About the Sessions: Maddie’s® Veterinary Forensics Conference

Recognizing and Documenting Non-Accidental Injuryforensics dog photo


  • For the morning lecture sessions – the conference room can be stuffy or chilly depending on the outside weather.  It is recommended to bring layered clothing options for your comfort.
  • For the afternoon hands-on session – Long pants, closed-toed shoes and long hair pulled back.  A scrub top will be provided.

Sessions and Schedule






Case Report: Tragedy Visits the Clinic

Veterinary teams will be presented with cases of non-accidental injury for treatment. But will your team recognize these cases? Are you prepared to handle them?

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize that you will be presented with cases of non-accidental injuries
  • Recognize red flags in the clinical history and examination findings that suggest non-accidental injury may be involved.



Is this an Accident or Abuse?

Veterinarians, often receiving little to no training in this area, are tasked will making the difficult call of differentiating accidents from potential abuse.  But how can you see the light through the clouds?

Learning Objectives

  • Familiarity with the factors that raise the index of suspicion of non-accidental injury
  • Understanding of the pattern of injury most suggestive of non-accidental injury
  • Knowledge of common differentials to consider when differentiating between an accident and abuse



To Report or Not to Report: That is the Question

Veterinarians often struggle with reporting suspected abuse.  Even though we have all taken an oath to protect animal welfare and prevent animal suffering many are reluctant to report, but why?

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the veterinarian’s role in animal abuse


Putting it All Together: Working Up the Case

Veterinary teams are frequently asked to examine animals known or suspected to be the victims of non-accidental injury for treatment and forensic documentation.  But how should this be done?  Will your findings stand up in court?

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the approach and necessary components of the forensic exam
  • Understand how to appropriately document a forensic exam
  • Familiarity with evidence collection and chain of custody


Box Lunch and optional activities

Pick up a box lunch and enjoy one of the following activities, or relax and enjoy Florida’s beautiful springtime weather.

  • Demonstration of online courses leading to UF’s Graduate Certificates in Shelter Medicine or Veterinary Forensics
  • Tour of the ASPCA mobile CSI units and equipment
  • Tour of the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital



Introduction to hands-on workshop


Animal CSI: Examination of deceased victims of non-accidental injury


In this hands-on workshop with cadavers, small teams will perform detailed examinations of mock scenes of animal injury. After working side-by-side with forensics experts to document their cases, teams will present their findings to the group and make a determination of whether the findings support a suspicion of non-accidental injury.

Learning Objectives

  • Prepare the equipment, personnel, and forms required to perform an external exam of a deceased victim
  • Perform the step-by-step process of external examination of deceased animal victims
  • Appropriately document and photograph an external exam of a deceased animal victim
  • Correctly collect and log evidence recovered during an external examination
  • Plan further diagnostics and procedures needed to fully document a case
  • Present a compelling summary of the key findings to support the examiner’s conclusions regarding the presence or absence on non-accidental injury