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The Forensic Veterinary Examination

Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of my job as a shelter veterinarian at a large municipal shelter is that I get to be involved in veterinary forensics.

For those of you who have seen shows such as Animal Cops or CSI, you may have an idea of what this  entails. Essentially, I work with animal service officers to investigate and prosecute cases such as animal abuse and neglect by performing examinations on the animals that are the focus of the investigation to determine whether my examination supports or fails to support the case.

Some of the interesting cases I’ve seen so far include:

  • Dogs allegedly killed by other dogs
  • Dogs that were allegedly abused.
  • Dogs that were allegedly neglected, such as¬†owners allegedly failed to provide the dogs with medical care after a substantial injury or attack.
  • Dogs that were allegedly sodomized.
  • Dogs that died from unknown causes and were found on a crime scene that was part of a police investigation.

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