Menu UF Health Home Menu


  • The ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program is a joint effort of several organizations, made possible with funding from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Management of the program is provided by the W.R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, Department of Pathology, University of Florida College of Medicine. The program is housed within the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida and is associated with the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida College of Medicine.

    In an effort to foster the application of the forensic sciences in veterinary medicine, the Maples Center and the ASPCA has worked to create the International Veterinay Forensic Sciences Association, which has over 120 members from 9 countries.


    The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

    The ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by our founder, Henry Bergh, in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States”. The ASPCA works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws, and share resources with shelters nationwide.

    The ASPCA has partnered with the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine to create and maintain a Veterinary Forensic Services Team that is fully equipped to respond and assist law enforcement and veterinary professionals in the processing and analysis of any animal crime scene in the United States. This team has decades of experience in human crime scene analysis and forensic medicine and they employ their expertise in the investigation and analysis of scenes of animal crime. Learn more about this unique forensic science team.

    To learn more about the ASPCA, visit

    ASPCA Forensic Services Team

    The ASPCA maintains a fully equipped Forensic Services Team who stand ready to assist law enforcement officials and veterinary professionals throughout the United States. This team employs a Certified Crime Scene Analyst to help ensure the recognition, documentation, and preservation of physical evidence from scenes of animal crime.

    Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit

    To assist in the collection of physical evidence recovered from animal crime scenes, the ASPCA can deploy the Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit. This vehicle is a Ford E-450, fully enclosed 26-foot uni-body that is climate-contolled and completely self-contained. This vehicle also contains a surgical suite with digital x-ray, anesthesia, and oxygen so that immediate life-saving medical care can be provided on-scene to any animals in need. Providing this capability on-site provides for state-of-the-art veterinary care and ensures the integrity of physical evidence.

    ASPCA Subaru Outback CSI Unit

    The ASPCA Subaru Outback CSI unit is another highly customized vehicle specially designed for crime scene use. The ASPCA’s Subaru Outback CSI unit can access crime scenes in difficult terrain and is utilized when a limited amount of forensic analytical equipment is needed at the scene. This specialized vehicle is also used for the rapid transport of animals in need of medical care beyond the capabilities of those provided on scene.

    ASPCA CSI Trailer – 18 ft

    The ASPCA Crime Scene Investigation trailer is an 18-foot tandem axle cargo unit stocked with an 8×18 foot portable building with integrated flooring, AC/Heat units for the portable building, and a complete set of excavation equipment needed for the examination and recovery of physical evidence from clandestine gravesites.

    ASPCA 24 ft Tandem Trailer and Ford 250 Forensic Services Truck

    To provide for the specialized processing and storage of forensic evidence collected on-scene, the ASPCA can deploy a specialized 24-foot tandem axle goosneck trailer and a Ford F250 Forensic Services truck. This unit is stocked with photography, evidence marking and collecting supplies. Equipped with 6,000-watt generator, 360 degree high-output exterior scene lighting, refrigerated storage, AC/Heat, and stainless steel topped workspace, this mobile forensic services unit ensures the integrity of forensic evidence.


    International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association

    The Association was created by a majority vote from individuals attending the First Annual Veterinary Forensic Sciences Conference hosted by the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, University of Florida, in May 2008. The purpose of the IVFSA is to:

    1. Promote the health, welfare, and safety of animals through the fostering of current, new, and novel techniques of forensic science and crime scene processing to circumstances of animal abuse, neglect, cruelty, fighting, and death.
    2. Apply forensic science techniques to legal investigations involving animals as the victim of criminal offenses and civil disputes.
    3. Educate the animal welfare community, law enforcement, crime scene analysts, forensic scientists, veterinarians, attorneys, judges, and pathologists on the application of forensic science techniques and crime scene processing methods to cases of animal abuse, neglect, cruelty, fighting, and death.
    4. Inform the law enforcement and legal community of the various scientific disciplines that can be utilized for the interpretation of collected physical evidence related to any crime scene where an animal’s presence or absence is relevant.
    5. Advance and foster excellence in the veterinary forensic sciences.

    For more information visit: IVFSA

    Maples Center

    The Maples Center for Forensic Medicine partners with several organizations to enhance instruction of the forensic sciences, and to offer state-of-the-art training to course participants and academic students. These partner organizations include, Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System (FEMORS), the C. A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory, the Office of the Medical Examiner (Florida District Eight), and UF PathLabs.

    Shelter Medicine

    The mission of the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program mission is to enhance the health and welfare of homeless animals through education, innovation, and advancement of the life-saving goals of sheltering programs.

    The ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program is affiliated with the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida and provides support for the progam’s forensic science, cruelty, and abuse component as well as disaster response initiatives. The Maddie’s Shelter Medicine program hosts an annual forensic science conference. Learn more about the Maddie’s shelter medicine program by visiting

    At a Glance