ASPCA Launches Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation Unit

ASPCA mobile crime unit

The ASPCA unveiled the nation’s first-ever “Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit,” a specially-designed vehicle outfitted with state-of-the-art forensics tools as well as medical equipment tailored for animal patients. A “forensics first,” the “Animal CSI” vehicle was created to significantly advance the prosecution of animal cruelty and help strengthen cases against offenders by incorporating the emerging field of veterinary forensics in crime scene investigations. The ASPCA also announced plans to break ground next year on the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Institute.

“Time and time again we see that our nation’s most appalling criminals have a history of abusing animals—that animal cruelty and human cruelty are indelibly linked—and the ASPCA is committed to providing resources and training to stop these crimes in their tracks,” said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. “The Mobile Animal CSI unit and the Anti-Cruelty Institute are two new milestones in our ongoing fight against animal cruelty.”

The mobile forensic vehicle will operate under the leadership of the nation’s premier forensic veterinarian and “animal CSI,” the ASPCA’s Dr. Melinda Merck, and bring both state-of-the-art forensics tools and unmatched expertise to crime scenes. The vehicle will be available to travel to assist national and local law enforcement in their efforts to build cases against and prosecute animal cruelty offenders. The mobile unit is fully outfitted to allow Dr. Merck to examine and care for animals found at suspected crime scenes, and includes a surgical suite for animals in need of urgent care.

“I’m proud to be at the wheel of this mobile unit that will allow the evidence gathered at crime scenes to be processed more efficiently,” said Dr. Melinda Merck. “The ability to work on-site with the necessary equipment and tools, rather than transporting animals as well as other evidence, will reduce the stress placed on the animals that are the innocent “collateral victims” in such situations. It will also provide a proven chain of custody for law enforcement, thus ensuring the integrity of the evidence.”

The ASPCA will break ground on the nation’s first Anti-Cruelty Institute in New York in 2008. This institute will be dedicated to educating veterinarians and law enforcement officials with specialized training necessary to recognize and respond to animal cruelty. The facility, scheduled to open in 2010, will include a forensic laboratory and veterinary hospital, a treatment center for animals that are victims of cruelty, as well as educational training and other programs.

“The ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Institute will allow us to set even higher standards in the recognition, prevention and fight against animal cruelty – the commitment on which our organization was founded,” said Sayres. “The Institute will bring together the best and brightest animal welfare respondents from around the world, in an environment where they can most benefit from the ASPCA’s unique breadth and depth of animal welfare/anti-cruelty expertise. The Institute will truly help us take the fight against animal cruelty to a new level.”

Photo: ASPCA

10 Responses to “ASPCA Launches Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation Unit”

  1. catmom5 says:

    I am so happy to see that someone is finally doing something about this issue, other than doing studies to find the link between animal and human abuse. It’s been known for a long time ~ thank you ASPCA for stepping up and taking action.
    catmom5

  2. kaefamily says:

    Excellent!

  3. Claudia says:

    I wish some outfit in Canada had the nards to do the same thing. We can’t even pass laws that recognize that animals should not be defined as property. Sigh. Just a dream.

  4. Nora and Rufus says:

    New Level. I love how that sounds.

  5. Jodie says:

    Donation dollars put to good use….way to go ASPCA!!!

  6. The Lioness says:

    Awesome!

    ~The Lioness

  7. mittens says:

    can we use that here for investigating human crimes against humans? we have an outrageous unsolved murder rate in one section of boston and one of the worst state forensic labs in the entire country.

  8. KarlaSanDiego says:

    This is thrilling news! Finally a step forward is being made to help get animal cruelty offenders caught and prosecuted. Bravo to ASPCA.

  9. Diana says:

    Absolutely wonderful!!! Great step forward in stopping abuse, and neglect to animals. Other cities in the USA need to purchase these vehicles and add this to their programs of stopping abuse, neglect and the cruel, cruel sport of dog fighting.

  10. GAIL JACKSON says:

    I ONLY WISH THERE WAS SOME SERIOUS HELP FOR ABUSED ANIMALS IN MY AREA I HAVE CALLED EVERY PERSON IN MY COMMUNITY THAT ARE SUPPOSE TO HELP FOR 2 YEARS NO TO NO AVAIL ON A SHAMEFUL INHUMANE SITUATION FOR DOGS AND A HORSE TIED 12 MONTHS A YEAR ON A CHAIN IN HEAT ICE SNOW WITH A GROOVE IN THE GROUND SOMETIMES MUD WATER ICE WHEN ONE DIES ANOTHER REPLACES I ONLY PRAY FOR THEM TO DIE POOR CREATURES THE SO CALLED AUTHORITIES SAY THEY ARE WATCHING?????ITS A HORRIBLE HELPLESS FRUSTRATING THING TO WATCH AND EVERYONE JUST PASS THE BUCK


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