New York

CSI for animals: Forensic vets battle pet abuse, neglect

  • Veterinarians at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA ) forensic unit show evidence and the skeletal remains of a dog used for dog fighting, Thursday April 7, 2016, in New York. The ASPCA forensic veterinarians work with the New York Police Department to capture evidence and punish animal abusers. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Veterinarians at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA ) forensic unit show evidence and the skeletal remains of a dog used for dog fighting, Thursday April 7, 2016, in New York. The ASPCA forensic veterinarians work with the New York Police Department to capture evidence and punish animal abusers. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Dr. Laura Niestat, one of three veterinarians with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA ) forensic unit, holds photo evidence of a dog missing layers of skin from a tight collar, Thursday April 7, 2016, in New York. The New York based ASPCA unit works with the New York Police Department to capture evidence and punish animal abusers. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Dr. Laura Niestat, one of three veterinarians with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA ) forensic unit, holds photo evidence of a dog missing layers of skin from a tight collar, Thursday April 7, 2016, in New York. The New York based ASPCA unit works with the New York Police Department to capture evidence and punish animal abusers. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Victry Mueller, a senior veterinary student intern from Ohio State University with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA ) forensic unit, lays out the remains of a dog used for dog fighting on Thursday April 7, 2016, in New York. The New York based ASPCA unit working with the New York Police Department to capture evidence and punish animal abusers. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Victry Mueller, a senior veterinary student intern from Ohio State University with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA ) forensic unit, lays out the remains of a dog used for dog fighting on Thursday April 7, 2016, in New York. The New York based ASPCA unit working with the New York Police Department to capture evidence and punish animal abusers. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has three forensic veterinarians on staff dedicated to capturing evidence to punish animal abusers.

The New York-based vets have testified in some of the first animal cruelty cases to use DNA at trial to obtain felony convictions.

A traveling ASPCA crew in January rescued some 600 animals from a no-kill shelter in North Carolina suspected of abuse and neglect.

The leader of the team, Dr. Robert Reisman, says his work in this field has shown there is often a connection between animal abuse and human violence. In many cases, when there's a human domestic violence victim, there's also an animal victim at the same time.