VIN MULT220-2020: Veterinary Forensics Non-Interactive

This course is a self-paced, non-interactive course.

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Presenter: Jennifer Woolf, DVM, MS (Veterinary Forensics)
Course Open: September 1-December 31, 2020

Level and Prerequisites: This basic course will be open to veterinarians and veterinary support personnel actively interested in veterinary forensics. This non-interactive course is open to VIN and VSPN members only.
VIN CE Course: Open to VIN and VSPN members. This non-interactive course is approved by RACE for veterinarians. (RACE 22-43993)

Course Description:
More and more, our society is mindful of the connection between people and animals including the Link: the connection between animal abuse and interpersonal violence. Because of this, it is imperative that all veterinarians and support staff be able to identify potential animal abuse and know the laws related to their roles in reporting animal abuse. But to report abuse, one must first be able to identify it and document it correctly. Additionally, it may be necessary to collect evidence in a manner that does not compromise the case. This course strives to teach each participant what the Link is, what laws may pertain to animal abuse, how to identify signs consistent with animal abuse, and how to document those signs including writing a report. The focus will be on individual small animals but will also include large-scale cases and briefly touch on large animals and exotics. Finally, there will be a brief discussion of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic and its relation to animal abuse.

This course will consist of 5 non-interactive modules. Each module will have a video lesson that includes a few poll questions and supplemental learning materials which are intended to help the participant retain the information provided.

To earn a certificate of completion, the participant must complete all 5 modules and pass the end-of-course test (score 80% or better). A course evaluation is also provided so that course participants can comment on the effectiveness of the learning module and offer suggestions for improvement. Completion of all 5 modules (videos, reading handouts, and end-of-course test) will take a minimum of x minutes to complete. Participants must complete the participation requirements by December 31, 2020 to be eligible for a certificate.

Course Outline:

Module 1: The “Link” and Mandatory Reporting Laws
Total Time: 46 minutes
Video: 40 minutes
Handouts: 6 minutes
Polls (7)
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to

  • understand the Link, -- the connection between animal abuse and interpersonal violence, -- including domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and other forms of human violence.
  • understand the variety of laws governing animals.
  • learn the difference between mandatory reporting and voluntary reporting of animal abuse within the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
  • know whether or not a veterinarian or support staff is mandated to report child abuse in the U.S.

Module 2: Identifying Animal Abuse
Total Time: 98 minutes
Video: 80 minutes
Handouts: 18 minutes
Polls (4)
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to

  • understand the Five Freedoms and how they help evaluate potential animal neglect.
  • understand Red Flags for animal abuse and child abuse.
  • learn the 6 types of animal abuse and signs that are consistent with each type.
  • learn about diseases and other conditions that can mimic animal abuse.

Module 3: Documenting Animal Abuse
Total Time: 57 minutes
Video: 57 minutes
Polls (4)
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to

  • understand a clinical forensic examination and how it can differ from a typical medical examination.
  • understand a forensic necropsy and how it can differ from a traditional necropsy.
  • know how animal abuse may present to a veterinarian and/or staff and who might present the animal.
  • know how to document signs consistent with animal abuse so that they will stand up in court including medical records, photography, and videography.

Module 4: Collecting Evidence
Total Time: 44 minutes
Video: 44 minutes
Polls (5)
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to

  • understand some of the rules of evidence collection.
  • learn how to collect some of the most commonly seen evidence of animal abuse in a private practice setting.
  • understand what a chain of custody is and why it is important.
  • go through some cases to put what you have learned thus far into action.

Module 5: Writing the Report, Testifying, and Other Miscellaneous Topics
Total Time: 56 minutes
Video: 43 minutes
Polls (6)
End of Course Test: 13 minutes
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to

  • write a report of a clinical forensic examination or a forensic necropsy for the court.
  • understand the steps involved in a large-scale case including changes to the report format.
  • learn about testifying in a U.S. court.
  • discuss animal abuse of species other than typical companion animals.

Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course. To learn more about the requirements for earning a non-interactive CE certificate, please refer to Non-Interactive CE Certificate Requirements.

Course Materials: Course materials in the form of handouts and additional educational online activities will be available in the course library.

Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.

About the Presenter:
Jennifer Woolf received her DVM and a Masters degree with a concentration in veterinary forensics from the University of Florida. After veterinary school, she began private practice. She has worked in small animal, feline-only, and emergency clinics, as well as private and public shelter medicine. Dr. Woolf has been working in the field of veterinary forensics since 2010 performing investigations, testifying, consultations, and education, including speaking internationally and publishing articles and a book chapter on veterinary forensics. In addition to her company, Woolf Veterinary Forensics Consulting, Inc., she works with the University of Florida's Veterinary Forensic Sciences program and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( ASPCA), and is a member of the board of the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association.

Total CE Credit: 5

Tuition: $115
Prices are listed in US dollars.

*Enrollment will close on December 1, 2020 at 5 pm ET (USA).
*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

To Enroll:
  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from @vspn.org and @vin.com addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email . Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
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"This program (22-43993) is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer a total of 5 CE Credits, with a maximum of 5 CE Credits being available to any individual veterinarian or veterinary technician/technologist. This RACE approval is for the subject matter categories of: Medical, using the delivery method of Non-Interactive-Distance: (Online, Correspondence, Journal, or Other Self-Study). This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board's CE requirements."

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN office 800-846-0028 ext. 797 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

*For more information on VIN's upcoming CE courses, check the VIN Course Catalog.

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Director

VIN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357