An animal control officer is an employee of (or a contractor to) a municipality. They respond to calls for service ranging from capturing stray animals to investigating cases of cruelty to animals.
Investigations may end with officers bringing the animals in question 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, released back into the wild, or euthanized. Animal control departments are also responsible for investigating incidents of human contact with wild animals or out of control domestic ones. They may work with Health Departments, police departments, sheriffs departments or parks and recreation departments.