Veterinary forensics is the intersection of veterinary medicine and the law. It takes the education and skills of veterinary medicine and applies it to answering legal questions.
- What is animal abuse, cruelty, and neglect from a medical and a legal viewpoint and how do these differ?
- What are the signs and red flags for animal abuse, cruelty, and neglect?
- How are animal abuse cases adequately and correctly documented?
- What are the different organizational roles in an animal abuse case?
- How are animal abuse and interpersonal violence such as domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse connected?
- Who, if anyone, is a mandatory reporter of animal abuse in my state and what does this mean?
Any organization or business that comes into contact with animals might be witness to or have knowledge of animal abuse. This could include:
- Veterinary hospitals
- Animal shelters and rescue organizations
- Wildlife organizations
- Law enforcement
- Code enforcement
- Social workers
- In-home service providers
Woolf Veterinary Forensics Consulting, Inc.
Woolf Veterinary Forensics Consulting, Inc. is here to help. Many veterinarians learn little, if anything, about animal cruelty during veterinary school, and few states, if any, require education in animal abuse recognition, documentation, and evidence collection for their licensed veterinarians. Without this, many veterinarians may be uncomfortable dealing with animal cruelty cases. Unfortunately, this could lead to cases being missed or improperly handled. We can provide education to help you and your organization better understand animal abuse, why it is important to society as a whole, how to recognize it, and how to document it. We can also provide consultation on specific cases. And if your organization does not have a veterinarian able or willing to investigate a potential abuse case or needs assistance with a large intake, we may be able to provide a veterinarian for that as well. Please contact us to discuss your needs.
"Thank you for the training. Having the [Animal Control] Officers get excited about their jobs is pretty powerful."
-- Ben Winkleblack, Assistant to the Director, Oakland Animal Services
If you are an individual such as a residential homeowner and you suspect animal abuse, contact your local law enforcement agency.
In the United States, this varies with location and may be:
- County or city animal control services;
- Humane societies;
Woolf Veterinary Forensics is not a law enforcement organization.