The ASPCA Forensic Sciences Team’s Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation Unit travels across the country to help law enforcement build cases against and prosecute animal cruelty offenders.
The ASPCA Mobile CSI Unit
The ASPCA Mobile CSI Unit is a Ford E-450 (full-size van) customized by La Boit, Inc. that is 26 feet in length and climate-controlled, with a full electronics suite and a generator.
The Mobile Animal CSI Unit allows our team to process suspected crime scenes more quickly and more efficiently. Because it gives our team the ability to work on-site, the stress placed on any living animals is reduced. It also provides for a more concise chain of custody, thereby helping to ensure the integrity of physical evidence recovered from a crime scene.
The vehicle is fully outfitted to allow our forensic analysts to examine and care for animals found at suspected crime scenes, and includes a surgical suite. The on-board equipment includes:
- General supplies such as a photography equipment, tools to collect and preserve physical evidence, a stretcher for animal transport and personal protective equipment;
- Medical examination and surgical equipment to evaluate and treat animals for emergency life-threatening conditions, as well as necropsy equipment, including digital microscope, digital x-ray machine, sexual assault kit and anesthesia/oxygen machine;
- Blood evidence supplies such as Phenolphthalein, Blue Star imaging equipment and blood spatter photo scales;
- Evidence collection supplies such as packaging and identification kits, entomology collection supplies and various alternate light sources to detect trace evidence; and
- Grave detection and exhumation equipment including soil sampler, sifter, GPS unit, compass and digital distance measuring devices.
Animal CSI Customized Vehicle
In May 2010, at the Third Annual Veterinary Forensics Conference in Orlando, the ASPCA unveiled its newest mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) vehicle, a 2010 Subaru Outback generously donated by Subaru of America, Inc.
The Outback was customized for our Forensics team and will support and expand the work it does with our Mobile Animal CSI Unit. The new vehicle will allow our team to transport animal victims, securely transport evidence from crime scene investigations, and provide access to areas that are typically off-limits due to challenging terrain.
It is outfitted with features including a slide-out cargo floor, examination table with overhead illumination, evidence refrigerator, laptop computer station, police and emergency response two-way radio, and on-board power inverters capable of providing electrical power to many types of analytical equipment.