ASPCA Forensic Veterinarian Receives 2016 Outstanding Service to Veterinary Medicine Award

The Veterinary Medical Association of New York City honors Dr. Robert Reisman for his significant contributions to the profession
March 22, 2016

NEW YORK— On Saturday, March 19, 2016, the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City (VMANYC) presented Dr. Robert Reisman with the 2016 Outstanding Service to Veterinary Medicine Award. Dr. Reisman first joined the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) in 1988 and now serves as the Supervisor of Forensic Sciences at the ASPCA Animal Hospital in Manhattan. Dr. Reisman is being honored for his many contributions to veterinary medicine in New York State. Founded in 1894, the VMANYC is one of the oldest local veterinary societies in the United States and began its annual awards program in 1984.

“The advancement of veterinary forensic sciences is essential to the fight against animal cruelty,” said Dr. Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President, Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects, ASPCA Anti-Cruelty. “Dr. Reisman’s work in New York City and his ongoing research have advanced the application of veterinary medicine to the prosecution and prevention of violence against animals. His efforts throughout the years have given countless animal victims a voice.”

Dr. Reisman founded the ASPCA’s forensic sciences department and currently oversees the forensic evaluations for animal cruelty victims in New York City. He has served as an expert trial witness in more than 60 cases in the city and across the country, including the first animal cruelty cases in New York City to use DNA at trial to obtain felony convictions. Dr. Reisman has contributed chapters to several texts including Neglect and Non-Accidental Injury (co-author) in Veterinary Forensics: Animal Cruelty Investigations 2nd Ed. (2013) and the Shelter Veterinary Medicine Textbook 1st (2005) and 2nd Edition (2013). More recently he has delivered lectures and presentations at the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association (IVFSA) Annual Conference, the North American Veterinary Conference and numerous law enforcement trainings for the NYPD and Nassau County Police Department. He has also served on the executive board of the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City for ten years and is a founding member of IVFSA.

Dr. Reisman also oversaw the expansion of the ASPCA’s forensic veterinary team to accommodate the influx of new cases that resulted from the launch of the organization’s official partnership with the NYPD. Starting in January 2014, the NYPD began taking the lead role in responding to all animal cruelty complaints in the five boroughs, and the ASPCA began providing direct care support for the victims and conducting police training and forensic analysis. The partnership has broken records, with animal cruelty arrests and animals treated numbers increasing by nearly 200 percent in the first year. The NYPD also received the 2016 Service to the Veterinary Community and the Welfare of Animals Award from the VMANYC for its contributions to animal welfare in New York City.

To report animal cruelty in any of the five boroughs, the public is encouraged to call 311 or submit an online complaint. For crimes in progress, individuals should call 911. For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to tackle animal cruelty, please visit