Hundreds of Oklahoma law enforcement officers and animal care and control personnel will receive free training and resources from the Humane Society of the United States to learn how to effectively address wildlife issues facing their communities.

The trainings will be held May 24 through May 26 in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Ardmore. Experts from the HSUS will provide information on applicable local and state laws concerning wildlife and training on techniques for humanely and effectively resolving wildlife conflicts, safely capturing and handling wild animals, and addressing the private possession of dangerous wild and exotic animals.

This training series follows five trainings that took place in March that focused on investigating puppy mills, animal fighting and animal cruelty. More than 700 law enforcement personnel throughout the state attended those trainings and learned how to handle animal cruelty cases from first response to prosecution.

Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma senior state director for the HSUS, said: “Our nation’s law enforcement personnel rarely receive much training on how to handle wildlife, but they come into contact with these animals on a regular basis. We’re excited to offer Oklahoma’s agencies some specialized training for this important aspect of their jobs.”

The HSUS will host a third training series in June for Oklahoma’s animal shelter and rescue personnel. It will focus on understanding compassion fatigue, working with law enforcement, building humane communities and establishing disaster plans for a shelter.

The Humane State Program of the HSUS was born out of a successful 2015 initiative in Puerto Rico. The island received trainings and resources similar to those being provided in Oklahoma to address the growing number of stray, feral and abused dogs and cats. As a result of the initiative’s success, the Humane State Program now aims to implement this effort in every state in the nation.

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