Animal Cruelty Investigation Certificate: Become a Champion for Animals

Fight Animal Cruelty with Specialized Skills

Do you have a passion for protecting animals and a strong desire to pursue justice? Madonna University's Animal Cruelty Investigation Certificate program can equip you with the specialized skills and knowledge you need to make a difference in the lives of animals.

Animal Abuse Statistics 

10 Million+

Animals die each year from abuse in the United States alone. 


States have laws to provide felony penalties for animal torture on the first offense. 


Of homes with substantiated child abuse and neglect also include abuse towards animals. 

Elevate Your Criminal Justice Career

This certificate program complements your bachelor's or associate's degree in criminal justice, allowing you to deepen your expertise in a crucial and growing field. You'll gain valuable knowledge in:

  • Criminal investigation: Learn the essential techniques for investigating animal cruelty cases, including evidence collection, witness interviewing, and report writing. 
  • Animal welfare law and ethics: Understand the legal framework surrounding animal cruelty and develop strong ethical principles to guide your investigations. 
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration: Develop the skills to work effectively with animal shelters and other stakeholders in the fight against animal cruelty. 
  • A thorough curriculum: Gain specialized knowledge through a comprehensive curriculum that covers all aspects of animal cruelty investigation. 
A graphic that says criminal investigation with a shield and a lock in blue
an image of a magnifying glass with people and text that says interviewing and investigative reporting in blue
an image of a paw print in blue with text that says do animals matter?

Unlock Career Opportunities

With the rising public concern for animal welfare, the demand for qualified animal cruelty investigators is growing rapidly. Earning this certificate can open doors to rewarding careers in various settings, such as: 

  • Law enforcement agencies: Assist in investigating animal cruelty cases and work to bring perpetrators to justice.
  • Humane societies and animal shelters: Investigate complaints of animal cruelty, advocate for animal welfare, and provide care for rescued animals. 
  • Non-profit organizations: Play a vital role in promoting animal welfare through research, education, and advocacy efforts. 
  • Private investigation firms: Assist attorneys and other parties in collecting evidence and conducting investigations related to animal cruelty cases. 

Start Your Journey Today 

Whether you're a criminal justice student looking to specialize in animal cruelty investigation or a criminal justice professional seeking career advancement, Madonna University's Certificate in Animal Cruelty Investigation offers the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. 


More Information

Faculty Bios

Tara Kane, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Program Director, Master of Science Criminal Justice Leadership and Intelligence

Master of Science & Leadership Studies, Madonna University

Bachelor of Science, Madonna University


734-432-5429, 2208

Tara Kane, Ph.D.

Ms. Tara Kane joined the full-time faculty in 2013 coming from the West Bloomfield Police Department. She retired as a Detective/Sergeant of Investigations. She completed her M.S.B.A. in 2008 and her B.S. in 2002, both from Madonna University.

She teaches in the area of criminology and special topics, with subject matter concentration on vulnerable populations and sexual assault. Her interests include the suspected abuse and neglect of children, domestic violence and sexual assault. She is actively engaged in Title IX initiatives related to sexual assault on college campuses, as well as community engagement with partners combating Human Trafficking.

She serves as one of the faculty advisory board members for the student group Stop A.V.T. (Stop all Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking).  She is a faculty advising fellow, committed to the Appreciative Advising model approach.  She believes that by addressing students’ dreams and goals from day one equals the best recipe for future success- academically and professionally.

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Victor LauriaAssistant Professor, Interim Department Chair,
Program Director, Emergency Management, Fire Science and Occupational Safety and Health

M.S.-T.C. Eastern Michigan University

B.S. Northern Michigan University

Assistant Chief of Police (Ret.) Novi Police Department

Graduate FBI National Academy – Session #250


734-432-5438, 2418

Victor Lauria

Victor Lauria is an Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice Department. He joined the full time faculty of Madonna University in 2015. Prior to joining Madonna, he served as an Assistant Chief of Police with the City of Novi. During his 28-year law enforcement career, Victor served in a wide variety of positions. He worked as a patrol officer, undercover narcotics officer, a K-9 handler, and detective, as well as numerous supervisory positions. His work has been recognized by the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association, National Retail Federation and the Michigan Association of Private Investigators. The National Geographic Channel profiled one of Victor's cases in the documentary film "The Science of Interrogation."

 His favorite subjects to teach are interview and interrogation, and ethics.

 In his free time, Victor enjoys spending time with his wife, Sherie, and their three children as well as hunting and fishing.

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Robert GreenwoodAssistant Professor

Master of Public Administration - Western Michigan University

Bachelor of Arts - Concordia University 

Parole/Probation Manager (Ret.) Michigan Department of Corrections

Graduate MDOC Corrections and Parole/Probation Officer Academy


734-432-5439, 2422

Robert Greenwood

Robert is an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Department. He began teaching at Madonna in 2004 as an adjunct instructor in the Criminal Justice Department before joining as a full-time faculty member in 2019.

Robert has 35 years of experience working for the Michigan Department of Corrections in community corrections and at several state correctional/mental health facilities. He has worked as a corrections officer, parole officer, and probation officer for the 38th Circuit Court. Robert has served in a supervisory capacity in the Michigan Department of Corrections and Community Health, as an Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor, Captain, Deputy Director of Safety and Security and retiring as a Parole/Probation Manager.

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