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On demand. Access any time.

6 hours


$95 for students

$195 for everyone else


Animal cruelty is a crime in all fifty states, yet continues to be a widespread issue across the country. With demonstrated links to domestic violence and child abuse, animal maltreatment involves more than the welfare of the animal victim.


This online veterinary continuing education course will empower you to contribute to the fight against animal cruelty and make a positive impact for both the animals and people in your community. 


This course will prepare you to join a community of veterinarians and other professionals who are making a real difference in their communities through this impactful work.

This course is brought to you by Victim to Verdict in partnership with Oregon State University.

A Collaborative Approach to Veterinary Forensics


This comprehensive and engaging program was created by a veterinarian, an animal cruelty investigator, and a lawyer with combined decades of experience in humane law enforcement and veterinary forensics. It offers a unique opportunity for veterinary professionals to gain the skills and confidence to address animal-related crimes.

By bridging the gap between veterinary medicine and forensic science, you will be better equipped to serve as an advocate for animal welfare and the pursuit of justice in cases of animal cruelty by deepening your understanding of and engagement in recognizing, reporting, and responding to animal abuse and neglect. 

The course is ideal for those seeking to expand their role as advocates for animal welfare, enhance their knowledge and skill in the emerging field of veterinary forensics, and is designed for:

  • Veterinarians

  • Veterinary Technicians and Paraprofessionals

  • Criminal Justice Professionals 

  • Law Enforcement Agencies

  • Animal Welfare Organizations

  • Social Workers

Victim to Verdict: The Veterinarian’s Role in Animal Cruelty Investigations Course Overview


The knowledge of what to do, what to document, what to report, and why allows you to go forward and confidently pursue justice on behalf of mistreated animals. 

This course provides formal academic training with interactive exercises and an emphasis on the practical application of learning objectives.

After successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify how the Veterinary Oath imparts a duty to respond to animal cruelty in your community.

  • Locate the relevant animal protection laws in your state.

  • Explain the foundations of criminal law and how they apply to animal cruelty investigations.

  • Educate your peers about the connection between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence.

  • Effectively report concerns by understanding important basic information to include and the role and responsibility of the veterinarian.

  • Identify and preserve relevant evidence in animal cruelty cases.

  • Articulate the differences in documenting a standard physical exam and a forensic physical exam.

  • Identify the ongoing responsibilities of the veterinarian after a forensic exam is concluded.

  • Describe the steps necessary to prepare for, complete, and document a forensic necropsy.

  • Articulate the differences between documenting a standard postmortem exam vs. a forensic necropsy.

  • And much more, see syllabus for full outline.


Every aspect of the course illustrates how very important veterinary collaboration is in this realm. 

Making a Difference


Whether you are a professional within the veterinary industry, law enforcement, animal welfare organizations, social work, or criminal justice system, becoming involved in combating animal cruelty is a powerful way for you to extend your impact beyond your office walls.

By understanding the veterinary industry’s role in reporting suspected animal cruelty and by providing veterinary forensic services in support of law enforcement investigations, you become an advocate for compassion and empathy in your community.

Your expertise is crucial in identifying evidence of cruelty, providing education about the humane treatment of all animals, and ensuring that justice is served. Collaborating with law enforcement not only strengthens your professional network, but also brings a sense of fulfillment and purpose to your career.

Your involvement can make a tangible difference in the lives of animals, shaping a brighter future for them and your community.

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