National Animal Cruelty Investigations School


The National Animal Cruelty Investigations School has three different components that should be taken in order; requests to take them out of order will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Each component is composed of a five-day, 40-hour course conducted from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Friday's course will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will conclude sometime in the afternoon. Each course offers four continuing education units upon completion.

Students who have successfully completed all three components (120 hours) will be Certified Humane Investigators.

Download a National Animal Cruelty Investigations School informational flier (PDF)

Professional Animal Cruelty Investigator
(previously Level I)

  • Animal law
  • Report writing
  • Constitutional law
  • Courtroom preparation
  • Veterinarians and animal cruelty
  • Basic nutrition
  • Basic anatomy
  • Biosecurity and zoonosis
  • Animal handling and behavior
  • The professional investigator
  • Interviewing and interrogation
  • Basic photography
  • Breed identification
  • Communications
  • Officer safety and survival

Advanced Animal Cruelty Investigator
(previously Level II)

  • Compassion fatigue
  • Criminal activity
  • Agricultural animals and confinement operations
  • Body condition scoring-including practical
  • Equine investigations
  • Humane euthanasia
  • Pet stores
  • High-volume breeders
  • Crime scene investigations
  • Officer safety
  • Proactive approach to investigations
  • Career hacks

Expert Animal Cruelty Investigator
(previously Level III)

  • Ritual animal crimes
  • Relationship of animal abuse and family violence
  • Animal sexual abuse
  • Disaster response
  • Large-scale impounds
  • Traveling shows
  • Exotic animals
  • Hoarders
  • Case building: The team approach
  • Networking
  • Diversity
  • Blood sports
  • Internet crimes