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Victim to Verdict 

On Demand

Veterinary professionals are dedicated to providing care and treatment that allows animals to enjoy longer lives free from distress, pain and suffering. Surprisingly though, many veterinarians have not received training in recognizing, reporting and responding to incidents of animal neglect and abuse, or understand how pivotal their training and expertise is in addressing these crimes and ensuring justice for victim animals.

Webinar Take Aways

This webinar will introduce you to the growing field of veterinary forensics, with a focus on how veterinarians and clinic staff in private practice contribute to improving animal welfare in their communities through preparation and training in the following areas:

  1. Animal protection laws and how they work
  2. Creating policies and procedures to address suspected cruelty
  3. Identifying signs of neglect and abuse
  4. Reporting concerns to law enforcement
  5. Performing forensic examinations and necropsies
  6. Evidence collection and photography
  7. Report writing and testimony

The webinar instructors have created an online CE course to equip veterinary professionals with the tools needed to deepen their understanding of and engagement in animal cruelty investigations. The veterinarian’s role in these cases is vital to protecting animals and interrupting the cycle of violence that is undeniably linked to domestic and child abuse and other crimes within communities.

Laws in many states mandate veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty, further underscoring the significance of the veterinarian’s role as expert and advocate.

Please join us for this interactive session to explore the path toward becoming a more compassionate and informed guardian for animals as you embark on a journey toward a more holistic approach to animal care and welfare.


Your webinar instructors are leaders in the fields of veterinary forensics, animal sheltering, and animal cruelty investigations. Co-authors of the book, Animal Cruelty Investigations: A Collaborative Approach From Victim To Verdict, they focus their efforts toward empowering veterinarians to use their knowledge and skills to fight animal cruelty.

Dr. Kris Otteman

kris-otteman Dr. Otteman has over 35 years of experience in veterinary operations, 15 of those spent leading medical operations and humane investigations within a shelter.

Dr. Otteman currently serves on and is a charter member of the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association Board. She also serves on the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Animal Cruelty Advisory Committee and consults for the Animal Legal Defense Fund on animal cruelty investigation cases.


Emily Lewis

Emily-Lewis-Headshot-2021_2400-1200x801 In her role as the Managing Attorney for the Criminal Justice Program at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Emily supervises and facilitates assistance in active criminal cases, working directly with law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, veterinarians, and rescue groups. She supports and trains front-line responders on search warrant drafting, evidence collection and preservation, and scene processing best practices.


Linda Fielder

Linda-Fielder-Headshot-2021_2400 Linda has been active in the animal welfare and sheltering field for over 25 years in many capacities including director of shelter medicine, director of humane law enforcement and in her current role as Humane Investigations Manager with the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Criminal Justice Program. She is currently coordinating the launch of ALDF’s Collaborative Response Project which puts into practice many of the concepts introduced in this course.



Animal cruelty is occurring in every state, and it's often tied to domestic abuse.



Oregon State's Professional and Continuing Education offers professional development and short courses and certificates nationally and internationally, which can help in obtaining a promotion or starting in a new field. 


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