCA, parent organization, or umbrella group that provides financial support. Each SPCA and Humane Society is a completely unrelated organization.

Can I go on a ride-along with an spcaLA Humane Officer?

spcaLA policy prohibits ride-alongs.

What jurisdiction do Humane Officers have?

Humane Officers respond to calls to investigate animal cruelty and neglect in all of Los Angeles County. Humane Officers have jurisdiction in the entire State of California and will respond to assist other agencies anywhere in the state.

Do Humane Officers wear uniforms?

Humane Officers respond to calls in the field in full (police) uniform and marked patrol vehicles. Some investigations may require plainclothes or undercover operations.

Do Humane Officers conduct complete animal cruelty investigations?

Humane Officers are responsible for entire criminal investigations; from the initial response, to completing very thorough investigations that are presented to the courts for prosecution. This may include undercover operations/surveillance, interviews, executing search warrants, arresting offenders, rescuing animals, etc.

Where do the cruelty complaints come from?

spcaLA’ s calls for service come from members of the community and law enforcement agencies. The calls vary from educating the public regarding basic needs, such as, food, water and shelter to complicated (felony) animal cruelty investigations.

What is P.O.S.T.?

The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) is responsible for regulating and certifying all law enforcement agencies in the state.

What is a P.O.S.T. Certificate?

The POST Basic Certificate is the first of several levels of professional peace officer certificates issued by the state.
You can obtain a California Basic POST Certificate in two ways:
• Seek employment with an agency that sponsors recruits through a POST basic police academy.
• Sponsor yourself through one of the POST basic police academies which accepts independent recruits.
•These basic police academies are operated by several community colleges throughout the state, including Fullerton, Goldenwest & Rio Hondo.
For more information on POST certificates, refer to the California POST website:

Does my POST Certificate have to be current?

For LEVEL I Humane Officers your POST certificate does not need to be current. Your only requirement is that you possess a (California POST) certificate for a Level 1 Reserve Officer or full basic academy.

Will my POST Certificate remain current while I am working with spcaLA?

spcaLA is NOT a POST recognized department, therefore, your POST certificate will expire. If you want your POST Certificate to stay current while working as Humane Officer for spcaLA we recommend you work as a reserve officer for another (police) department.

We offer an excellent benefits package:
• Paid vacation, sick leave and holidays
• Choice of HMO and POS health plans. Dental and vision also offered
• Life and Long-Term Disability insurance with premiums paid by employer
• 401(k) Plan with matching contribution


  • Level I$28.85/hr
  • Level II$18.00/hr

This is a full time non-exempt position with benefits.

  • EMPLOYMENT LOCATION5026 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

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