Friday, February 15, 2008

Animal CSI: Solving horrendous pet crimes

MSNBC has an interesting story on Melinda Merck, a veterinarian who is currently the only animal CSI specialist in the country. The ASPCA is hoping to create more professionals with Merck's qualifications and is breaking ground this year on an anti-cruelty institute in New York City to provide training for veterinarians and law enforcement.

The article notes that on of the major problems with prosecuting animal cruelty cases is the lack of victims with a voice. Merck applies the principles of forensic evidence to compensate for this problem. According to the story, she has been successful in each of the 25 cases she has participated in over the last year. The article also points out the link between animal cruelty and other crimes, such as domestic violence, and the indication the perpetrator may commit future acts of violence against people. More from the article:
In a 26-foot van equipped with state-of-the-art forensic tools, she travels to crime scenes throughout the country to assist law enforcement officials in their efforts to build cases against and prosecute animal cruelty offenders.
. . .
In a 26-foot van equipped with state-of-the-art forensic tools, she travels to crime scenes throughout the country to assist law enforcement officials in their efforts to build cases against and prosecute animal cruelty offenders.

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