TRU Science

Course Descriptions

The Animal Welfare Certificate program is delivered online through Moodle with a program lecturer.

The following courses will be required for program completion

  • AWCP1700 AWCP General Level (Theory)
    This course is intended for employees of animal care facilities who are relatively new to the organization or for those who wish to begin a career within animal welfare and animal sheltering.
  • AWCP1710 AWCP Advanced Level (Theory)
    This course is directed at the more experienced employees of an animal care facility or at people who wish to pursue an extensive background in animal care. The emphasis is more on management techniques (i.e., fundraising, managing volunteers, handling media, managing employees). Animal diseases are investigated in more depth with an emphasis on encounters with animals outside of the shelter, in the field.

AWCP 1700 AWCP General Level (Theory)

Modules included:

Animal Care (0100): In this module the student will delve into the areas of animal anatomy, physiology, handling of animals often seen in an animal care facility including birds and wild animals, breed identification, animal disease, small animal nutrition, dog and cat first aid, micro chipping, immunology, euthanasia, cleaning and disinfection, the husbandry of rabbits and other small animals and animal behaviour and enrichment. Videos produced at TRU and included in the course package will demonstrate many of the animal handling techniques discussed.

Shelter Operations & Law Enforcement (0110): This module familiarizes students with the core aspects of how shelters function and operate, including adoptions, relinquishments, assessments, public relations, the five freedoms, capacity to care, shelter standards and more. This module now includes discussion of all of the various pieces of provincial animal welfare legislation from coast to coast and the Federal legislation that influences this work, including the core concepts and materials that are utilized by animal protection officers in enforcing the law. Those wishing to seek employment as a constable will need to take additional training through their province to become certified – the goal of this program is to lay in the foundations for all employees so that they can understand how these laws work and are enforced.

Human Conflict Resolution (0120): Every animal care facility has to deal with people. Conflicts can arise between co-workers and between staff and clients. This module, via the use of several videos and a reference manual gives some ideas for defusing conflicts and creating a more harmonious workplace. The module also deals with issues such as “burn out”, motivation, customer service, personal development, and self respect.

Office Skills (0130): Most animal care facilities are run independently managing their own finances through fundraising, licensing, fines etc. It is therefore important that their employees have some basic business skills. This module is broken down into several areas which will begin to address these skill needs.

Safety in the Workplace (0140): This module has been adapted from material written by Diane McKelvey DVM, for veterinary clinics. In this module many safety issues are discussed. What animal diseases are zoonotic and how do you prevent contracting them when working with your animal charges? What other hazards are present in an animal care facility? This module covers chemicals, environmental issues, WHMIS standards, and much more. Students will also receive a TRU WHMIS certificate.

Humane Education (0150): This module covers a wide range of humane issues such as the history of the humane movement, violence prevention against animals (and its link to child abuse), responsible pet care, teaching others and giving an humane education presentation.

AWCP 1710 AWCP Advanced Level (Theory)

People with experience in these areas could proceed directly to the Advanced Level without taking the General Level course.

Modules included:

Animal Care (0200): This module builds on the AWCP animal care module (0100). Large animal and wildlife handling and first aid topics are covered, and videos are supplied. Animal diseases are explored in more depth using a body systems approach. Large animal and avian nutrition are covered as is Immunology. The module ends with a section concerning the enrichment of the lives on shelter animals and how they can be trained to be more adoptable.

Advanced Law Enforcement (0210): In this module we will build on issues discussed in the General Level course (0110). Whereas the topics in the General Level course centered mainly around general activities and concepts, the topics in the Advanced Level course will focus more on issues encountered by animal protection officers. (i.e., abuse investigations, ethics & dilemmas, incident investigation etc.)

Management & Interpersonal skills (0220): This module will concentrate on the practical considerations of customer service, employee management and mental health. The module is meant to give animal care facility managers and directors materials to motivate staff and help them to feel pride and satisfaction in the work that they perform. Material will be in the form of a textbook, Frontline Office Management for the Veterinary Team with supplementary course notes and videos.

Advanced Humane Education (0230): This module is a continuation of the Humane Education General Level module (AWCP 0150). Topics will include establishing a humane education program within your shelter, exploring animal issues, teaching controversial subjects, animals in therapeutic contexts and building a humane network. We utilize the textbook Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities by Phil Arkow.

Volunteers (0240): Finding good volunteers and keeping them is another top priority for most animal care facilities (or at least, it should be).  This module addresses the issues of volunteer acquisition, motivation, and satisfaction.

Fundraising (0250): In most animal care facilities relying partially on public interest and support, fundraising is an ongoing activity. This module explores some do’s and don’ts and will provide the facility management team with some new ideas. We will also be using the open source ASPCA book 101 More Great Shelter Ideas to help with your fundraising projects.

Safety in the Workplace (0260): This is a continuation of the AWCP General Level Safety in the Workplace module (0140). In this module more zoonotic diseases are covered, and the disposal of Biomedical wastes is discussed. The section on Chemical and Drug Hazards is repeated in this module for the benefit of the students who did not take AWCP 0150.

Vehicle Maintenance (0270): Most animal care facilities who also participate in animal control and animal abuse investigations own a vehicle to perform these activities. This short module discusses some do’s and don’ts of vehicle maintenance involving animals. There are no required assignments or quizzes for this section.