Crime-Scene Investigations Going to the Dogs—and Cats
Many law-enforcement agencies are increasingly looking at animal DNA to obtain evidence for crimes in which animals were involved or witnessed.
Saliva and hair found at the site of an animal attack can help identify the animal responsible, and if animals are present at the scene of a crime, their DNA can often be used to match up with any evidence found on the person or property of suspects.
DNA evidence is not the only tool used in investigating animal-related cases; however, investigations into animal cruelty also make use of more traditional forensic methods such as ballistics and toxicology to determine how much an animal may have suffered in a particular instance.
Forensic entomology can help settle issues related to poaching deaths, such as the amount of time since a particular animal has been shot.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Associated Press (06/03/07); Gelineau, Kristen.