North Carolina Justice Academy

North Carolina Department of Justice

Animal Abuse Investigations: Keeping Your Community Safe

Please check our "Available Training" page for the most current status of the course. 

The course is being taught by The Humane Society of the United States.

Who Should Attend:

Investigators, patrol officers, animal control officers or anyone involved in the investigation or prosecution of cases involving animals

Course Goal:

To assist the student by providing investigative techniques related to animal cruelty, neglect and fighting investigations along with applicable state and federal laws.

Course Objectives:

  • Background on illegal animal abuse and animal fighting 
  • How animal crimes are associated with other felonies
  • Handling cruelty and fighting complaints, from first response to filing charges
  • Warrants and interviews
  • Interpreting and applying cruelty and fighting laws 
  • Standards of care for equine and how to assess physical and living conditions
  • Common conditions and potential causes 
  • Investigating equine cruelty complaints from beginning to end 
  • Preparing for and executing an equine seizure
  • Recognizing evidence and investigative techniques 
  • Animal abuse as an indicator 
  • Connection between interpersonal violence and animal crimes and why social services should pay attention 
  • Collaboration for safer communities 
  • Local and national resources available for support with cases 
  • How animal encounters impact your agency 
  • Contributing factors to negative encounters 
  • Reading body language and how to appropriately approach dogs 
  • Preparedness and relationship building 


This course employs lecture, discussion and handout materials.

Course Requirements:

Attendance is required at all class sessions


Register for ALL NCJA classes (online, traditional, web-based) on our North Carolina Justice Academy Training Portal. After signing in to the portal, you can view ALL available classes. If you don’t have a portal account, instructions for creating one are located here.




Course Coordinator:

Russell Strickland

Length of Course:

16 hours