It’s like something right out of your favorite crime scene investigation show: more and more animal rights groups and humane societies are adding forensic veterinarians and crime scene investigators to their staffs – which is both saddening and good to hear. On one hand, crimes against animals that require these types of professionals are on the rise. On the other hand, it’s good to know that animal rights are being taken more seriously every day and that resources to help prosecute abusers are increasing.
The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has recently hired Dr. Ernest J. Rogers, who will be the agency’s first forensic veterinarian. State officials in New Jersey say that more and more agencies like this are hiring crime scene and forensic professionals due to the popularity of shows like “Animal Cops” and also to the fact that shows like this are exposing animal cruelty via TV and the web.
It’s no surprise that the ASPCA was one of the pioneers in bringing this growing field of medicine to the forefront of animal rights. According to the HowStuffWorks.com website, animal forensics actually got its start over 30 years ago.
The U.S. Department of the Interior is also doing groundbreaking work in animal forensics. Its work started in the 1970s when Terry Grosz, a special agent of the Division of Law Enforcement for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was assigned to coordinate all endangered species investigations around the country. How? Grosz envisioned a forensics laboratory similar to that of an FBI laboratory that studies physical evidence from human crime scenes — except these victims would be animals.
We hope that as the field of forensic veterinarians grows so too does the justice for abused and neglected animals everywhere. And that potential offenders realize crimes against our animals are REAL crimes and offenders will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.