Online Courses Focus on Safe Animal Handling for Law Enforcement, Other First Responders

Published: October 17, 2008

WASHINGTON – The following is from the Humane Society of the United States, which is offering classes for law enforcement officer and other first responders on how to deal with animals during emergency situations.

Law enforcement officers and other first responders often encounter animals when responding to emergency situations. Humane Society University, a program of The Humane Society of the United States, offers a variety of affordable, on-line training and skills enhancement courses designed for these professionals to provide them with safe animal handling techniques, as well as recognizing the signs of animal cruelty and neglect. Self-paced courses are conducted on an on-going basis.

Current course offerings include:

  • Dog Bite Prevention for Law Enforcement and Other First Responders ($10) – This course will enable personnel to recognize and respond to hazardous situations associated with dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs. Students will learn about tools, techniques, and equipment that can be used to repel or handle aggressive animals. They will also become familiar with illegal practices associated with greater risk of dog attack (e.g. dog fighting) and dog bite prevention resources that can be part of a larger program promoting public health and safety.
  • Interpreting Animal Behavior for Safe Handling ($35) – Learn to interpret the meaning of a wide variety of animal signals to improve and increase the safety of your animal handling skills. This course will review both cat and dog body signals. The better you can read an animal’s signals, the safer you can be when interacting with them. Students will be asked to become familiar with a variety of visual, auditory, and olfactory systems used by animals in communication.
  • First Strike: Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence ($45) – Participants in this course will examine studies and case histories of the correlation between cruelty to animals, child abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse, and teen violence; and will explore the broad terrain of community level partnerships involving humane societies, social service providers, and law enforcement agencies. Participants will also learn how to recognize the connection between cruelty to animals and human violence and will review a variety of intervention programs for victims and at-risk or offending populations.

Additional courses of interest:

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  • Guide to Interviewing (Free) – Designed to review employee interviewing best practices.
  • Guide to Effective Staff Selection ($25) – A review of employee recruitment and staff selection best practices, including analyzing resumes, conducting legally defensible interviews and identifying job competencies.

For more information on Humane Society University, and to register for on-line courses, visit and click on the left menu entitled “Online Courses.”

Humane Society University Oct. 16, 2008 press release

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