Community Policing Lessons for Animal Protection

Community Policing Lessons for Animal Protection
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-04-11
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Community Policing Lessons for Animal Protection
Unit 2 Transcript: Community Policing Lessons for Animal Protection
Unit 3 Workbook: Community Policing Lessons for Animal Protection
Unit 4 Recording: Community Policing Lessons for Animal Protection

Animal care and control agencies are traditionally and often viewed as dog catchers who are only there to fine community members for simple missteps they’ve had with their pets. Concepts of Community Oriented Policing and Procedural Justice aim to redefine this role society placed upon animal welfare professionals into one that enriches the community through positive interactions and problem-solving.

This session’s resource is Jace Huggins, the Chief Animal Control Officer for the city of Sacramento. He has 15 years of animal welfare experience and is also a NACA board member and a law enforcement trainer with the HSUS.

Specifics of his discussion are about:

  • The evolution of the ACO from an enforcement role towards a life-saving one and how this shift created polarization among the public and challenges for the animal welfare profession.
  • The concept of implicit bias, why humans are hard-wired to commit it, contrasting it with explicit bias, and how it can lead to cynicism.
  • Examples of how implicit bias and cynicism play out for animal control professionals, and the importance of recognizing these to better serve and interact with the communities.
  • How community policing emphasizes proactive solutions and how procedural justice is an approach to better interact with other people through its four principles.
  • How Community Oriented Policing (COPs) and Procedural Justice (PJ) create the how and what of an effective animal welfare model.
  • Proactive approaches to consider for animal welfare that looks into diversity, training, policy and response, and examples of existing initiatives taken to address these.
  • A drill-down of what the four tenets of procedural justice look like in the animal care and control context.
  • Community-oriented policing programming that supports each of the procedural justice tenets and specific examples of how these are done.
  • Barriers and outcomes created by a reactive and punitive model of animal welfare and what a COPs/PJ access to care model can provide and implement within the community.
  • Pets for Life: Its guiding philosophy and the barriers and issues it aims to address through positive interactions, creative community partnerships, and dynamic problem-solving.
  • A list of the common issues most animal care entities grapple with and creative solutions that may be implemented to address these in collaboration with the community members.
  • Ways to improve community interactions that subscribe to the tenets of procedural justice and seek to understand the community history and struggles, and how this impacts the people’s actions and decisions related to animals and interactions with law enforcement.
  • A glimpse into the city of Sacramento’s Outreach and Assistance Program which made a ton of difference to both people and animals within their community.

Points raised during the Q&A are about:

  • Involving colleges in animal welfare initiatives to help communities.
  • The benefits of training on concepts like emotional intelligence and implicit bias.
  • Using body-worn cameras to identify implicit bias in animal control agencies.
  • Animal welfare database system.
  • Overcoming blaming attitudes in staff and replacing it with a view that sees the bigger picture.



Other Webinars with HSUS


Or, click here to register and view other Animal Welfare webinars and recordings on the JCH website. 


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “I like the idea of going around with a vet to look at the pets of the homeless and people with fewer resources.” — Charles
  • “The webinar makes me want to take the provided tests and review how implicit bias is playing a role in how I interact with clients and people outside of the court system.” — SarahAlexandra
  • “A very good webinar.” — DIANA
  • “I would like to learn more about community programs & outreach.” — Megan




This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.




Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues.



This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.





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