Animal Cruelty Investigator’s Manual

The book outlines the basics of a good investigation, from start to finish, including real-life case examples.  Also included are common “Animal Care Practices” for a variety of animals, a layman’s interpretation of Vermont’s criminal animal cruelty statute, as well as copies of other animal-related laws and regulations for your reference. Sample investigative forms, fact sheets and articles on a variety of animal care issues – from rabies to chained dogs – can help humane agents resolve animal complaints locally.

Introduction

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Be Prepared

Chapter 2. Receiving and Investigating Complaint

Chapter 3. Common Complaints

Chapter 4. Special Cases

Chapter 5 Animal Care Standards

Chapter 6. Developing a CRS

Chapter 7 VT Laws

Appendix I Shelters and Rescues

Appendix II Resource Agencies and State Associations

Appendix III. Forms and Supplies List (see first table below for direct links)

Appendix IV.  Fact Sheets & Articles (see second table below for direct links)

 

Forms and Supplies List

Form NameCategoryPurpose Text
Affidavit Blank ExampleSearch Warrant PreparationProvides an example of a blank affidavit
re: requesting a search warrant.
Agreement - Lead & Assisting Organizations Providing Animal Care Post SeizureAnimal Care ‐ Post SeizureOutlines the agreement for care of
animals seized during the course of an
investigation between the lead
organization and an assisting
organization.
Animal Care Record-Emergency Animal Rescue ShelterAnimal Care ‐ Post SeizureRecords routine, individual daily care of
animals in the emergency animal rescue
shelter.
Animal Cruelty Case Report FormComplaint Reporting &
Investigation
To be used by agency to collect cruelty
complaint information over the phone;
aligns with Case Report section of Animal
Tracks.
Animal Inventory FormSeizure or Relinquishment
Documentation
Use to list details of all animals (alive or
dead) taken during a seizure; provide a
copy to the owner/caretaker.
Animal Removed for Exigent Reason NoticeComplaint Reporting &
Investigation
To be left at site when an animal is seized
under exigent circumstances per 13 V.S.A.
,Chp. 8, 352 and 354.
Animal Removed from Hot Vehicle NoticeComplaint Reporting &
Investigation
To be left on car when an animal is
removed from a hot vehicle per 13 V.S.A.
Chp. 8, 386 and 352.
Application for Search Warrent with Affidavit-Blank ExampleSearch Warrant PreparationProvides an example of a blank
application for a search warrant to which
affidavits would be attached.
Behavior Assessment FormAnimal AssessmentDocument a general assessment of an
animal's temperament.
Chain of Custody-Single Animal RecordSeizure or Relinquishment
Documentation
Use to list and track an individual seized
animal's movements while in your care.
Chain of Custody-Multiple Animals RecordSeizure or Relinquishment
Documentation
Use to list and track the movements of
multiple seized animals while in your
care.
Citation ExampleComplaint Reporting &
Investigation
Example of a blank citation given to a
defendant by a Humane Officer.
Cruelty Case Foster ApplicationResources Planning &
Management
Application to be completed by potential
foster homes for animals in an agency's
care
Equine Body Condition EvaluationAnimal AssessmentDocument the body condition of an
equine using 7 point scale detailed on
form.
Equine Investigation FormComplaint Reporting &
Investigation
To be used by investigator on equine
related complaint to collect detailed
information about living conditions and
animal condition
Equipment & Supplies List for Animal Rescue- perationsResources Planning &
Management
Checklist of equipment and supplies that
may be needed during an animal rescue
operation.
Euthanasia Authorization AgreementSeizure or Relinquishment
Documentation
Use to obtain an owner's signature on a
legal agreement to euthanize animals
when deemed necessary by a licensed
veterinarian.
Evidence Cage CardSeizure or Relinquishment
Documentation
For use as label for cage of each animal at
the time of seizure or relinquishment;
lists information for each animal and to
whom the animal is to be placed with.
Evidence Inventory FormSeizure or Relinquishment
Documentation
Use to list details of all non‐animal
evidence taken during the seizure;
provide a copy to the owner/caretaker.
Incident ReportAnimal Care ‐ Post SeizureTo record details of an incident (including
