Animal control officers are on the front line of combating animal cruelty, which is why the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has approved 12 ASPCA online courses for continuing education (CE) credit. Animal control officers in Texas may apply these courses toward animal control officer CE requirements per Ch. 829 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
Combating Dogfighting Course (approved for 1.5 hours of DSHS credit)
Underwritten by the US Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and developed as an accompaniment to the manual The Dogfighting Toolkit for Law Enforcement, the online course Combating Dogfighting teaches you how to detect, investigate, and take action against dogfighting within your jurisdiction.
Combating Dogfighting was developed by ASPCA anti-cruelty experts Randall Lockwood, PhD (Senior Vice President, Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects), and Stacy Wolf, Esq. (Vice President & Chief Legal Counsel, Humane Law Enforcement).
The course is approximately two hours and includes:
- Part One, Understanding Dogfighting, contains a comprehensive overview of dogfighting in the United States.
- art Two, Investigating and Responding to Dogfighting, contains information and resources to help you detect and take action against dogfighting, including successfully prosecuting dogfighting in your community.
Investigating Animal Abuse for Law Enforcement Course (approved for 1.5 hours of DSHS credit)
Developed in conjunction with the Illinois Regional Institute of Community Policing (now the Center for Public Safety and Justice), this course assists law enforcement and animal control professionals in effectively identifying and investigating animal cruelty and neglect.
The three-hour course offers a comprehensive approach to enforcing animal cruelty laws, covering:
- Animal abuse and community policing
- Evidence collection and preservation
- Officer safety
The following 10 courses created by the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team have also been approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for CE credit.
Field Investigations and Response Courses
FIR: Rescuing Animals from Cruelty and Disasters (90 minutes)
Learn the tactics and strategies the ASPCA FIR team employs to combat animal cruelty and respond to disasters.
On the Frontlines: Joining the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team (90 minutes)
Find out how your shelter, rescue group, transport company or response team can collaborate with the ASPCA’s FIR team on large-scale disaster and cruelty operations.
The ASPCA's Disaster Response Program (90 minutes)
Discover how the ASPCA's Disaster Response Program works with emergency management, public health and animal welfare organizations to prepare for natural and man-made disasters—and how you can put these principles to use in your own community.
Large-Scale Operations: Animal Cruelty Cases and Natural Disasters (90 minutes)
Join us for an in-depth look at the components of large scale field operations, including field rescue, temporary sheltering, behavior evaluations, placement, and transport. Learn how to plan for the ever-changing environment and strategies for resource and personnel management.
Animal Fighting: Investigating and Prosecuting Bloodsports (90 minutes)
Get an in-depth look at animal fighting and learn strategies to investigate and prosecute cases from law enforcement and responders who have handled hundreds of animal fighting cases. You’ll also learn ways the ASPCA can assist you in your local efforts to combat bloodsports.
Animal Cruelty Investigations: Crime Scenes and Evidence Collection (90 minutes)
Learn how to work with law enforcement and other animal welfare agencies
to conduct thorough investigations, including evidence collection and documentation, chain of custody, and case packaging. You’ll also hear about resources available to you locally.
In the Field: Veterinary Forensics (90 minutes)
Find out how veterinarians can assist with cruelty investigations, including evidence collection, medical exams and documentation, necropsies, and field components. Learn strategies for diagnosis, disease prevention, and treatment in emergency shelters and how to prepare vets and vet techs for work in the field.
Field Sheltering and Temporary Shelters (90 minutes)
Discover what it takes to create and manage a large-scale temporary shelter, from the planning and resource acquisition to the setup, daily operations, and oversight of these challenging ventures.
Fundamentals of Emergency Sheltering (60 minutes)
Get the nuts and bolts of designing, maintain and demobilizing a large-scale temporary shelter. You’ll learn everything from where to locate your shelter to how to how to provide daily in-kennel enrichment to hundreds of animals to dismantling the shelter at the end of the operation.
Emergency Shelter Medicine (60 minutes)
Learn the ins and outs of applying good veterinary medicine to a large-scale temporary shelter setting. Topics include shelter design, sanitation, isolation wards, populations served, staffing, and medical protocols.
The ASPCA is always looking for individuals to deploy to our cruelty and disaster operations and assist with on-the-ground animal care and logistics. In order to be eligible, you must complete these four courses:
- FIR: Rescuing Animals from Cruelty and Disasters
- Large-Scale Operations
- Animal Cruelty Investigations: Crime Scenes and Evidence Collection
- Fundamentals of Emergency Sheltering