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Registration for Animal Cruelty Investigation and Veterinary Forensics Seminar

Sponsored by Fulton County Regional SPCA

This one-day seminar will be presented on October 20th and October 21st, 2022 at the Holiday Inn in Johnstown, NY (308 N Comrie Ave, Johnstown, NY 12095). Join us on either or both days as we delve in depth on topics such as crime scene processing, animals as evidence, and building the case. A light breakfast and buffet lunch will be provided.

This seminar is being provided at no cost and exclusively for:

  • Law Enforcement Personnel
  • Veterinary Staff and Students
  • ACOs/DCOs
  • Animal Shelter Staff and Volunteers
  • Legal Professionals
  • Peace Officers

Meet the Guest Speakers

Jeffrey C. Eyre

Jeffrey C. Eyre

Jeffrey C. Eyre has more than thirty-five years of experience in law enforcement, firefighting, rescue, and animal cruelty investigation at the local, state and federal level. Jeff has worked in various aspects of law enforcement including assignments as a uniformed police officer, criminal investigator, canine handler, mounted patrol officer, and evidence technician.

Utilizing this background and specializing in the investigation of animal cruelty crimes throughout the United States and internationally, Jeff has worked for the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as their Director of Field Operations and as the Northeast Responder for the American Humane Association. Jeff has worked with Local, State, and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies in creating a search warrant application specific for the recovery of evidence to support criminal charges of animal fighting and animal cruelty. Jeff has also worked and taught Law Enforcement Officers in handling high stressed animals when dynamic entry team techniques are utilized to control and make safe officers in encountering animals.

Jeff has deployed to responses for all species of animals in crisis that included floods, wildfires, animal cruelty seizures and hoarding cases both within the United States and Internationally.

He has presented training in local state and national venues on Animal Cruelty Investigation, Large Scale Animal Cases, Large Animal Cruelty Investigation, Disaster Response and Emergency Animal Sheltering including handling large and small animals under stress.

Melinda D. Merck, D.V.M.

Veterinary Forensics Consulting, LLC - Austin, Texas

Dr. Melinda Merck is the owner of Veterinary Forensics Consulting in Austin, Texas. Her background includes private practice and shelter medicine. She provides expert case consultations and testimony. Dr. Merck provides training internationally on the use of veterinary forensics in the investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases and the link to crime against humans.

Dr. Merck is the learning facilitator of the AAHA Forensic Process for Veterinarians and course coordinator for the VetFolio Veterinary Forensics online certificate courses. She is an affiliate member of the WSAVA One Health Committee and was the founding chair of the Board of Directors for the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association. Dr. Merck is the editor and contributing author of the textbook, Veterinary Forensics: Animal Cruelty Investigation and a contributing author of other textbooks on the subject veterinary forensics and animal cruelty investigations.

She has developed the Veterinary Forensics courses for veterinary schools and frequently lectures at veterinary and law colleges. She serves on the Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Advisory Council and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Committee. Locally, Dr. Merck volunteers with SAFE, a shelter for domestic violence survivors.


Registration and light breakfast: 8:00am – 8:30am

Session 1: 8:30a-12:30p

  • Response and Arrival
  • Assessment and Action: Organizing the Scene
  • Identifying evidence
  • Animals as evidence: key considerations
  • Closing the scene: bond, warrant, additional investigation
  • Packaging for court
  • Planning and Reacting: Creating partnerships
  • Case examples

Lunch 12:30p-1:30p

Session 2: 1:30p-5:30p

  • The Link
  • Crime Scene Investigation: Considerations in Animal Cruelty Cases
    • Body handling
    • Blood stain pattern analysis
    • Forensic entomology
    • Evidence recognition and collection
    • Potential forensic evidence and analysis
    • Considerations in specific types of cruelty: large scale, sexual abuse
    • Assessment of suffering and torture
  • Veterinary Forensics: Making the Case
    • Working with veterinarians
    • Findings in most common types of cruelty – what the investigator needs to know
    • Animal evidence: analysis and forensic testing
    • Thermal imaging
    • Decomposing bodies and skeletal remains: the potential evidence value
    • Video evidence analysis
    • Resources, financial assistance
  • What really happened: Analyzing the Case

Registration is closed for this seminar.

If you need assistance, please contact us.