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Animal Rescue Colleges and Classes

Animal rescue classes teach you how to safely evacuate large and small animals, domestic or wild, from dangerous situations. Courses in animal rescue may be dedicated to emergency response professionals or be open to the public. Continue reading for more information about what you can learn.

What Will I Learn in Animal Rescue Classes?

A curriculum in animal rescue typically combines classroom instruction with practical training that involves live animals or mannequins. Classes focus on the rescue of small or large animals. Students will learn how to handle, calm, restrain and transport animals after removing them from immediate danger, as well as care for them in the aftermath. Below are examples of what you may study.

Basic Animal Emergency

In a basic animal emergency course or seminar, students will learn about the responsibilities of an animal rescuer and what it's like to be deployed to an animal emergency. This topic covers areas such as planning and preparedness, decision making and when to activate a response team.

Introduction to Incident Command System

An introduction to the Incident Command System, or ICS, is given by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. Most animal rescue programs require you to complete this course. The introduction to ICS covers the history, principles and organizational structure of the system.

Large Animal Rescue

Large animal rescue classes focus on the handling and moving of large animals such as horses, cows and other farm livestock. This type of course shows students how to effectively and safely move large animals using specific equipment. Instruction may also cover reading animal body language and using ropes and sedatives for restraint.

CPR and First Aid

Students will learn how to perform CPR and basic first aid on animals in an emergency situation. This type of course also explores how to safely handle or restrain an animal that needs either CPR or first aid.

Animals in Disasters

Animal disaster preparedness looks at common hazards and natural disasters as they affect animals. Instruction covers understanding emergency management, developing a strategy before disaster strikes and how to reduce the risk of impact to animals.

Where Can I Obtain Training in Animal Rescue?

Animal rescue classes are offered through technical schools, community colleges and universities, as well as local animal rescue organizations and humane societies. Training is offered in the form of seminars, webinars or short sessions, and is conducted by veterinarians, animal rescue experts and professors. Animal rescue courses may be held on college campuses, but many are taught in local communities by traveling instructors.

Some rescue programs are open to the public, but many are only available for trained emergency personnel and first responders, such as firefighters, police officers, animal control officers, military and emergency medical technicians. Some courses are offered free of charge through state emergency management agencies in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security.

Can I Take Classes Online?

Hands-on experience is vital in animal rescue, so most classes require in-person participation. However, many animal rescue lectures are available online, but are limited to the basics. Some online animal rescue courses are part of a broader educational plan, while other programs allow you to earn a certificate of completion for a curriculum series.