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University of the Pacific Animal Shelter Management
Certificate Program

This award-winning online certificate program provides practical information and valuable networking for current sheltering professionals, those looking to advance their career, or move into the field of animal sheltering.

The program’s courses include leadership, shelter operations, community program development, animal health/clinic operations, and marketing/development. 


Program Content              Who Will Benefit               What Credit Is Earned              Scheduling/Registration              Testimonials

Program Content

UOP program cntent

The five courses are:

  • Leadership covering strategic planning, analyzing operations, decision-making, managing people and processes to achieve results, organizational responsibilities, and working with a board of directors. Dates: September 11 - October 22, 2023.

  • Shelter Operations covering adoptions, animal care and sheltering fundamentals, animal behavior and enrichment, and customer service. Dates: October 23 - December 3, 2023.

  • Community Program Development covering volunteers, foster care, spay/neuter, pet retention, events, and community relations. Dates: December 4 - January 28, 2024.

  • Animal Health and Clinic Operations covering understanding shelter medicine, basic animal health considerations and care, euthanasia decisions, and clinic operations. Dates: January 29 - March 10, 2024

  • Marketing and Development covering development fundamentals, fundraising strategies, marketing fundamentals, adoption promotion, social media and websites, and media relations. Dates: March 11 - April 28, 2024


Each of these courses include live video conference sessions with top experts in the field providing students valuable contacts within the field. Additionally, alumni have access to exclusive networking opportunities and receive notification of employment opportunities.

You can sign up for individual courses or all five for a discount. All five must be completed to get a certificate.

Who will benefit from the program?
Credit for program/courses
UOP who will benefit
UOP what credit is earned
  • Professionals seeking a career change to something more personally fulfilling.

  • New shelter directors.

  • Shelter directors or managers wishing to improve their organization’s live release rate and sustainability.

  • People working in the animal welfare field who wish to advance into management roles.

  • Board members of animal shelters.

Upon completion of all five courses, you will receive a Certificate in Animal Shelter Management from the University of the Pacific. 


Each course earns:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the University of the Pacific

  • Association of Animal Welfare Advancement CAWA Continuing Education (CE) credits

Schedule and Registration

Each of the five online courses are six weeks long and are offered sequentially. The entire program is about seven months long, and a new round starts again after a short break. More information on start dates of each course and the registration form can be found on the University of the Pacific website. 

How to register: Click here to register

UOP scheduling and registration

“You have given me hope and strength in this field. The courses provided me with the insight that has been needed to make lifesaving changes in our shelter and now, in our community, I am proud to take on this new position as interim director of my shelter!” 


—  Vanessa Francikowski, Shelter Manager, Douglass County, Georgia

UOP testimonials
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