The National Center for Prosecution of Animal Abuse (NCPAA), a program of the National District Attorneys Association, has teamed up with the ASPCA and Animal Legal Defense Fund to present a series of webinars to address the needs of professionals – especially prosecutors, veterinarians, and law enforcement – who pursue animal abusers.
All webinars are free and all run 60 minutes.
For attorneys: After the live webinar, you may request a Uniform Certificate of Attendance from NDAA to be submitted to your state bar for continuing legal education credits. You must be on the webinar for the full hour and must have your browser open to only the webinar. Upon request, NDAA will verify your participation and send you the appropriate forms. This webinar has also been approved by Virginia Mandatory Continuing Legal Education for 1 CLE hour (only for participating in the live webinar) and will provide that certification even if you are from a different state. Please email Allie Phillips for these documents.
To sign up for NCPAA's Tales of Justice newsletter, go to:
* These live webinars have been pre-approved (or are pending approval) for Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits.
Register for Upcoming WebinarsHow Forensic Veterinarians Help Prosecute Animal Abuse Cases
Thursday, May 23, 3-4pm ET
Rachel Touroo, DVM, Director of Veterinary Forensic Sciences, ASPCA
Veterinary forensics is a recently emerging branch of veterinary medicine. Learn about the critical role veterinarians play in animal abuse cases. In some ways, the role of the forensic veterinarian can be compared to that of a human medical examiner, however the duties of a forensic veterinarian are broader – they include the triage of live victims, examination and treatment of live victims, necropsy of deceased victims, evidence identification, and assessment of the scene and its effects on the victims. The forensic veterinarian can also be an invaluable resource in the evaluation of evidence and crime scene reconstruction. Those investigating and prosecuting crimes against animals will benefit from learning about the role a forensic veterinarian can play in the case.
Sheltering Animals & Families Together: A Solution for Abused Families
Families who are abused often have pets and do not wish to be separated from them when fleeing their abusive environment. It is also unsafe to leave pets behind in an abusive environment as it may lure families back to the abuse. Sheltering Animals & Families - Together (SAF-T) is a global initiative guiding domestic violence shelters on how to house families together with their pets. SAF-T enables domestic violence victims to leave abusive households without leaving their pets behind and at risk. SAF-T also recognizes the human-animal bond and that family pets can provide comfort, reassurance and healing to adult and child survivors. This webinar will provide practical tips for prosecutors, law enforcement, animal protection workers, and anyone working with crime victims who have pets.
View Past Webinars
Animal Welfare Court: a Specialty Court Focused on Animal Abuse Cases
What if you could create a specialty court to handle animal cruelty
cases in your jurisdiction? Learn how a judge and a deputy county
attorney in Pima County, Arizona, developed an Animal Welfare Court.
Find out how they did it and how they ensured all stakeholders were
included in their process. See how they collaborated with a local
mental health treatment agency so defendants can be required to
participate in an animal cruelty specific treatment model called
Unique Aspects of Processing Animal Crime Scenes
In recent years, the laws pertaining to animal cruelty have evolved significantly to include misdemeanor and felony level offenses. Because these convictions can carry significant sentences, judges and juries want to see the same standard of evidence handling and processing that would be applied to human cases. In order to meet this need, criminal animal case processing is evolving to include forensic testing, as well as specialized techniques and protocols.
While many of the same forensic procedures used for human crime scenes can also be used on animal crime scenes, many prosecutors, investigators, and crime scene analysts are unfamiliar with evidence processing related to animal crimes, including the animals themselves (and sometimes hundreds of them).
We will discuss why it may be necessary to adapt standard crime scene processing procedures when using them on an animal crime scene and especially before the scene processing begins. We will talk about necessary documentation and the types of evidence that are often associated with hoarding scenes, puppy mills, and fighting rings.
Blood Sports: Investigating and Prosecuting Animal Fighting Cases
Explore the horrific and clandestine world of animal fighting through the experienced eyes of a former prosecutor. Geoff Fleck will discuss specialized investigative techniques including effective warrant application and execution, the evidence to look for and seize, and trial strategies designed to insure a successful outcome in these often difficult cases.
The session will address the challenges investigators and prosecutors are likely to face – including cultural and evidentiary hurdles. Fleck will emphasize the importance of aggressive prosecutions and harsh sentences – to not only insure a just verdict for the tragically exploited non-human animals involved, but the related crimes and human violence that inevitably result from the cruel abomination of organized animal fighting.
A Model for Care and Recovery of Seized Animal Victims – Getting Prosecutors and Allied Professionals Involved
Prosecuting an animal abuse case is often a complicated, difficult experience. The law is continually changing and emotions sometimes run high in the local community as the case proceeds through the criminal justice system. During this time, surviving animals remain very much in need of veterinary care and shelter or foster care, as well as positive socialization with human beings and animals. Recovery for abused animals is essential to successful completion of the case, but many states do not make provisions for such care.
