Online Undergraduate Degrees in Animal Law Enforcement

Explore available degrees and online options for animal law enforcement degrees. Read about potential career paths working with K9 law enforcement officers or as a law officer enforcing animal protection statutes, as well as the role of professional certifications on the job. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Undergraduate Degrees Related to Animal Law Enforcement are Available?

You can earn an Associate of Science degree or an Associate of Applied Science degree. Your degree can be in law enforcement, police science or criminal justice, to name a few. Some associate degree programs have transfer programs with 4-year colleges. These agreements ensure the credits you earn will transfer to certain bachelor's degree programs.

You can also pursue either a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree in many of the same fields. Some bachelor's degree programs require that you have an associate's degree in a related field prior to admission, while others do not. There are also bachelor's degree completion programs available if you have college credits but no associate degree.

Degree OptionsAssociate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science
Online Options Only bachelor's degrees are available entirely online; other programs are hybrid
Career OptionsK9 police officer, animal control officer, animal cruelty prevention officer
Certification RequirementsVary by state and employer

Can I Complete My Degree Online?

There are very few associate degree programs offered entirely online. Most of these programs offer the majority of required classes online but require that you attend some classes on-campus to complete the degree. Bachelor's degree programs are offered completely online as well as completely on-campus. You may also have the option of taking some classes online and some classes on-campus during your bachelor's degree program.

What Kinds of Careers Can I Pursue?

K9 police officer and animal control officer are two popular career paths for students interested in animal law enforcement. K9 officers are specially trained to work with police dogs to perform a wide variety of tasks, from sniffing out contraband at an airport to helping locate a missing person. While you do not necessarily need a degree to work as a police or K9 officer, some college credit is becoming the preferred standard. Usually, you can apply to become a K9 officer after you have worked for the police force for a few years. You will likely have to complete additional training for the K9 officer position.

The second path would be as an animal cruelty prevention officer or animal control officer. These professionals protect animal welfare by investigating dog-fighting rings, puppy mills and other instances of animal cruelty. Again, a degree is not necessarily required, but some college is preferred. You can work as a police officer assigned to a unit that specializes in investigating the treatment of animals or be employed by a private agency conducting similar investigations. At a private agency, you might be granted special police powers to do your work.

Do I Need Any Special Certification?

While there are many certification programs available, what certification you must have is determined by your state and your employer. You may have to pay for the training needed for certification on your own, or your employer may reimburse you for these expenses. Other employers may provide you with specific training and not require that you seek outside certification.

Some types of certifications are specifically for police dogs and their handlers. You and your dog could become certified to conduct narcotic searches, for example. Other certifications are offered for those who investigate crimes against animals. For example, you might be trained in techniques to subdue an animal or how to humanely capture a stray animal.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The University of Montana

    Campus Locations:

    • Montana: Dillon
  • University of Minnesota

    Campus Locations:

    • Minnesota: Crookston
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Amherst
  • Johnson & Wales University

    Campus Locations:

    • Rhode Island: Providence
  • Wilson College

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Chambersburg
  • William Woods University

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Fulton
  • West Texas A & M University

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Canyon
  • Walla Walla Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Walla Walla
  • Virginia Intermont College

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Bristol
  • Vermont Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Vermont: Randolph Center