The growth of veterinary forensics

Investigation of deceased animals in the community


  • Adam W Stern University of Florida



cat, dog, veterinary forensic sciences


Veterinary forensics is a rapidly growing field, and it is recognized that there is a connection between animal abuse and other types of interpersonal violence (Lockwood and Arkow 2016). While all states have misdemeanor and felony statues for animal abuse, unfortunately, not all cases of animal abuse are reported to the authorities or investigated for a multitude of reasons. Some of these reasons include the lack of mandatory reporting laws in all states, an inability to perform a forensic postmortem examination in all suspicious death cases, lack of training on the identification and documentation of suspected animal abuse, and financial constraints. While it is possible to mitigate some limitations on the local level in some communities, much improvement is needed on the state and national scale.


Lockwood R, Arkow P. 2016. Animal abuse and interpersonal violence: the cruelty connection and its implications for veterinary pathology. Vet Pathol. 53(5):910–8. doi:10.1177/0300985815626575.

Geraldo E, Arias F. 2020. Forensic veterinary medicine in Chile: a professional examination. J Vet Forensic Sci. 1(2).





Editor's note