University of the Pacific's Animal Shelter

Behavioral Management Certificate Course

Course description: Comprehensive behavior programs are essential to keep the animals behaviorally and emotionally healthy during their stay. This 8-week certificate course will give you the knowledge and skills to develop an effective behavior program aimed at improving the welfare of the animals in your care.
Course dates

UPDATE: The program starting in May 2021 is now full.


Who will benefit from this program?
  • Anyone currently affiliated with an animal shelter or rescue organization who wants to learn more about animal behavior as it relates to the shelter/foster environment. 

  • Anyone who wants to improve the emotional wellbeing of the animals in your care.

  • Anyone seeking a behavior specialist position with an animal shelter or rescue organization.


Learning objectives
  • Gain knowledge on how to read dog and cat animal body language and signaling

  • Learn techniques for safe, humane handling of the animals

  • Understand how the shelter environment effects the emotional wellbeing of the animals and how to use stress reduction techniques to improve welfare

  • Gain knowledge on how to keep the animals physically, mentally, and socially stimulated through shelter-wide enrichment programs

  • Understand the value of effective canine and feline behavior assessments

  • Obtain the knowledge and skills needed to implement training and behavior modification techniques to improve the behavior and emotional state of the shelter animals

  • Obtain skills needed to ensure quality customer service for adoption counseling and follow-up as well as supporting foster caregivers with animals in their care.


Course structure

Online course – work at your own pace

  • Weekly live Zoom lecture given by instructor with Q&A following each session. (Lecture will be recorded for those who cannot make the live event.)

  • Weekly reading assignments

  • Weekly writing assignments that have a due date



Must be currently affiliated with an animal shelter or rescue organization. No behavioral degrees or certifications required.


Instructor: Kelley Bollen, MS, CABC – (email with questions)

Credits, course code, cost

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs): 

    • CAWA - 4.8 CEUs

    • CCPDT - 4 CEUs for Trainers & 12 CEUs for Behavior Consultants

    • IAABC - 16 CEUs

  • Course Code: UNSM 050

  • Certificate Price: $399