A conference on animal fighting will be held at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine on March 12-13. “Combating Cruelty: Bloodsport Investigations” will focus on the role of veterinary forensics in animal fighting investigations.
The conference, co-sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, is open to veterinarians, animal welfare professionals and law enforcement agents.
On Saturday, March 12, a series of presentations will aim to teach veterinary professionals and investigators to better recognize the signs of animal fighting; use advancements in forensic veterinary science to better respond to animal fighting investigations; and collect and process physical evidence, including blood samples, fighting wounds and analyzing animal remains.
A workshop will be held on Sunday, March 13, to address the behavior evaluation of former fighting dogs.
The workshop will be led by Pamela Reid, Ph.D., vice president of the ASPCA’s Animal Behavior Center, who evaluated dogs from the Michael Vick case. Dr. Reid will focus on how to conduct safe, valid assessments and discuss how animal behavior is used to decide appropriate outcomes for former fighting dogs.
Other speakers participating in the conference will include:
• Melinda Merck, DVM, senior director of ASPCA Veterinary Forensics;
• Cynda Crawford, DVM, Ph.D., Maddie’s clinical assistant professor of shelter medicine;
• Tim Rickey, senior director of ASPCA Field Investigations & Response;
• Terry Mills, animal fighting specialist of ASPCA Field Investigations & Response;
• Kathryn Destreza, southeast regional director of ASPCA Field Investigations & Response.
The ASPCA’s mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation unit will also be available for tours during the conference.
For details, click here.