Dr. Merck has published extensively on topics of veterinary forensics. She is the editor and contributing author of the first textbooks on veterinary forensics and animal crime scene investigation in the U.S.


Veterinary Forensics Second Edition: Animal Cruelty Investigations (Wiley-Blackwell)

Veterinary Forensics, Second Edition is a practical reference on applying veterinary forensic findings in animal cruelty cases. Now providing a greater focus on findings in animals, the second edition continues to offer guidance with more detailed information on crime scene investigation, forensic testing and findings, handling evidence, and testifying in court. Key changes to the new edition include new chapters on abuse in large animals, poultry, and birds; a standalone chapter on entomology; a new section on large scale cruelty investigation; an expanded section on pain and suffering; more pathology information; and more photos, forms, and information throughout.Logs and workbooks from the book are available on a companion website at, allowing readers to download, customize, and use these forms in forensics investigations. Veterinary Forensics is an essential resource for veterinarians, pathologists, attorneys, and investigators working on animal abuse cases.

Veterinary Forensics: Animal Cruelty Investigations (Blackwell Publishing)

Animal cruelty has been closely linked to domestic violence, and this has led to growing calls from the medical and legal communities for mandatory reporting of animal abuse. However, very few veterinarians and pathologists have been formally trained on the medical and legal aspects of animal cruelty cases. Veterinary Forensics: Animal Cruelty Investigations fills this gap, providing a thorough and straightforward resource on recognizing abuse, reporting abuse to proper authorities and conducting medical evaluations that will hold up in court.This book offers detailed and clear direction on recognition and interpretations of patterns of non-accidental injury, crime scene investigation, estimation of time of death, gross and microscopic pathology associated with abuse and neglect, chain of custody procedures, and providing expert testimony. This reference manual gives veterinarians, pathologists, and investigators the knowledge they need to understand the stages of animal cruelty investigations and to perform the necessary forensic examinations of animals. (No longer available.)

Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty

Veterinarians have a key role to play in recognizing and addressing animal abuse. A comprehensive introduction to the field, Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty provides essential information and techniques that will help veterinarians respond effectively when animal cruelty is suspected. This book is required reading for animal shelter, veterinary, investigative and law enforcement professionals.

Melinda D. Merck, D.V.M.
Veterinary Forensics Consulting, LLC

Dr. Melinda Merck is a forensic veterinarian consulting on cases involving animals. Dr. Merck assists investigators of animal cruelty with crime scene investigation as well as the examination of live and deceased victims. She helps with large scale operations including exhumations of burial sites and examination of skeletal animal remains. She frequently testifies as a veterinary forensic expert for animal cruelty cases around the country including cases involving animal fighting, neglect and trauma.



Latin American Veterinary Conference

April 7-10, 2019 • Lima, Peru

Forensic Post Mortem Lab at AVMA Convention

August 2-6, 2019 • Washington, DC

WSAVA Congress and Post-Congress Workshop

July 16-21, 2019 • Toronto, Canada