About Us

Veterinary Forensic Sciences Laboratory logo

Since 2018, much of the work in the Veterinary Forensic Sciences Laboratory (VFSL) has focused on providing animal forensic sciences services including veterinary forensic pathology, veterinary forensic toxicology, postmortem diagnostic imaging, and scene response to our clientele. The VFSL is one of several forensic sciences groups at the University of Florida, and we regularly collaborate with the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine in order to provide other forensic services, such as forensic entomology and forensic DNA analysis. Victims of animal abuse are considered to be silent victims, since they are unable to tell us what happened to them. Therefore, we need to be able to tell their stories in a court of law, using science. The VFSL provides animal forensic services to government agencies (law enforcement, animal services/control, state attorney offices), humane societies, veterinarians, and the public.

In addition to the forensic services we offer, we maintain a productive research program. The results of our research are used to improve forensic death investigations of animals, increase the detection of animal abuse, and convey our findings to the courts.

Finally, the laboratory is involved with training individuals who investigate animal cruelty, including law enforcement officers, Animal Control Officers, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and attorneys, through in-person and virtual continuing education. We currently offer a 1-year fellowship training program for veterinary pathologists interested in becoming a veterinary forensic pathologist. These trainings are vital to the growth of animal forensic sciences.

Ultimately, the work that is done in the VFSL will help us identify and document cases of animal cruelty and implement cutting-edge techniques to make a meaningful impact by getting justice for victims of animal abuse.