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Animal Shelter Management

(15 credits)

Our program in Animal Shelter Management will prepare you to take a leadership role in your current institution, enhance your skills as a manager, or help you launch your own shelter or rescue organization. You’ll learn how to establish effective protocols, develop community and outreach programs, recruit and retain staff volunteers, and maximize the quality of life for the animals in your care. Health, nutrition, and disease will also be covered, along with the fundamentals of behavior and building successful training & enrichment programs.


​Your training will allow you to:

  • Manage the intake and adoption processes.

  • Oversee the cleanliness, sanitation, and maintenance of the facility.

  • Institute best practices to minimize the spread of infectious diseases.

  • Recruit and retain animal shelter staff, addressing both animal management and business processes.

  • Ensure that proper records are maintained, including spay/neuter status, vaccinations, treatment records, and health observations. 

  • Develop and implement a proactive enrichment program to prevent or reduce theincidence of problem behaviors.

  • Implement strategies to actively recruit and retain a diverse group of Volunteers.

  • Solicit financial support via donations and community programs.


The Animal Shelter Management certificate requires the completion of four required classes and one elective class, for a total of five online courses (15 academic credits). Students in the program must also complete a field requirement; 40 hours of hands-on experience as an employee, intern or volunteer at an approved institution of your choice.

Choose one elective:​

  1. ABI 117 Working with People & Animals

  2. ABI 234 Canine Training*

  3. ABI 235 Feline Training*

  4. ABI 254 Canine Aggression 

*Please note that you will receive a second certificate at no additional cost if you select one of the training electives, either ABI 234 Canine Training (additional certificate in Canine Training & Behavior) or ABI 235 Feline Training (additional certificate in Feline Training & Behavior).


​Required courses:

  1. ABI 271 Canine Behavior & Enrichment

  2. ABI 272 Feline Behavior & Enrichment

  3. ABI 315 Shelter Animal Nutrition

  4. ABI 384 Starting & Managing a Successful Animal Shelter


Upon graduation, students may begin using the designation CASMP, Certified Animal Shelter Management Professional. Some graduates may choose to open a shelter or rescue after obtaining their certificate, while others may work in kennels, animal shelters, veterinary practices, animal control agencies, sanctuaries or other animal-related organizations. Students that take one of the training electives may also work as trainers or behavioral consultants.
The animal care and service industry, which includes animal trainers, is expected to grow at 15% over the next decade. Opportunities have never been greater!

Our Approach

Students at the Animal Behavior Institute participate in a highly interactive online classroom, engaging in regular dialog with their professors and student colleagues. You'll receive feedback each week, completing collaborative projects while working with your own animals. This collaboration, coupled with the weekly mentoring each student receives from their instructors, ensures that you will receive a very personal education.

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