AAARF! (Allegheny Abused Animal Relief Fund!) was conceived by ADA Deborah Jugan a decade ago to provide financial care for abused animals in Allegheny County, PA, animal cruelty cases. With the help of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. and Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinsten, AAARF! was created and thrived. A 501(c)(3) organization, AAARF! has raised well over a million dollars in funds dedicated for the care and recovery of abused animals in Allegheny County.
Learn how and why AAARF! was needed, the obstacles overcome in its
creation, and how animal abuse prosecutors can establish an AAARF!-type
fund in their own jurisdictions to ensure that the victims of animal
abuse return to health and regain their rightful place as beloved and
Handling Community Reaction to Animal Abuse
Anyone who is involved in investigating and prosecuting animal abuse cases, and being responsible for the care of the animals, knows how passionately a community responds to these crimes. Depending on your response, you could be hailed a hero or you could experience your worst professional nightmare. A dismissive or sloppy investigation or prosecution, mass euthanasia of the animal victims, or ignoring the community response could negatively affect your job and the position of your elected boss.
This free, 60-minute webinar discusses:
Our presenter, Allie Phillips, has been a front-line trial prosecutor, animal rescuer, animal shelter volunteer, and now views these issues from a national perspective. Prosecutors, animal welfare professionals, and law enforcement will especially benefit from this webinar.
Understanding Animal Abuse
Anticipating Defenses in Animal Abuse Prosecutions
Combating Animal Cruelty: The Past, Present and Future
Review the history of efforts to fight animal abuse and neglect in America from the early days of animal protection to today. The last decade has seen a dramatic improvement in laws protecting animals and the tools available to investigate and prosecute such crimes. There has also been increased attention to animals as victims of crimes, and the need to not only document the impact of abuse and neglect on animal victims but to also make efforts to undo the damage that may have been done. We will review current trends in animal law, the role of professionals and individuals in applying those laws, and the public's role in continuing to strengthen and enforce animal protection.
Planning for a Large Scale Seizure
Trial Strategies in Animal Cruelty Prosecutions
Investigating and Litigating Puppy Mill Cases
The physical aspects of abuse and neglect in animals are relatively well characterized – they can be seen outwardly in the form of body condition and physical scars. But researchers in child abuse now consider the psychological and emotional consequences of abuse and neglect to be more damaging, and last for much longer, than the physical consequences. And yet in both children and animals, the physical aspects of abuse provoke the greatest outrage and attention among the scientific as well as the general community. What is known about the psychological effects of abuse and neglect in animals? Can the effects be readily recognized? How damaging is it? How is it treated? Is this the reason some animals "snap" and become suddenly violent? Equally important, are there psychological factors that increase the chances of being abused (do certain psychological traits place an animal at risk for abuse?)? This knowledge may permit intervention that prevents -- rather than treats -- abuse and neglect of animals.
Foreclosure Pets: Investigating and Prosecuting the Abandonment of Pets
Non-Human DNA in Criminal Cases
DNA technology has aided in the successful prosecution of poachers, smugglers, rapists, and murderers. From protected species to major caviar busts, Mr. Morrissey will explain how non-human biological samples collected by law enforcement all over the world have helped thwart some of the most heinous crimes. As a leading expert on the use of DNA in the courtroom, Mr. Morrissey is well-versed on leveraging critical DNA evidence to stop cruel practices and exonerate both human and animal “perpetrators.”
The AniCare Treatment Program for Adult and Juvenile Animal Cruelty Offenders
The AniCare Model of Treatment for Animal Abuse is the first professionally developed psychological intervention program for animal abusers over the age of 17. A program called AniCare Child is used to treat offenders under age 17. Tune in to learn about how AniCare can be instrumental in your animal abuse cases.
The Veterinarian as Expert Witness in Animal Abuse Cases
Veterinarians play a crucial role in identifying, reporting, and testifying in animal cruelty cases. This webinar focuses on the veterinarian's role in the investigation and criminal prosecution of animal abuse, and provides tips for prosecutors to better prepare a veterinarian to testify.
This webinar will explain the research and theories behind the linkage of violence to animals and people. Investigation and prosecution strategies on handling "Link" crimes will be discussed, as well as the psychological impact of animal abuse on children, and how to include animal protection in your multi-disciplinary team to better prevent, investigate, and cross-report all forms of abuse.
Animal hoarding cases represent a significant proportion of animal abuse and severe neglect cases. These cases present several unique challenges to those who investigate and prosecute animal cruelty. In this webinar, we will review the issues and examples of successful and unsuccessful prosecutions, with recommendations for best practices for preventing and responding to hoarding issues at the community level.
This webinar will discuss why NCPAA was formed, and its services and resources available to prosecutors and other professionals who work to combat animal abuse. Also, we delve into the linkages between violence to people and animals to show how when animals are abused, communities are not safe.
The National Link Coalition
The webinar series is closely allied with the goals of the National Link Coalition, a network of professionals working to address public policy, programs and research on The Link (the intersections where animal abuse, child maltreatment, domestic violence and elder abuse meet).
"Getting prosecutors and investigators to understand the significance of animals in the lives of families and the links between animal abuse and other forms of community and family violence is a critical priority", said Phil Arkow, ASPCA Consultant and National Link Coalition coordinator.