Animal Crime Scene Processing

VME 6052


In recent years, both state and federal laws pertaining to animal cruelty have evolved significantly. Actions that were previously considered non-offenses are now being prosecuted on misdemeanor and felony levels. Because these convictions can carry significant sentences, juries expect to see the same level of crime scene processing and evidence handling that would be applied to crimes against humans.

This course is an introduction to animal crime scene investigations. The purpose of the course is to give the student an overview of procedures and protocols used when processing an animal crime scene and various types of associated evidence.

At the successful completion of this course, students will know how to approach a crime scene in a safe and cautious manner in order to minimize the loss or damage of evidence. The student will know how to properly document the scene through various methods, conduct a search of the scene, and properly collect and package evidence. The student will learn about various processing and presumptive test methods that can be utilized at the scene and gain a basic understanding of the types of laboratory testing that may be available. While the majority of forensic procedures and processes utilized on an animal scene are the same as those used on a non-animal scene, there will be specific discussion of the types of evidence that can be expected on various types of animal scenes, additional documentation that may be necessary and case studies given as example of what forensic science can offer in the prosecution of animal offenses.


Module Topic
Chapter 1 History and Introduction
Chapter 2 Crime Laboratories and Scene Safety
Chapter 3 Crime Scene Procedures – Assess, Observe and Document
Chapter 4 Crime Scene Procedures – Unique Aspects of Processing Animal Crime Scenes and Basic Photography
Chapter 5 Crime Scene Processing – Search, Collection and Preservation of Evidence
Chapter 6 Impression Evidence
Chapter 7 Detection of Blood and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Chapter 8 Biological Evidence and Toxicology
Chapter 9 Drug Chemistry
Chapter 10 Trace Evidence
Chapter 11 Firearms and Toolmarks
Chapter 12 Forensic Archaeology and Osteology
Chapter 13 Crime Scene Reconstruction


Measuring device, digital camera, and access to a scanner


Textbook is not required.