On May 12, at the Third Annual Veterinary Forensics Conference in Orlando, FL, the ASPCA unveiled our newest mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) response vehicle, a 2010 Subaru Outback generously donated by Subaru of America, Inc. The Outback is customized specifically for our Veterinary Forensics team, and will help support and expand the work we are able to do with our Mobile Animal CSI Unit, a state-of-the-art laboratory on wheels.
The new CSI response vehicle will be used for field work to transport animal victims, store evidence from crime scene investigations and provide access to areas that are typically off-limits due to challenging terrain. It is outfitted with many unique features, including a slide-out cargo floor, evidence refrigerator, laptop computer station and exterior power outlets. The vehicle will be based in Gainesville, FL, with Dr. Melinda Merck, the ASPCA Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics.
Dr. Merck is one of nation’s premiere forensic veterinarians and often provides expert testimony in animal cruelty trials around the country. In 2007, she was instrumental in assisting with the recovery and analysis of forensics from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels—work that helped to produce evidence that led to a guilty plea. With the addition of the ASPCA’s custom CSI vehicle, Dr. Merck can continue to do her essential work and ensure that perpetrators of animal cruelty receive proper punishment.
Action Tip: Want to help crack down on cruelty in your community? Get to know your local animal control officer! Search our database of nearly 3,000 community SPCAs, humane societies and animal control organizations to find the person responsible for enforcing animal cruelty laws in your area.