Veterinary forensics conference
will be April 5

Hoarding conference victim lab

Participants in a previous veterinary forensics conference evaluate a hoarding” victim”. (Photo courtesy of Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program)

Animals rely on humans for food, shelter, and love.  But what happens when their trust is betrayed – when a pet is injured at the hands of a human?  What is a veterinary team to do when they suspect such a case?  How do they even recognize the signs?  On April 5, veterinarians and investigative teams will learn the answers to these questions and more at Maddie’s Veterinary Forensics Conference at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

The one-day conference is made possible through partnership with the ASPCA’s Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program, and will be the fourth such event at UF.  Previous conferences have addressed such topics as organized animal fighting and animal hoarding.  The 2014 event will focus on “Animal CSI: Recognizing and Responding to Non-Accidental Injury.”

The conference will include case presentations and discussions of non-accidental injury, followed by a hands-on workshop in which participants will apply their new knowledge investigating and documenting potential abuse cases side-by-side with forensics experts.

“Among the questions we will be posing to participants are, can loving guardians actually harm their cherished pets, and whether veterinary teams are able to recognize these cases and be prepared to handle them,” said Dr. Julie Levy, the Maddie’s Professor of Shelter Medicine at UF.

 Levy said the program was aimed primarily at veterinary practitioners, animal welfare professionals responsible for recognizing and documenting animal cruelty and related cases, veterinary residents and interns and veterinary students.

The morning session can accommodate 140 participants, but the afternoon hands-on workshop will be limited to the first 72 people who sign up.

Early registration will be accepted until March 9, with a full-day fee of $100.  After March 9 the full-day fee increases to $150, but registrants are strongly encouraged to sign up early to reserve their place in the conference, which is expected to sell out.  Veterinary students can register at substantially discounted rates.

Maddie’s Veterinary Forensics Conference is one project of Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, whose mission is to prepare veterinarians to work effectively on behalf of shelter pets – be they abused, neglected, unwanted, or simply homeless.  Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program’s annual Shelter Medicine Conference will be held in May 2014 in Orlando.

To register and for additional information, visit the website here.

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