Pursue your passion for helping animals by enrolling in Best Friends’ contemporary animal services certificate course.

Interested in saving animals as a profession? Best Friends’ Introduction to Animal Services certificate course is a great way to develop an understanding of the animal services profession by learning about the field’s history, current state and future possibilities.   
The certificate course is built around contemporary best practices provided by experts and organizations in the field to give you a well-rounded view of the profession. With course content curated by Best Friends Animal Society as well as leading practitioners and researchers in the field, you will have access to a wide range of earned expertise, perspectives, information and resources.  

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Whether you are new to the field of animal services or currently work in animal services and want to know more about the history of animal welfare, the Introduction to Animal Services certificate course is for you. 



There are two ways to participate in the Introduction to Animal Services certificate course:

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What you’ll learn 

As a participant in the certificate course, you’ll gain an understanding of the history of animal welfare in the United States and explore best-practice policies and programming needed to save pets’ lives.

There are four modules in the course:  

Module 1: The History of Animal Welfare in the United States 
You will explore the evolution of the animal welfare movement by reviewing the origins of animal shelters, the role of public safety and the transition to animal sheltering.  

Module 2: The Role of Animal Shelters   
Learn about the data and statistics related to pet ownership over the past 40 years, reasons for pet relinquishment and the role of animal-related nonprofits in the community.  

Module 3: Introduction to Contemporary Animal Services   
You’ll review the programs, policies and procedures needed to save the lives of pets before they reach the animal shelter door, in the community and inside the shelter.  

Module 4: Community Animal Services Data   
Gain experience researching the tools used to measure lifesaving efficacy and examine a community’s animal services history and performance.  

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What to expect 

This course includes online modules that offer text, audio and video content, as well as assessments, discussions, quizzes and written reflections. 

Students in this course are encouraged to participate actively in discussions with their classmates about the modules and assignments, with the end goal of building a learning community focused on contemporary animal services as a profession. 

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Benefits of the certificate course

You can learn about the history of animal welfare and use your knowledge to help save lives in your community.

No matter where you are in your animal services career, this course can help you understand the policies and programming that can make a lifesaving difference for pets in shelters, learn more about this field of work and refresh your knowledge of the animal services field. 

Ready to up your lifesaving game? 

You can make a difference for homeless pets in your community. We invite you to start the application process today.

Tell us that you’re interested in Introduction to Animal Services, formerly known as Principles of Contemporary Animal Services, and we’ll let you know when the next session opens for enrollment.

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If you still have questions, email us at learning@bestfriends.org.