Join Shelter and Animal Advocates from across the state for
2020 Stand Up for Animal Shelters: Policy and Advocacy Days
Monday and Tuesday, March 2nd and 3rd
Click here to register.


Creating New Perspectives on Animal Cruelty:
A Full Day Workshop for Shelter Professionals, Law Enforcement, District Attorneys and ACO/DCOs
at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
3 Oakland Ave, Menands, NY

Animal Cruelty Investigation and Prosecution: Making the Case
with Dr. Melinda Merck, DVM,
President, Veterinary Forensics Consulting

This workshop will cover key steps for the cruelty investigator when responding to an animal cruelty case and provide valuable information to prosecutors in understanding animal related evidence and how to present a case. Topics include crime scene analysis, evidence recognition, forensic testing, blood stain pattern analysis, and the use of thermal imaging. The findings in the most common types of cruelty will be presented including supportive diagnostic testing available. Critical documentation and actions by first responders’ will be discussed. Resources for forensic testing and further training will be included. Cases will be presented throughout highlighting the use of forensics and working with veterinarians.


8 a.m.: Registration and breakfast

9 a.m.-10 a.m.: 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

10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: 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 [include Vick case]
  • Video evidence analysis

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.: Lunch

1:30 p.m.-2 p.m.: Large Scale Case Management

  • Location mapping
  • Important considerations for processes and protocols
  • Lessons learned: common mistakes

2:00 p.m.-3 p.m.: What really happened: Analyzing the Case

  • The case presentation will be interactive and demonstrate the importance of the veterinarian working with law enforcement. The case will cover crime scene and photograph analysis in addition to necropsy findings.


Advocacy Day

Come to Room 711A of the Legislative Office Building (Empire State Plaza) for breakfast, an awards presentation and legislative briefing. This year, we’ll be honoring two of the Federation’s legislative champions–State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal. They are the prime sponsors of the Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill that the Federation is working with the ASPCA and HSUS to pass.

We’ll start the morning at 9 with a continental breakfast. Once the legislative briefing is done, we’ll have you on your way to your advocacy visits between 10:30 and 11. We’ll be making your appointments for you.

We’ll be in 711A all day. You can use it as home base throughout the day. Once you’ve completed your visits, please drop off your debriefing forms. Lunch is on your own and then you can head back home!

We’ve reserved 30 parking spots in the Visitors Lot below the Empire State Plaza. The first 30 to sign up will get a parking permit. You’ll pay at the gate.

You must register whether you’re coming for one day or two. The Animal Crimes workshop is underwritten and free. If you’re planning to attend both days or just our Advocacy Day, the cost  is $25 for NYSAPF members or $40 for non-members. Click here to register and to pay online.

Hotel reservations are on your own. Click here for a full list of Albany’s hotels.