Advanced Dog Fighting Investigations

June 25, 2019
3:00pm - 4:00pm

This webinar will highlight techniques to consider when investigating dogfighting operations.  By highlighting how to investigate pedigrees and online dogfighting certificates, your expert will give corroborative evidence on the stand.  The expert will take you through how to look at a cellphone for the dogfighting lingo that will help support your case at trial.  Analyzing the use of other forensic tools like Blue Star Process, she will highlight how they can help you make your dogfighting case rock solid.  She will explore techniques to collaborate with other agencies for a more comprehensive case.


Amy Katherine Taylor has been working in animal welfare for over 18 years.  Ms. Taylor is the President and Founder of Ring Dog Rescue a pit bull type dog non-profit.  Ms. Taylor became a nationally certified Animal Control Officer in 2005, and has been an investigator for the Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force since 2007 and on the Board of Directors since 2013.  Ms. Taylor is a founding member and Vice President of A.L. Shilling Spay & Neuter.

Ms. Taylor completed her undergraduate studies in Forensic Crime Scene Investigation, she continued her studies and achieved a Masters of Science and Post-Baccalaureate degree in Criminal Justice.  Ms. Taylor is a Department of Criminal Justice Services General Instructor and a Subject Matter Expert.  Ms. Taylor was appointed to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Animal Control Training workgroup in 2011.

Ms. Taylor has investigated over 100 cases of animal fighting and has been on scene for more than 50 animal fighting search warrants.  Ms. Taylor has been qualified as an expert in “Bully Breeds” and animal cruelty, and been qualified as an expert in animal fighting 12 times in Virginia courts.  Ms. Taylor was more recently qualified as an expert in dogfighting and animal cruelty in the United States District Court of New Jersey.

Ms. Taylor was the honored recipient of the Meritorious Service to Law Enforcement Award in 2006.  Ms. Taylor also received the Compassion Award (2004) and the Presidents Award (2014) from the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, and was voted one of Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2011.

Ms. Taylor is a regular guest instructor at both William and Mary School of Law and the University of Richmond School of Law.  She also instructs at Crater Road Criminal Justice Academy and for the Virginia Attorney Generals Office.  She is a member of the National Animal Control Association, the Virginia Animal Control Association, the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, and the International Association of Canine Professionals.

Michelle Welch is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.  She is the Director of the Animal Law Unit at the Attorney General's Office.  She is charged with taking all animal law questions in Virginia.  She is called on by agencies all over the Commonwealth to act as a special prosecutor in animal cruelty and animal fighting cases.  Ms. Welch has also been appointed a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia to aid in animal fighting prosecutions.

Ms. Welch frequently gives advice to law enforcement authorities and prosecutors all over Virginia, the nation and internationally.   She trains prosecutors, animal control and law enforcement officers on the state of Virginia animal law and testified before a U.S. Congressional Caucus examining the enforcement of animal laws and the cooperation between state and federal partners.  She is a speaker at many conferences including Virginia Animal Control Association and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys’ National Animal Cruelty Conference.