More than 550 Oklahoma law enforcement officers will receive free training and resources regarding encounters between police and dogs, understanding the process of bonding and forfeiture in cruelty cases, and veterinary forensics by experts with the Humane Society of the United States, in partnership with local organizations.

The trainings will be held May 15 through May 19 throughout Oklahoma. Topics will include non-lethal force options when officers encounter dogs, dog behavior, canine mannerisms and body language, as well as veterinary forensics information such as crime scene analysis and animal versus human evidence recognition. This training will account for eight Counsel on Law Enforcement Education Training, CLEET, required hours. Participants will receive donated equipment to provide the tools needed to implement what they’ll be learning.

For this effort, the HSUS is partnering with Oklahoma Association Chiefs of Police, Oklahoma Sheriff & Peace Officers Association, Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association and Tomahawk Live Trap.

John Thompson, the deputy executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association, said: “With little to no training available to them, law enforcement is at an extreme disadvantage in the fight against animal abuse. The Humane Society of the United States is a leader in training law enforcement to identify and combat animal cruelty on all levels and we are excited to support the Humane State Program.”

The HSUS’ Oklahoma senior state director and Oklahoma native, Cynthia Armstrong, said: “We welcome the additional resources being provided to law enforcement officers in the state and hope that the increased awareness about identifying, documenting and charging violations of the state’s anti-cruelty laws will help agencies better enforce the law in the years ahead.”

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