Humane Agent



Job Title: Humane Agent

Department: Humane Investigations

Classification: Full time, hourly, non-exempt

Job Relationship: Reports to Chief Humane Investigator.  May oversee assigned volunteers.

Position Summary: Serves as a humane agent and law enforcement representative for the APL in the prevention of cruelty and neglect to animals. Conducts investigations and assists in providing animal welfare education/awareness to the general public. Provides quality and ethical animal and people care in accordance with the APL’s mission, goal and management philosophy.

Essential Job Functions

Conducts effective humane investigations

  • Educates the pet owning public on the responsibility, care, and humane treatment of animals in accordance with state, city, county, and federal laws. Effectively identifies need for education vs. animal seizure.
  • Conducts investigations in accordance with the requirements of the law and legal proceedings.
  • Follows up on notices that have been served to insure compliance or issues summons for cases in violation of the State Animal Cruelty laws.
  • Maintains evidence and court documents for cases requiring prosecution.
  • Interfaces with animal control representatives and law enforcement personnel from the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and neighboring communities.
  • Maintains confidential information regarding investigations and other APL operations.
  • Stays abreast of trends in the field; pursues educational opportunities.

Safely handles and provides proper care to animals

  • Assesses proper handling of cases based on knowledge of animal breeds, husbandry needs, and care standards. Observes, appropriately identifies and responds to animal’s behavior and characteristics in order to take proper actions for the safety of the animal, self, and all others directly involved. Assures safe and proper handling of animals is maintained at all times.
  • Recognizes the presence of disease and/or injury and utilizes proper disease control measures in resolving cases and handling animals safely and humanely.
  • Communicates pertinent information to staff and monitors progress of impounded animals according to APL’s policies and procedures.

Responds to reports and calls about animals requiring assistance in a timely manner

  • Responds to reports and phone calls and conducts “on-site” investigation within 24 hours to determine the validity of the report and appropriate disposition.
  • Accurately prioritizes cases by level of urgency.
  • Utilizes appropriate tactics to resolve cases including potentially violent situations. Maintains a professional demeanor at all times.
  • Fulfills requirements of a humane agent under Ohio Law as a mandated reporter for child abuse and neglect by notifying social services/child welfare agencies of potential concerns.

Accurately documents and reports all call response and humane investigations case activity in a timely manner

  • Produces and maintains timely, clear, complete, accurate written investigation logs and reports.
  • Accurately and completely enters case information into the case database in a timely manner.
  • Accurately utilizes forms and notices to assure successful prosecution if necessary.
  • Appropriately uses audio, video, and still camera equipment in the collection of evidence.
  • Collects, maintains, secures and documents evidence for cases in accordance with departmental policy and procedure and the law.
  • Assists Chief Humane Investigator with daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports.

Performs administrative functions to support humane investigations work

  • Answers phones, returns phone calls and records accurate information.
  • Responds to email requests and reports promptly.
  • Maintains library of educational materials and utilizes resources available in the department, including Cole Directory, Assessor’s Check, Map information, etc.
  • Assists in maintaining supplies required for the department.
  • Maintains orderly files.

Performs client service and public education

  • With supervisory approval, may give presentations, serve as a representative for the department at various APL events, and take individuals on educational, investigative ride-alongs.
  • Promptly notifies Chief Investigator and CEO of high profile situations &/or potential media case. Refers all media request to CEO.
  • Actively solicits financial support from clients and promotes APL programs, events, and services.
  • Actively supports and works cooperatively and collaboratively with other staff, department managers, and volunteers. Proactively provides relevant information on animals and cases.
  • Models “Compassion” core value behavior: Treats animals & people with respect, empathy, and kindness. Listens and responds to the needs of people who surrender animals to us, use our programs and services, support us, work and volunteer for us, and to other animal welfare organizations that turn to us for help.
  • Performs all responsibilities with utmost honesty, integrity and professionalism.

Ensures humane investigations vehicles, equipment, and supplies are maintained and ready to provide safe, productive, high quality animal care and handling

  • Works in cooperation with the Facilities Coordinator to monitor and maintain H.I. vehicles.
  • Operates APL vehicles in accordance with the law. Utilizes APL vehicles strictly for the performance of job duties.
  • Maintains equipment, tools and appliances in good working order and reports any malfunction, loss or breakage immediately.

Performs other duties as assigned including but not limited to:

  • Informs supervisor of special needs cases for potential public relations or direct mail pieces.
  • Takes immediate action to correct/report safety hazards; follows safety guidelines at all times.
  • Attends staff and community meetings as assigned.
  • Performs euthanasia of APL animals as assigned.


  • High school diploma or GED
  • Valid Ohio Driver’s License and insurable driving record.
  • No felony or drug related criminal record.
  • Internal candidates must be in good standing
  • Two years of humane investigations experience strongly preferred. Minimally, three years of animal welfare, law enforcement, or other experience in a related field.
  • Certified euthanasia technician or ability to become certified within six months of hire
  • Post Hire: complete the 20-hour state-mandated training with curriculum as set by OPOTA, and passed the humane agent exam, and meet all eligibility requirements to be appointed by APL as a humane agent.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Working knowledge of judicial system and ability to interpret local, state, federal laws.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience dealing with crisis situations, using effective communications and problem solving techniques and ability to diffuse high-stress and emotionally charged situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to control dangerous animals.
  • Ability to work in a fast-pace environment with a variety of people.
  • Ability to work with a computer in a Windows environment.
  • Detail oriented and able to prioritize and perform duties efficiently and effectively.
  • Committed to maintaining the Cleveland Animal Protective League’s high standard of animal care and mission to foster compassion and end animal suffering.