Small Animal Forensics & Animal Welfare

26 Resources on Small Animal Forensics & Animal Welfare

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International Efforts to Improve the Health, Well-being, and Welfare of All Dogs: Where Do You Fit In?

Various initiatives are underway throughout the world to clarify issues influencing dog health, well-being, and welfare and to promote international collaboration. What are major concerns, challenges and positive developments, and how do animal health professionals identify and fulfill their role as stewards for our canine friends and their human companions? BACKGROUNDSince the airing of the television documentary “Pedigreed Dogs Exposed” in 2008 ( Dogs Exposed)...

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The Forensic Necropsy – Part 1

A necropsy is conducted to identify, characterize, and record lesions (pathologic abnormalities). Forensic pathology is the science of interpreting these lesions to answer questions of interest to the investigators and court. Ideally, the goals of the necropsy—the specific questions that one hopes to answer by conducting a necropsy—are be defined prior to performing the necropsy. Sometimes the goal is to determine the cause of death, while in other cases the cause of death is known or clearly...

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Recognize, Record, Report, and Recount: the Responsibility of the Veterinarian in Animal Cruelty Cases

There is a growing societal awareness about cruelty to animals. The veterinary community is no exception. There is an expectation that perpetrators of animal cruelty and neglect be held accountable. It has been long recognized that there is a link between cruelty to animals and violence towards humans and that animal abuse is often one of the indicators of domestic violence and child abuse. The law enforcement community now recognizes that early and aggressive intervention in animal cruelty...

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The Psychological Aspects of Abuse and Neglect in Animals

Neglect and abuse of animals provoke a deep-seated sense of outrage among a large proportion of the public. A good portion of this reaction likely stems from the widely held view of animals as innocent and defenseless and hence especially unworthy of any form of cruelty. However, a major problem has been identified in the attention given to animal maltreatment: there is a disproportionate focus on physical neglect and abuse, with scant attention devoted to the psychological aspects of...

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Physical and Mental Health Issues in Animals Rescued From Hoarding Situations

Animal hoarding, once known to the public only, if at all, by the seemingly innocuous “crazy cat lady” conceptualization, has recently gained a much higher profile due to a number of television programs, such as Animal Planet's Confessions: Animal Hoarding, A&E's Hoarders, and TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive. Over the past two decades a substantial amount of research has been conducted on animal hoarding, but the emphasis has been overwhelmingly on the human factors— the psychological,...

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Owner Perceptions of Animal Welfare: Facts and Emotions

Companion animals are so common that hardly anyone can imagine a world without them. The most important motives for getting a companion animal are social ones, especially companionship, and there is a reason for this. The family used to be an economical and juridical unit for primary socialization, but the functions of the family have changed. Traditionally, the emotional needs of its members were taken care of within the family. The emotional satisfaction became more important during the...

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Animal CSI: Scene Documentation and Forensic Analysis

CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION EQUIPMENT It is important to have the proper tools to conduct your exam and collect evidence. Do not place evidence in plastic bags because moisture can compromise the integrity of the sample. If an item is wet you may first place it in a plastic bag for transport up to a maximum of 2 hours. Then take the item out to dry before finally placing it in a paper evidence bag. Examination and Collection Tools Magnifying glass Paper...

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Expanding the Basis for Animal Ethics and Law

More than 30 years ago, I realized the total inadequacy of the anti-cruelty laws for providing a conceptual basis for a comprehensive societal consensus ethic for animal treatment. Most importantly, the anti-cruelty laws apply to only a miniscule fraction of the suffering that animals experience at human hands. The cruelty laws are intended to apply to deviant, deliberate, sadistic, purposeless, extraordinary infliction of pain and suffering on animals, and thereby to identify sadists and...

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Animal CSI: Documentation of Suspected Abuse in the Victim

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS Photography It is preferable to use digital cameras over 35 mm because the quality of the photograph is known immediately. It is preferred not to use Polaroid cameras because the photographs fade with time. Regardless of the type of camera used, it is important for the photographs to be authenticated in court. With 35 mm, the negatives must be kept as evidence. With digital cameras, the memory cards or sticks may be copied onto a CD. Three CDs should be made—...

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Animal CSI: Developing A Standard Operating Procedure for Handling Suspected Abuse Cases

RECOGNIZING ANIMAL CRUELTY There are numerous situations that qualify as animal cruelty: starvation, dehydration, untreated medical problems, failure to provide relief from extreme environmental conditions, hoarding, embedded collars, assault, poisoning, animal fighting, and so on. Physical abuse cases often have neglect as a component of the crime. Animal cruelty is basically any action or lack of action that results in suffering, illness, injury or death of an animal. It is important...

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