The urgency in the need to address animal abuse is established through the well-supported findings that link animal cruelty to other crimes. Awareness of animal law can definitely still be enhanced in the field of law enforcement and criminal justice. This session provides animal control and law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges a Cliff notes version of concepts and guidelines for a successful investigation and prosecution.
Claudine Wilkins is this course’s guest speaker. The Founder of Animal Law Source and the Animal Law, Enforcement, Veterinary and Shelter Symposium (ALEVSS), she is deemed as a national expert in animal law. Her experience in the arena allowed her to teach professionals on animal law as well as draft pieces of legislation and other ordinances surrounding the issue in the state of Georgia.
Specifics discussed in this webinar include:
- The progress in animal law over the years and cases that served as milestones in Claudine’s career and dedication to animal law.
- The need for specialized knowledge to understand the laws, concepts, and intricacies of animal cruelty for people working in this field.
- The different statutes, violations, agencies, and courts to familiarize and work with.
- Acquainting with the procedures that inevitably decides the court the case ends up in and its success.
- The need for absolute understanding of applicable laws and looking at Attorney General Opinions for precedence as ammunition for prosecutors.
- Maneuvering one’s self amidst sometimes confusing laws applicable to the cases.
- The importance of recognizing the link of animal abuse to collateral crimes and how zoonotic diseases can impact both animals and humans.
- The most common type of animal law cases, its features, important pointers, and case examples on how to navigate these successfully.
- Initiating the case by identifying key players and ancillary agencies that are involved.
- Issues on budget, resources, and education preventing prosecution of animal abuse cases and how agencies typically address these.
- Guidelines on properly and thoroughly collecting and processing pieces of evidence including live ones.
- Working the case backward as a way to ensure you have all the evidence and information needed to convince the jury.
- Recommendations for exhaustive searches, and the details and parties to include in search warrants.
- Utilizing Condition Bonds and Protective Orders when arresting defendants.
- Tips on specifying a dog’s breed in the report, documenting social media platforms and websites, and organizing evidence.
- Other criminal charges and link crimes to consider on top of animal cruelty or neglect.
- The characters that may serve as witnesses and details that must be included in the Veterinarian’s External Exam.
- Issues and points to consider before, during and after court as common defense tactics, discovery, and stipulations.
- How to get the jury to decide in your favor from voir dire to the trial.
- The audience asked for clarifications during the Q&A about:
- The most common type of animal cruelty cases.
- How the judge and the jury can determine the outcome of animal abuse cases.
- The basics in forming an animal task force.
- “There was so much good information that I can’t say one thing was better then another, Each stood out as was explained.” — Beverly
- “I have been in uniformed law enforcement for 33-years and I don’t recall EVER receiving training on animal cruelty. So it was ALL relevant and most helpful.” — Darrell
- “There cannot be enough information shared regarding animal cruelty. This is a subject that should be presented often.” — Ken
- “I am quite well-versed in this area, and yet there were many tidbits that I wasn’t aware of. Great material and delivered in a very engaging way.” — Nathalie
- “Thank you for a most excellent training opportunity…on a scale of 1-5, definitely a 10.” — Marie Louise