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Credentialed Animal Control and Cruelty Investigation Training

Welcome to the Essential Animal Services Training (EAST), a comprehensive program that focuses on providing the best-in-class training for law enforcement and animal welfare/animal control personnel. Our multi-tiered curriculum is designed to equip you with the essential tools needed for your duties in animal control and animal cruelty investigations.

With a total of 120 hours of instruction, our EAST program will cover most aspects of animal control and animal cruelty investigations. We recommend that you start with Module A, but you can take the remaining modules in any order. Our practical, in-person training experience will provide you with hands-on learning opportunities that are not available in other programs.

We understand that some of the topics included in our academy can be taught as stand-alone courses. Please contact us if you are interested in any of these courses or if you have any questions about our EAST program. Join us today and enhance your animal control and welfare skills!


Credentialed Cruelty Investigation and Animal Control Training

It doesn’t take a pandemic to know how essential Animal Control Officers, Investigators, and Animal Welfare Professionals are to their communities. The Essential Animal Services Training (EAST) provides a multi-tiered learning experience that focuses on in-person practical training. This curriculum provides law enforcement and animal welfare/animal control personnel with training that equips them with the tools needed, not only for duties in animal control, but also animal cruelty investigations.

Essential Animal Services Training, consisting of 120 hours total, will provide instruction in most aspects of animal control and animal cruelty investigations. Module A should be taken first, but can be followed by the remaining modules in any order.

Many of the topics included in this academy can be taught as stand-alone courses. Please contact us if you are interested.

exotic animal rescue
animal emergency response

Module A Topics May Include

  • The Professional & Ethical Officer
  • Canine & Feline Identification
  • Search & Seizure, including Juveniles & Liability
  • Biosecurity & Zoonotic Diseases
  • Rabies & Quarantine
  • Injury Assessments & Veterinary Evaluations
  • Investigative Report Writing
  • Authority, Laws & Ordinances, Policies & Procedures
  • Interview & Behavior Analysis
  • Companion Animal Capture & Handling
  • Canine & Feline Behavior

Module B Topics May Include

  • Animal Cruelty Forensic Photography
  • Animal Fighting
  • Animal Hoarders (with tabletop exercise)
  • Cruelty Scene & Evidence Processing
  • Tense Argument & Confrontation Tactics
  • Basic Nutrition
  • Livestock ID & Behavior
  • Livestock Investigations
  • Courtroom Testimony (with Practical)
  • Body Condition Scoring of Dogs & Cats
  • Situational Awareness and Stress Management

Module C Topics May Include

  • Large Scale Impounds & Tabletop Exercise
  • Hazardous Environments Awareness
  • Intro to Veterinary Forensics
  • Leveraging Social Media
  • Principled Policing Concepts
  • Disaster Response Planning & Tabletop Exercise
  • Interpersonal Violence & Animal Cruelty
  • ACO Safety and Resiliency
  • Identifying Exotics, Non-traditional Pets & Wildlife
  • Handling Exotics, Non-traditional Pets & Wildlife, with hands-on practical
  • Exotic Animal Investigations


This academy is taught in partnership with Colorado State University. Upon successful completion, students will receive a certificate and are eligible to apply for continuing education credits from Colorado State University. Veterinary professionals may apply to receive CEUs from CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Upon completion of Modules A and B participants will be qualified as a Code 3 Associates Certified Animal Control Officer, completion of Modules A,B and C offers credentialing as a Certified Animal Cruelty Investigator, and the addition of both levels of Equine Investigations Academy will culminate with Master Animal Cruelty Investigator certification. Credits from previous Code 3 humane officer/cruelty investigations academies may apply. Learn More

Code 3 Associates is an approved provider of content which enhances professional competence and aligns with the 5 domains of the Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) Exam specifications. Every hour of training equals 1 CE towards CAWA Recertification.

This training is accepted by Texas DHS for their ACO certification. If your state requires official approval of training to meet your certification needs, please contact us so we may pursue gaining appropriate approval.


The faculty may include Chris Haddis, Jace Huggins, Krista Kurvers, Belinda Lewis M.S., CAWA, Debby MacDonald, Charlotte J. Robinson D.V.M., Todd Stosuy and Nan M. Stuart.


Virtual/Online Academy

Code 3 is adapting to the ever-changing learning environment, and now offers EAST Academy Modules A & B for online class attendance. Participants are able to attend class through a GoToMeeting portal and participate as if they are sitting in the classroom.  Virtual attendees will be required to take daily tests, attend the full class sessions and complete an additional project .  Please contact us for further information.

Available Courses

Downloadable EAST Schedule – this schedule may have classes listed that are not yet open for registration, stay tuned for those registrations to be available soon.



Reach out to your community for help – spread the word about our Sponsor an Officer program, and ask community members to designate their donations for your agency.

Or if you’re in a position to help sponsor an officer, we thank you for your valuable contribution!


“Code 3 has the best animal training. Thank you so much for what you have done for us in the animal world. Please keep up the good work! You guys rock!”

—Angel C.