An animal control officer (also, more informally: dog catcher or dog warden) is an employee of, or a contractor to, a municipality, charged with catching stray or loose dogs, cats, and sometimes other animals, and bringing them to a compound or animal shelter, where the animals are held for a certain time before being returned to their owners, put up for adoption, or euthanized. Animal control departments are also responsible for investigating incidents of human contact with both wild and domestic animals, such as bites. They usually work with Health Departments to ensure the health of humans injured by animals.

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