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From Oregon State University and the team at Victim to verdict, comes a new online continuing education course!


the veterinarian's role in animal cruelty investigations

About the Book

Animal Cruelty Investigations: A Collaborative Approach from Victim to Verdict provides a framework for the experts who respond to animal cruelty cases: veterinarians, law enforcement agencies, animal care and control organizations, and prosecutors.

This book is a practical guide which provides insight and direction for every phase of an animal cruelty investigation. The step-by-step guidance on responding to particular issues and challenges related to animal cruelty cases is bolstered by the extensive library of checklists, form templates, specific case protocols, and lists of available resources. This book is designed to empower readers to respond to animal cruelty cases confidently and effectively by:

  • Introducing veterinarians to their critical role in animal cruelty investigations including forensic examination and necropsy, crime scene response, report writing, and testimony. Included are detailed Specific Case Protocols for common animal cruelty scenarios.

  • Helping animal shelters navigate the challenges of holding animals in protective custody, housing unusual species, and placing evidence animals in foster care.

  • Offering law enforcement agencies useful methods for investigating animal cruelty such as search and seizure protocols, witness interview techniques, and valuable forms and templates necessary to strengthen and ensure proper search warrant execution, evidence collection and handling, and chain of custody; all with a focus on animals as both victims and evidence.

  • Guiding prosecutors through the steps necessary to utilize the veterinarian’s findings during trial and providing insight into issues to be considered when reviewing search warrants, filing charges, proposing plea agreements, or filing pre-conviction forfeiture motions.

This book is a must-have reference and guide for veterinarians, technicians, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and all those involved in the protection of animals’ health and wellbeing. The successful investigation of animal crimes relies on each of these disciplines, not only carrying out their professional duties, but having a collective understanding of what each other needs in order to meet that expectation.

In this book, you will find over 75 case protocols, forms, checklists, and templates for you and your organization to utilize. Here are a few sample forms to give you an idea of the resources you could have access to:

Veterinary Forensic Exam Form

Protective Custody Foster Agreement

Search Warrant Drafting Checklist

Sample Forms

Dr Kris otteman


Dr Kris Otteman and Lulu the dog.jpg

Dr. Kris Otteman Brant, DVM, ABVP, CAWA is a charter member of the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association, a member of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Oregon Veterinary Medical Licensing Board. Otteman is a pioneer in the field of veterinary forensics having worked in the field since 2008 when very few veterinarians in the United States were trained on this field or actively contributing.

With over 30 years in the veterinary profession and as the leader for medical operations and humane investigations operations within one of the nation’s most successful shelters for over 15 years, Dr. Kris Otteman currently serves on the IFVSA board, the APA Animal Cruelty Advisory Committee and consults for ALDF on animal cruelty investigations cases.



Linda Fielder Headshot.jpg

As the Director of Law Enforcement at the Oregon Humane Society, Linda Fielder, CAWA, led large-scale criminal seizures involving livestock, dog breeders, and animal hoarding scenarios. A Certified Animal Welfare Administrator and a Certified Property and Evidence Specialist, Linda has trained veterinarians, prosecutors and law enforcement professionals from across the globe in crime scene processing, large-scale seizures and link between animal cruelty and human violence.



Emily Lewis Headshot.jpg

Working for a decade as the staff attorney for the Law Enforcement Department at the Oregon Humane Society, Emily Lewis, JD, MSEL learned firsthand how to successfully navigate the complex legal issues raised in criminal animal cruelty cases. Emily currently assists law enforcement, veterinarians, and prosecutors on a national scale in her role as a Senior Staff Attorney for the Criminal Justice Program at the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

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