A Dog Has No Name

A Dog Has No Name logo

A donation-based service to help support forensic examinations of dogs without a name.

In the United States alone, there are estimated to be several million stray or abandoned dogs whose identities and stories are not known. The lucky ones will be rescued by humane societies and animal rescue groups, and adopted by loving families who give them the safe forever home they deserve. But, for some, the story is much darker. The terrible truth is some of these dogs will not survive, as they succumb to natural diseases, accidents, or, in the worst cases, become victims of animal abuse. It is for these lost souls that the “A Dog Has No Name” project was created.

The purpose of the A Dog Has No Name program is to attempt to tell the story of those dogs that died without a name, and, in doing so, also examine these dogs for natural disease and evidence of trauma.

If we identify a case in which animal abuse is suspected, we will provide the information gathered during our examination to the appropriate authorities, so a criminal investigation can be initiated. When a case of animal abuse is identified, our program will ensure that the jurisdictional agency has the well-documented evidence needed to successfully investigate and potentially prosecute these cases.

The objectives of our program include:

  • Determine the cause of death to provide a better understanding of why these dogs died
  • Identify the individual dog as best as possible (via microchip, tattoo, ear nip, previous surgery, DNA analysis)
  • Track infectious canine diseases by location
  • Educate veterinary students and veterinary residents on how to perform forensic death investigations
  • Provide law enforcement with the forensic evidence needed to investigate the animal crime, when a case of animal cruelty is suspected

Frequently Asked Questions

Gray dog looking up at camera

Where do submitted cases come from?

This map shows where cases submitted to this program have originated:

The map above shows where the dogs examined were found. Results of our research will be periodically updated on this map.

Who pays for the forensic examinations?

Our ability to examine dogs without a name relies largely on the generosity of animal lovers like you. We encourage animal lovers to make a donation to the A Dog Has No Name program, to assist with funding these important examinations.

Who receives the results from the forensic examinations?

The person or agency that submitted the dog for examination will receive the results.

How do I submit a case to the program?

Please contact us by email to discuss your particular case. The submitting agency must fill out an ADHNN request form, linked below.

For more information please contact:
Dr. Adam W. Stern
Professor of Forensic Pathology
University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine
(352) 294-4077