Advanced Components of Animal Cruelty Investigations

Advanced Components of Animal Cruelty Investigations
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Resources
Recorded on: 2019-02-28
Unit 1Recording: Advanced Components of Animal Cruelty Investigations
Unit 2Workbook: Advanced Components of Animal Cruelty Investigations

Awareness on the importance of taking animal cruelty cases seriously and its link to more heinous crime has greatly improved in the last few years. There are more initiatives towards educating law enforcement and the public on why it is critical to report potential animal abuse cases. With this in mind, animal cruelty investigations are likewise stepping up.

On this session, our instructor discusses in detail concepts in evidence collection and forensic sciences for animal cruelty investigations. This course’s resource speaker, Adam Ricci has held various positions in the animal control and law enforcement arena. He is currently the Chief of Field Operations for the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare and the Vice President of the National Animal Care and Control Association.

Some of the specifics that Adam tackled on this session include:

  • The vital role of photography in evidence collection and investigation including best practices and tips.
  • What evidence is, its types, the evidence triangle and the core concept of Locard’s Exchange Principle.
  • DNA as the most accurate identification method in forensics, its qualities, and what it can determine.
  • Where DNA can be found, how DNA swabs are done, and best practices to acquire DNA in animal cruelty cases.
  • Fingerprints, its characteristics, and types.
  • The process of lifting, dusting and developing prints.
  • An economical way to do fingerprint collection through a basic fingerprint kit.
  • Impressions, where they can be found, and its features.
  • Best practices in taking photos of and casting impressions.
  • Other evidence to consider when investigating animal cruelty.
  • Bloodstain pattern analysis, the different types of bloodstain patterns and how they provide insight into what transpired.
  • A case example that illustrates how an animal control officer utilized good evidence collection techniques and resources.
  • Adam addressed questions from the audience on:
    • The use of cellphones for documenting evidence.
    • Fostering relationships between animal control and law enforcement, and enhancing their skills to better address animal cruelty.
    • Reporting animal cruelty cases to NIBRS.
    • How pipe cleaners are specifically used for processing fingerprints.
    • Adding a rape kit for bestiality cases.


The National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA) was formed in 1978 for the express purpose of assisting its members to perform their duties in a professional manner. We believe only carefully selected and properly trained animal control personnel can correct community problems resulting from irresponsible animal ownership. NACA’s purpose is to preserve the Human/Animal Bond by insisting on responsible animal ownership.




** This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care and Control Association and may be eligible for Continuing Education Units. Please consult your local certification processes for additional details. Current NACA Members who attend will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo.
Additional Resources
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