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Founded in 1990, the National Animal Cruelty Investigations (NACI) School was the first of its kind, offering a combination of specialized veterinary and law enforcement training. Students from a range of backgrounds — including federal, state and local animal cruelty officers, humane society investigators and board members, police officers and sheriffs’ deputies, court personnel and other citizens — learn from experts about all aspects of animal welfare and safety.

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In 1990, faculty and staff at the Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI) identified a lack of training for animal cruelty investigators and developed a first level of training in November. We added a second level in March 1993 and a third level in March 1996. In 2011, the three levels were renamed to the following components:

  • Professional Animal Cruelty Investigator
  • Advanced Animal Cruelty Investigator
  • Expert Animal Cruelty Investigator
  • A fourth component, Master Animal Cruelty Investigator, is scheduled to be added to the curriculum.

To learn more about the specific topics covered at each level, see the NACI curriculum page.

Since 1990, members of more than 1,000 agencies in the United States and Canada have attended the school. A team of nationally recognized faculty developed the curriculum and has been involved in all components of the school.


Trainings are held at the University of Missouri and all over the United States. Our faculty members travel to selected locations around the country teaching professional components the first year and returning annually to complete the advanced and expert components, in addition to specific requests. Our instructors teach two weeks per month, nine months out of the year and throughout the summer.

To have your agency considered for an upcoming school or to propose a specific location, email LETI. Agencies must have at least 30 attendees in a geographical area to be considered for a school.


  • The Ramona Goodman Scholarship for Animal Cruelty Investigators - Two $500 scholarships will be awarded to Kansas residents enrolled in the NACI School with at least one of the awards to be given to a woman. To apply please email LETI or call 573-882-6022.
  • ASPCA scholarships - Partial scholarships are made available by the ASPCA. Scholarship applications will be accepted until 30 days prior to the start date of any scheduled class. By applying for this scholarship, you are agreeing to be contacted by the ASPCA about opportunities to respond to disaster and cruelty efforts. For more information and to apply, see the ASPCA Scholarship application form (PDF).

Continuing education

For each level, participants with a grade of 70 percent or more on the written examination will receive a certificate of completion and 40 continuing education units.

Training faculty

Our nationally recognized faculty of law enforcement, veterinary and animal health experts teach a systematic approach to animal cruelty investigations. These full-time instructors designed our curriculum and are involved in all aspects of the school. We also bring in outside experts to teach specific areas of study. This provides our students with an outside perspective for a well-rounded approach to learning.


Our students have two things in common. They are concerned about animal welfare, and they are extremely driven. More than 1,000 agencies in the United States and Canada have sent representatives to the school since 1990. Our school has produced leaders throughout the field and on television, including investigators on the Discovery Channel’s popular Animal Planet series.


For National Animal Cruelty Investigations School, a 20 percent nonrefundable fee will be assessed on any cancellation made within 30 days prior to the start of the program or if attendees are no-show on the day of the class.


For more information about the school or to enroll, email LETI or call 800-825-6505.