Dog Fighting Investigations and Prosecutions
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 is the Director of Legal Advocacy & Law Enforcement Support with the Atlanta Humane Society’s Animal Cruelty Unit. She provides expertise to law enforcement, animal control officers and prosecutors from the crime scene to the courtroom for animal abuse cases, including animal cruelty and dog fighting anywhere in Georgia. She also provides free training on animal abuse investigations and prosecutions and the link between animal abuse and other crimes for law enforcement, animal control officers, prosecutors, judges, and veterinarians.
Former Deputy Chief of the Special Victims Unit for DeKalb County, Jessica graduated with Honors from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. Jessica received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Emory University School of Law in 2003. After clerking for a superior court judge and the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, in 2004, she became Georgia’s first dedicated animal cruelty prosecutor, creating Georgia's first animal cruelty task force with law enforcement.
For over a decade, Jessica successfully prosecuted thousands of special victims cases involving homicide, RICO, gangs, domestic violence, elder abuse, child victim cases, animal cruelty, and dogfighting. In 2014, she co-founded Animal Law Source, an organization that served as a resource and conducted trainings for animal law professionals. Training judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, animal control officers and veterinarians for over 15 years, she continues teaching nationally and throughout Georgia on the link between animal abuse and other crimes, animal law, animal cruelty, neglect, animal fighting, abandonment, animal hoarding, puppy mills, large impound cases, equine cruelty and case preparation and courtroom presentation in animal abuse cases.
In addition to her speaking engagements, she also works diligently drafting laws related to animals in Georgia on both the state and local levels. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia and on the executive board of the National Coalition on Violence Against Animals.