Justice Clearinghouse Webinars

Animal Cruelty | Canine Encounters | Dog Fighting

The Justice Clearinghouse has the following animal-related webinars scheduled: 

Veterinary forensics can play an important role in both animal and human related crimes. This webinar will discuss how animal cruelty investigations can support other types of cases. Topics will include the potential use of animal-related evidence and how it can be important to the investigation and prosecution of other types of crimes. Recognition of critical evidence, the application of human forensics and case discussion will be presented.

Presenter: Dr. Melinda Merck, Owner, Veterinary Forensics Consulting

There is nationwide increased attention to animal cruelty and dog fighting due to a mounting body of evidence about the link between such acts and serious crimes of more narrowly human concern, including illegal firearms possession, drug trafficking, gambling, spousal, elder, and child abuse, gangs, bestiality, child pornography and more. This webinar will emphasize that while animal-cruelty issues were long considered a peripheral concern for law enforcement, that illusory distinction is rapidly fading. Animal cruelty is part of a larger nexus of crimes and the psyche behind them. People are at risk when animals are abused, and animals are at risk when people are abused. Taking animal cruelty seriously can lead to identification of other crimes involving humans.

Presenter: Jessica Rock, Co-Founder, Animal Law Source

As if law enforcement and the communities they serve have not been dealing with a crisis recently, there is an even larger one seriously eroding public faith and profoundly affecting law enforcement/community relations. It is officers shooting family pets.

When dogs are shot by law enforcement, it rips at the basic thread that holds law enforcement and the community together.  Today there are more than 80 million dogs living in 57 million U.S. households. Sixty-three percent of those households consider their dog a friend and family member. Chances are very high that law enforcement will encounter dogs in their daily interaction with the public. When a law enforcement officer kills or shoots someone’s dog, it deeply affects the family, as well as the officer, the neighborhood and the community.

Presenter: John Thompson, Deputy Executive Director/COO, National Sheriffs' Association

Animal cruelty is more than just a legal issue, it’s a community issue. If you improve animal welfare in a community, you improve public safety for everyone. This webinar discusses why people are cruel to animals, why it is important for investigators to take animal abuse seriously, types of animal abuse, crime scene investigations, preparing a case for prosecution and the trial of an animal abuse case. 

Presenter: Jessica Rock, Co-Founder, Animal Law Source

Dog fighting is one of the most heinous forms of animal cruelty. Fighting dogs are regularly conditioned for fighting through the use of drugs, including steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness and are typically raised in isolation on short heavy chains.

Dog fighting is often associated with other forms of criminal activity including illegal gambling and possession of drugs and firearms. This webinar explores common signs of dog fighting, collateral crimes of dog fighting and how to investigate and prosecute dog fighting cases.

Presenter: Jessica Rock, Co-Founder, Animal Law Source