Reporting from the 4th National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference of the Association of Prosecuting AttorneysPosted by Lora Dunn, Staff Attorney on May 5, 2014
The 4th National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference has officially come to a close! What an incredible three days learning from the best of the best in law enforcement, prosecution, and veterinary medicine on how to get the best possible outcomes in animal cruelty cases—from crime scene to courtroom. We heard exciting news about a new campaign to spot and prevent animal abuse, Atlanta’s new requirement that police officers receive training in animal cruelty laws, and an FBI proposal to track animal crimes nationwide.
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) honored ALDF’s Scott Heiser, Virginia Assistant Attorney General Michelle Welch, and Los Angeles Supervising City Attorney Donald Cocek for their incredible advancements in the field. On the last day attendees put their new knowledge to work in breakout sessions on investigator testimony, veterinarian and other expert witnesses, and jury selection. Participants can now take this new knowledge home to their departments and communities—and work toward a better place for animals.
ALDF was honored to sponsor this event this year, hosted by the Georgia Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council. Animal cruelty experts from around the country convened in Atlanta, GA to share their expertise on ensuring justice for victim animals in the criminal system—from prosecutors and law enforcement to veterinarians and forensic evidence professionals.
Speakers included APA President David LaBahn, John Thompson of the National Sheriff’s Association, Dr. Maya Gupta, PhD on the Link between animal and human crimes, Madeline Bernstein of spcaLA on hoarding and puppy mills, and Dr. Melinda Merck, DVM on veterinary forensics. We also heard from ALDF’s own Scott Heiser and Diane Balkin of the Criminal Justice Program, Chris Green of our Legislative Affairs Program, and speakers from HSUS, ASPCA, and AWI! Looking forward to next year!