About B.A.R.C.

About The Course

EDUCATE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE MISTREATED ANIMALS:  The first of its kind in the nation, Benchmark Animal Rehabilitative Curriculum (B.A.R.C.) is a powerful and comprehensive online course designed to inspire change in attitudes and actions toward animals in individuals who have mistreated them. B.A.R.C.’s educational and informative curriculum is intended to create a positive change in behavior by increasing students’ awareness of the value and needs of all sentient beings. The primary goal of the B.A.R.C. course is to instill empathy and compassion toward animals, thereby reducing the likelihood that those who have abused or neglected in the past will reoffend. B.A.R.C. also plays an important role in fulfilling the vision of The B.A.R.C. Team; namely, that every animal enjoys a safe and compassionate environment, free from any and all types of abuse. The B.A.R.C. program was developed, and is administered, by a non-profit organization.

B.A.R.C. is open only to adults and juveniles (aged 15-17) who have been referred to the course by a member of the criminal justice system (e.g., judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, or probation officer), an animal control professional, a social services agency, an educational institution, or a mental health professional. In order to ensure that the person referred to the course is the same person taking it, B.A.R.C. includes an important security measure with eProktor, an advanced facial recognition technology that utilizes a computer’s webcam to authenticate each student’s identity.

B.A.R.C.:  SATISFYING CRIMINAL LAWS THAT REQUIRE ANIMAL CRUELTY PREVENTION EDUCATION 
Many state criminal statutes require that those convicted of violating animal cruelty laws participate in an animal cruelty prevention and education program. B.A.R.C. fulfills a vital need by providing the criminal justice system with an animal cruelty prevention course as a referral option for offenders who have been convicted of violating animal cruelty laws and are, therefore, required to complete some type of educational rehabilitative program. Even if not required to do so, having offenders complete a course on humane education and animal cruelty prevention, helps reduce the likelihood that they will reoffend.  

B.A.R.C.:  AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION
The B.A.R.C. course can be used as a form of diversion in cases where there is either insufficient evidence to file criminal charges, or in instances where education, rather than criminal prosecution, is the more appropriate option.  

B.A.R.C.:  EDUCATING ON A BROAD RANGE OF ANIMAL CRUELTY PREVENTION TOPICS
The B.A.R.C. course addresses a broad range of animal cruelty prevention issues. The curriculum highlights the legal, moral, financial, and practical day-to-day commitments required of those who own or keep animals. Students learn that animals of all species, like humans, experience a range of emotions, and are capable of experiencing physical and psychological pain and suffering. Specific forms of abuse, such as intentional cruelty, neglect, illegal animal fighting, and hoarding, are addressed in depth. The course also covers such topics as changes in society’s attitudes towards animals; the growing involvement of law enforcement agencies in animal protection; a description of the various laws that exist to protect animals; the responsible care of animals; the pros and cons of pet ownership; and when and how it is acceptable to relinquish a pet. 

Learn more below about Course Features and Course Goals.

Course Features
  • ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

    The B.A.R.C. course is open only to adults and juveniles age 15-17 who have been referred to the course by a qualified referring agency. Referrals will be accepted from members of the criminal justice system, animal control professionals, social services agencies, an educational institution, or a mental health professional. Additional student requirements are outlined on the Referring Agencies and Students pages. 

  • STUDENT IDENTITY AUTHENTICATION WITH FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY:

    Through the use of facial recognition technology, B.A.R.C. ensures that the individual referred to the course is the same person actually taking it. The program employs eProktor, an advanced facial recognition technology that uses webcams to automatically authenticate each student’s identity every time they log in to the course or take a quiz or the final exam. By randomly authenticating students throughout every session, the technology also continuously monitors ongoing participation to ensure that students complete and participate in the entire course. To learn more, watch the eProktor video.

  • POSITIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCE:

    B.A.R.C. is an informative and engaging course that uses video, images, articles, and text in a dynamic online format to create an enriching and enjoyable learning environment. The B.A.R.C. learning experience is aimed at increasing the learning and retention of course content, as well as inspiring students to develop favorable and lasting attitudinal and behavioral changes. 

  • DESIGNED BY ANIMAL CRUELTY LEGAL EXPERTS:

    The comprehensive B.A.R.C. curriculum was designed to educate individuals who have mistreated animals by recognized experts in the areas of animal cruelty prosecution, animal law, humane education, teaching and training, psychology, research, and writing. To learn more about these experts, visit The B.A.R.C. Team page.

  • 24/7 ACCESS:

    The B.A.R.C. course is taken completely online, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students may work at their own pace and at times that are convenient for them, depending on their schedule. 

  • QUIZZES AND FINAL EXAM:

    Information acquired by B.A.R.C. students is reinforced through a series of quizzes that are given throughout the course. Students must pass each quiz in order to advance to the next course section; they will be required to retake sections until they pass the corresponding quiz. Students are also required to pass a final examination with an 80% grade in order to receive credit for taking the course. If students do not pass the final exam after 3 attempts, they must retake and successfully complete the entire course before they will be given another opportunity to retake and pass the final exam.

  • PROOF OF ENROLLMENT, PROGRESS, AND COMPLETION:

    After successfully enrolling in the B.A.R.C. course, students will be sent an email that will serve as proof of enrollment. Students will also be able to download Progress Reports throughout the course to demonstrate how much of the course they have completed. Upon completing the course and passing the final exam, students will be able to download a Certificate of Completion to demonstrate that they have successfully completed the course. The Progress Reports and Certificate of Completion will include a photo of the student, captured by the facial recognition program, to demonstrate that the person referred to the course is the one who participated in and completed the entire course.

  • TECHNICAL SUPPORT:

    Students will have access to technical support via phone or email, Monday-Friday, during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. MST (excluding all bank recognized holidays). Requests for support received during non-business hours will receive a response within 8 hours the next business day.

Course Goals
  • INSPIRE CHANGE THROUGH KNOWLEDGE:

    Educate individuals who have mistreated animals by inspiring change in attitudes and actions.

  • INSPIRE RESPECT AND UNDERSTANDING FOR ANIMALS:

    Inspire respect, understanding, and compassion for animals in individuals who have mistreated animals, to prevent similar behavior in the future.

  • PROVIDE OVERVIEW OF ANIMAL CRUELTY LAWS:

    Provide students with a broad overview of animal cruelty statutes, society’s expectations regarding the treatment of animals, and potential legal consequences of mistreating animals.

  • DETAIL PET OWNERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES:

    Educate students on the legal, moral, financial, and practical day-to-day commitments associated with owning animals.

  • DEMONSTRATE ANIMALS’ CAPACITY FOR EXPERIENCING EMOTIONS:

    Instill in students an understanding that all species of animals are capable of experiencing emotions, as well as physical and psychological pain.

  • INCREASE EMPATHY FOR ANIMALS:

    Cultivate empathy for animals of all species by leading students to view things from the animals’ point of view.

  • COVER A BROAD RANGE OF ANIMAL CRUELTY PREVENTION ISSUES:

    Educate students on a wide variety of topics designed to inspire a positive change in attitudes and actions that impact the welfare of animals.  For a list of subjects covered in the curriculum, see the Course Topics page.