ASPCA Co-Hosts Third Annual Veterinary Forensics Conference

New ASPCA Mobile CSI Response Vehicle to Be Unveiled
May 10, 2010

NEW YORK— The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it will co-host the third annual Veterinary Forensic Sciences Conference, to be held from May 12-14 in Orlando, Fla., in conjunction with the University of Florida's William R. Maples Center for Forensic Science and the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association.

A wide range of forensic science will be covered at the conference, which will include several cutting-edge research presentations. The symposium will open with a keynote speech from Dr. Jan C. Garavaglia, who stars in the hit TV series "Dr. G, Medical Examiner." Dr. Garavaglia is the Chief Medical Examiner for the Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner's Office.

"We are excited to co-host this event, which will bring together veterinary forensics professionals from around the world to advance the study of animal forensics," said Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Senior Director of Veterinary Forensic Sciences. "It offers an opportunity for veterinary, law enforcement, forensics scientists, and legal professionals to gain specialized training in veterinary forensics and the processing of cruelty cases, which will ultimately aid in the fight against animal abuse and neglect."

During the conference, the ASPCA will be unveiling the newest mobile "Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Response" vehicle, a 2010 Outback generously donated by Subaru of America, Inc. and customized specifically for the ASPCA's Veterinary Forensics team. In addition to providing support for the ASPCA's larger CSI van, it will provide the capability to access areas that were off limits in the past due to terrain. Dr. Merck will be on hand to give tours of each of the vehicles during the Wednesday night reception.

Reception attendees will also be invited to sample the ASPCA's newest forensic-themed cocktail. This year's featured cocktail is "The Embalminator," a mix of citrus vodka and gin, topped with a splash of orange juice. Past cocktail concoctions have included "Forensic Fizz" and "Postmortem Trauma."

The conference will take place over three days, with programming that includes:

On May 12, 2010:

  • From 9:00-9:50 p.m.: Dr. Rob Reisman, Medical Coordinator of Cruelty Cases for the ASPCA, will present "Veterinary Forensic Medicine: Medical Evidence to Collect and Document in Cases of Neglect and Physical Injury."

On May 14, 2010:

  • From 9:00-11:00 a.m.: Dr. Melinda Merck, Sr. Director of Veterinary Forensic Sciences, along with Kyle Held and Kathryn Destreza of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team, will present "Large Scale Cruelty Investigations."
  • From 11:15-12:15 p.m.: Dr. Pam Reid, Vice President of the ASPCA's Animal Behavior Center, will present "The Forensic Behavior Evaluation."

For more information, please visit:

Members of the media interested in obtaining press credentials for the symposium should contact
Dr. Ken Cohrn at (352) 267-4601 or [email protected].  To arrange an interview with any of the ASPCA's experts, please contact Krista Maloney at (212) 876-7700 ext 4579.