Register online with a credit card or download printable Registration Form to pay with check.

Why is humane officer training needed?

Animals play a big role in Wisconsin life. We have about 60,000 premises that keep livestock, nearly a million homes with dogs, and more than three-quarters of a million homes with cats. Today’s public attitudes toward animals demand humane treatment and that our local government ensures that treatment.

The humane officer program provides this training to both civilians and law officers on how to approach these often explosive cases. There is a special set of skills and a special body of law that applies. We bring in experts who have worked for years in the field, and take you to the barns on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for hands-on experience. The training is 40 hours of intensive curriculum that is invaluable.

The course emphasizes livestock issues, but we also examine neglect and abuse of companion animals and the relationship of animal abuse to domestic abuse.

Wisconsin law allows cities, villages, towns, and counties to rely on their own local law enforcement to investigate animal abuse and neglect. This training makes that job easier for law officers. If local jurisdictions choose to use civilian investigators, they must appoint an official humane officer – either a current employee, a new hire, or a private contractor. That humane officer must complete this training within a year after appointment.

Who should attend?

  • Humane officers who have been appointed but not yet certified
  • Law officers who investigate animal abuse and neglect
  • Individuals interested in becoming a humane officer


After completing the coursework and passing the examination on the last day, you will be eligible to be certified as a humane officer. You will then need to apply for certification by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). If you are a law officer, you do not need to be certified, but you can apply the course toward your recertification training requirement.

What topics are covered?

We teach a systematic approach to investigating animal cruelty complaints, including:

  • The animal investigator’s role
  • Rules of evidence
  • Rules of search and seizure
  • Civil liability
  • Wisconsin and constitutional animal law
  • Facility standards
  • Evaluation of cruelty
  • Nutrition
  • Body conditioning and scoring
  • Pet shop investigations
  • Photographing and sketching
  • Crime scene protection and evidence collection
  • Interviewing and interrogation
  • Report writing
  • Courtroom testimony
  • Crisis intervention and officer safety

What is the cost?

Course: $575 payable with registration. The course fee includes all materials and class time. It does not include meals, lodging, and testing or certification fees.

Testing: $25 payable to DATCP after you arrive.

Certification: $35 payable to DATCP if you apply to be certified

Hilton reservations line (800-445-8667) to make reservations by mentioning the Law Enforcement Training or group code LET

Hotel Reservations need to be made before August 16, 2024

National Animal Cruelty Investigations School