National Animal Cruelty Investigations Schools

Founded in 1990, the National Animal Cruelty Investigations School was the first of its kind, offering a combination of specialized veterinary and law enforcement training. Students from a range of backgrounds — including federal, state and local animal cruelty officers, humane society investigators and board members, police officers and sheriffs’ deputies, court personnel and other citizens — learn from experts about all aspects of animal welfare and safety.

Training faculty

Our nationally recognized faculty of law enforcement, veterinary and animal health experts teach a systematic approach to animal cruelty investigations. These full-time instructors designed our curriculum and are involved in all aspects of the program. We also bring in outside experts to teach specific areas of study. This provides our students with an outside perspective for a well-rounded approach to learning.


Our students have two things in common. They are concerned about animal welfare. And they are extremely driven. More than 1,000 agencies in the United States and Canada have sent representatives to the school since 1990. Our program has produced leaders throughout the field and on television, including investigators on the Discovery Channel’s popular Animal Planet series.


The program 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 5-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 4 continuing education units upon completion. After completion of all three components (120 hours), you will be a certified humane investigator.


Classes are held at the University of Missouri and all over the United States. Our faculty members travel to selected locations around the country teaching Professional component the first year and returning annually to complete the Advanced and Expert components, in addition to specific requests. Our instructors teach two weeks per month, nine months out of the year and throughout the summer. Check our schedule to see if a program will be offered in your area in the near future.


Download a National Animal Cruelty Investigations School scholarship application (PDF)

Cruelty school dates and locations



Professional Investigator
Advanced Investigator
Expert Investigator


Professional Investigator

 Expert Investigator





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