Professional Animal Cruelty Investigator: Canine & Feline Investigations

Professional Animal Cruelty Investigator:

Canine and Feline Investigations

Course Description

This 40-hour instructor led certification course is for law enforcement and animal control officers seeking certification in the investigation of animal crimes involving canine and feline animals. This hands-on, scenario-based training course includes investigations into dogfighting, animal hoarding, dangerous dogs, animal neglect, and intentional cruelty. Fundamental skills taught in this class involve animal welfare assessments, body condition scoring, interviewing, crime scene analysis, investigative report writing, case file development, and courtroom presentation. Students will also participate in an in-depth discussion of search and seizure as it applies to animals as well as read and research relevant animal case law. During this course, students will produce a fully functional case file that can be used as a model for future investigations.


Course Topics

Cruelty Investigations

Investigating animal crimes involving neglect and cruelty.

Dangerous Dog Investigations

Conduct professional investigations of dangerous dogs and understand the high-liability environment.

Hoarding Investigations

Understand the psychological models, scene assessment, and best options for battling hoarding.


Learn to identify the types of dogfighters, training methods and equipment, and best practices for investigating dogfighting.

Interviews and Report Writing

Maximize your effectiveness during the interview process and writing professional, legal reports.

Crime Scene Analysis

Securing and preserving the scene, evidence collection, documentation, and reporting.

Body Condition Scoring

Understand the starvation process from start to finish and how to assess animal body condition.

Animal Welfare Assessments

Learn an assessment tool that be used to quantify animal welfare regardless of the species.

Case File Development

Learn to put your reports and evidence into a professional, structured case file that will make prosecutors want to take your case.

Search and Seizure

Understand what you can and can't do when it comes to searching for and seizing animals during your investigation.

Large Scale Animal Seizures

Learn how to effectively and efficiently conduct a large scale animal seizure involving dogs and cats.

Animal Case Law

Review the most relevant pieces of case law that directly impact your decisions and actions in the field.

Course Requirements

This course is designed for law enforcement and animal care and control professionals. Any exceptions to this requirement must be approved by AACIS prior to registration. This course also involves a great deal of reading and writing; students attending this course must either bring a laptop computer to class or have access to a computer after class. Students must wear their agency uniform to class and present a professional appearance each day of the course. In consideration of COVID-19, temperature screening and social distancing are practiced each day for all AACIS courses; the use of masks is encouraged but not required.

Completion Standards and Certification

Students must attend all classroom hours, participate in all exercises, and pass a written examination with a score of 75% or higher.  Students who successfully pass the class will receive certification as an animal cruelty investigator for canine and feline investigations and certification in conducting body condition score assessments of canine and feline animals. Certifications will be reflected by paper certificate and plastic certification card.

Course Tuition

Effective January 1, 2021, this course has an early registration fee of $550.00, a general registration fee of $600.00, and a late registration fee of $650.00. The payment deadlines are determined by the date on which payment is received by the AACIS. Online registration is the preferred method of registration and is available at All course tuition must be paid prior to attending the class.

Additional Information and Hosting

Any requests for additional information in regard to attending or hosting this course may be made by e-mailing or calling the AACIS at 850 898-0011.