In California, humane officers play an important role in animal protection. Appointed by SPCAs and humane societies and confirmed by superior courts, humane officers may exercise the powers of a peace officer to uphold our state's animal protection laws. Prevention, detection, and investigation of all forms of animal abuse, as well as apprehension of suspected abusers, are all key components of humane officer's job. Most humane officers are authorized to make arrests and serve warrants for crimes against animals and some humane officers are authorized to carry firearms. 

 

Sometimes humane officers collaborate with officers from other humane societies and SPCA's, animal care and control agencies, police and sheriffs departments, and other law enforcement agencies. For the most part, humane officers enforce animal protection laws in the county in which they are appointed. However, in certain circumstances, they are authorized to work in other counties.

 

What to learn more about humane officers? Check out our Humane Officer FAQs below.

 

Are you a prospective or current humane officer looking for a required form for appointment, continuing education, or ongoing weapons training? Click here.  

 

 
 
Appointment

 

Humane societies/SPCAs are required to notify the California Department of Justice when a Superior Court confirms the appointment of a humane officer by submitting a Copy of the Order Confirming Appointment.  There are three options for submitting the Order:

 

Mail

California Department of Justice

P.O. Box 903417

Sacramento, CA 94203-4170

ATTN: Humane Officers Compliance (H127)

 

FAX
916.227.4815
 

Emailcahumaneofficers@doj.ca.gov

Continuing Education

 

During each three-year period following appointment, a humane officer is required complete 40 hours of continuing education related to the powers and duties of a humane officer.  The training may be provided by Cal Animals (State Humane Association of California, an accredited postsecondary institution, or a law enforcement agency.  Many humane officers receive this training by attending our Animal Care Conference or the Animal Law Enforcement Training Academy at Marin Humane and San Diego Humane Society.  Check our Trainings page for current offerings.  

Certificate of Compliance.  Humane Officers are required to provide the California DOJ with proof of compliance of continuing education no later than 21 days after the expiration of each three-year period.  Failure to do so results in immediate revocation.  In addition, copies must be sent to:

  1. The Superior Court in the county in which the principal office of the humane society/SPCA is located.
     

  2. The police department having jurisdiction in the city in which the principal office of the humane society/SPCA is located.
     

  3. The sheriff’s department in the county in which the principal office of the appointing humane society/SPCA is located.
     

  4. The Department of the California Highway Patrol: California Highway Patrol Field Support Section 601 North 7th Street Sacramento, CA 95811.
     

  5. Cal Animals (State Humane Association of California):
     

  • Mail: P.O. Box 2098, El Cerrito, CA 94530
     

  • FAX: 510.525.2772
     

  • Email: info@calanimals.org

Officer Level 1, required every 6 months:

Humane Officers authorized to carry firearms, pursuant to Corporations Code 14502(E)(4), must provide a copy of their certificate of ongoing weapons training and range qualification compliance, to the California Department of Justice, no later than 21 days after the expiration of each six-month period. Failure to file the certificate of compliance with the Department of Justice no later than 21 days after the expiration of a six-month period shall result in immediate revocation of the appointment.

In addition, the form and documetnation must be submitted to:

 

  1. The Superior Court in the county in which the principal office of the appointing society is located.
     

  2. The police department having jurisdiction in the city in which the principal office of the appointing society is located.
     

  3. The sheriff’s department having jurisdiction in the county in which the principal office of the appointing society is located.
     

  4. The Department of the California Highway Patrol: California Highway Patrol Field Support Section 601 North 7th Street Sacramento, CA 95811.
     

  5. Cal Animals (State Humane Association of California)
     

  • Mail: P.O. Box 2098, El Cerrito, CA 94530
     

  • FAX: 510.525.2772
     

  • Email: info@calanimals.org

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Mailing Address

5898 Cherry Ave | Long Beach, CA 90805

510.525.2744 | info@calanimals.org

© 2019 by California Animal Welfare Association - All rights reserved.

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California's animal care and control agencies, SPCAs, and humane societies are not directly affiliated with any of the national animal welfare organizations, such as Humane Society of the United States and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  Read more here.