actions taken) at an emergency animal
rescue shelter.
Necropsy RecordAnimal AssessmentDocument a veterinarian post‐morten
exam findings.
Ownership Relinquishment AgreementSeizure or Relinquishment
Documentation
Use to obtain an owner's signature on a
legal agreement to relinquish animals.
Pet Dealer Inspection ChecklistAnimal AssessmentProvides a checklist of the animal welfare
regulations for inspections of pet dealer
permitees
Pocket Pet General Assessment FormAnimal AssessmentDocument general assessment of a
pocket pet's condition.
Poultry General Health Assessment FormAnimal AssessmentDocument general assessment of an
poultry animal's condition.
Rabbit General Health Assessment Form (1)Animal AssessmentDocument general assessment of rabbit's
condition.
Report Animal Cruelty Business CardComplaint Reporting &
Investigation
Distribute to possible witnesses who wish
to report anonymously.
Restitution ChargesResources Planning &
Management
Records the detailed costs associated
with the rescue and care of each animal
for possible reimbursement orders.
Search Warrant-Blank ExampleSearch Warrant PreparationProvides an example of a blank search
warrant.
Search Warrant Application - Animal Cruelty Case ExampleSearch Warrant PreparationProvides an example of a search warrant
application & the granted search warrant.
Search Warrant Inventory -Blank ExampleSearch Warrant PreparationProvides an example documenting the
non‐animal items, objects, etc. seized
during the warranted search. A copy of
the completed form is left with the
owner/caretaker.
Search Warrant Preparation ChecklistSearch Warrant PreparationProvides a checklist of items to have in
order before approaching a judge for a
search warrant.
Small Animal Health General Assessment FormAnimal AssessmentDocument general assessment of an
animal's condition.
Summary of Recommendations-EquineComplaint Reporting &
Investigation
To be given to a horse's owner following
an investigation which lists
recommendations for future care.
Summary of Recommendations-Small AnimalComplaint Reporting &
Investigation
To be given to a small animal's owner
following an investigation which lists
recommendations for future care.
Team Assignments & Roles for Cruelty InvestigationResources Planning &
Management
Outlines the various teams (and related
roles) needed during an animal cruelty
seizure.
Treatment & Medication Log-Emergency Response- eamAnimal Care ‐ Post SeizureTo track the treatment and/or
medications recommended or given to
each animal at the site of seizure or
relinquishment.
Vermont Search Warrant Rules-AnnotatedSearch Warrant PreparationDetailed description of Vermont court
rules related to search warrants.
Vermont Statutes Title 13, Chapter 8 Compliance Check ListComplaint Reporting &
Investigation
To given to an animal owner. Details
specific areas of non‐compliance in Title
13 that require follow‐up/improvement.
Veterinarian's Detailed Exam Finding - Small AnimalAnimal AssessmentDocument a veterinarian's physical
assessment of a small animal
Veteranarian's Detailed Exam Findings - EquineAnimal AssessmentDocument a veterinarian's physical
assessment of an equine
Veterinary Concern LogAnimal Care ‐ Post SeizureTo record conditions or concerns that
require attention by a veterinarian.
Volunteer Work Log-Emergency Animal Rescue Shelter (1)Resources Planning &
Management
Form to record volunteer work at an
emergency animal shelter

Fact Sheets & Articles

Name of Fact Sheet and Article
Animal Cruelty and Human Violence _ The Humane Society of the United States
Animal CSI - Gathering the Evidence
Animal Hoarding Fact Sheet
Animal Sexual Abuse Fact Sheet
Body Condition Scoring BEEF CATTLE
Body Condition Scoring CATS
Body Condition Scoring DAIRY CATTLE
Body Condition Scoring DOGS
Body Condition Scoring GOATS
Body Condition Scoring HORSES
Body Condition Scoring SHEEP
Cockfighting Fact Sheet
Consulting with the Agency of Agriculture on Livestock Cruelty Investigations
Dogfighting Fact Sheet
Dogfighting How to Spot it and How to Get $5,000 for Reporting it
Doghouse Plans
Finding Wildlife During an Investigation
How to Help a Chained Dog
How to Tell if a Cat or Dog May Need Veterinary Care
Investigating-Prosecuting-AA-Phillips-Lockwood
Pet Dealer Permit Inspection Checklist FINAL
Rabies Facts - Vermont Department of Health
Rescued from Squalor
TACC
Ten Top Tips for Photography and Videography
The Facts About Chaining and Tethering
Well Equipped ACO