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Animal Welfare Advocate

Professional Development

Offered through Continuing Education

@ Online

If animals are your passion and you’re interested in gaining more information and insight, this program will help you sort out the options, focus on your strengths, and build the knowledge base you’ll need for a successful future in animal welfare organizations. Complete six classes to earn your certificate. Classes are offered in the spring and fall, with three of the six required courses available each semester.

Program Contact

Continuing Education



Register online now

Class schedules provided below may change.

Click the orange button above to view the most up-to-date class details, including dates, classrooms, etc.

Classes offered in-person may be rescheduled, canceled or transitioned to an online format based on COVID-19 guidelines. Students are required to follow COVID-19 guidelines for classroom participation, which includes, but is not limited to, use of masks and social distancing requirements.

Unless otherwise specified in the course description, registration for online classes closes three business days prior to the class start date.


Each class can be taken by itself or as part of the Animal Welfare Advocate Program as initial training/preparation for work in a range of public and private animal welfare agencies and organizations. Curriculum developed by the Humane Society of Missouri, Animal Protective Association of Missouri, and St. Louis County Animal Care & Control. Those who successfully complete the coursework and earn a certificate of completion may receive priority employment by the sponsoring agencies.

Investigations, Rescues and Legalities

Hear first-hand accounts from the real world of animal welfare investigations and rescues. Learn how investigators work and how animal welfare agencies and the law enforcement handle violations. Explore animal welfare legal issues (e.g., How does our society define “adequate care and control” of animals?), advocacy and legislation.
ANIM-741 | 1 session | $26 AGE 60+ | $29 REG
P01 Tu 6-8:30 p.m.
Feb. 16 | Online

The People Ingredient: Working in an Animal Welfare Organization

If you’re thinking about working or volunteering in an animal welfare agency, you’ll need a variety of important “people” skills. You may be matching pets with new families, working with people surrendering their pets, educating adults and kids in the community, or interacting with other agency staff. Gain an overview of the many capabilities you’ll need within animal welfare organizations. While there are many joys and rewards to working in animal welfare, there may be some sadness too; with this in mind, you’ll learn ways of coping with the inevitable heart-breaking side of the business.
ANIM-741 | 1 session | $26 AGE 60+ | $29 REG
P02 Tu 6-8:30 p.m.
March 9 | Online

Animal Care Basics for Animal Welfare Workers

In this class, it’s all about the animals! We’ll cover basic health considerations including prevention measures and spay/neuter issues. Acquiring some knowledge of animal behavior is a vital key to safe handling for yourself and the animals you work with. You’ll learn about caring for and feeding a variety of animals, behavioral screening techniques and enrichment ideas to enhance quality of life for confined animals. You’ll hear from several shelters who explain their basic animal care-taking operations. If you’re interested in working directly with animals, this class is a must!
ANIM-741 | 1 session | $26 AGE 60+ | $29 REG
P03 Tu 6-8:30 p.m.
April 13 | Online

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