Animal DNA has been used for years in crime scene investigation. For example, hairs located on a victim’s clothing might be a DNA match to a dog belonging to a suspect, aiding in an arrest and possible conviction.
Now, just in time for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, animal DNA is being used for the animals themselves—to help find and convict animal abusers.
Animal abusers were convicted in two separate cases last month, according to the City Room blog on the New York Times website. In one case, the DNA of a cat named Scruffy was harvested in 2008, when he was burned by teenagers in a Brooklyn apartment.
He was only treated when a superintendent for the building, who often fed Scruffy, found him injured. Although Scruffy didn’t survive, his DNA did. And thanks to that DNA sample, investigators were able to positively identify which apartment Scruffy was harmed in, and residents of the apartment building eventually confessed.
For animal lovers who care for their pets with quality food, care, and respect their fragile health with insurance for dogs and cats, the use of DNA to help convict animal abusers means two things. First and most important, that fewer animals may be harmed while, second, more abusers may be found and held accountable for their actions.
According to the City Room blog, there is even now a dog DNA database, which was started for dogs used in dog fighting. The animal loving community can thank science for a future that now looks brighter for pets.