Animal Cruelty Investigator’s Manual
The book outlines the basics of a good investigation, from start to finish, including real-life case examples. Also included are common “Animal Care Practices” for a variety of animals, a layman’s interpretation of Vermont’s criminal animal cruelty statute, as well as copies of other animal-related laws and regulations for your reference. Sample investigative forms, fact sheets and articles on a variety of animal care issues – from rabies to chained dogs – can help humane agents resolve animal complaints locally.
Chapter 2. Receiving and Investigating Complaint
Chapter 5 Animal Care Standards
Chapter 8 Vermont Legislative Website
Appendix I Shelters and Rescues
Appendix II. Resource Agencies State Associations
Appendix III. Forms and Supplies List (see first table below for direct links)
Appendix IV. Fact Sheets & Articles (see second table below for direct links)
Forms and Supplies List
|Form Name||Category||Purpose Text|
|Affidavit Blank Example||Search Warrant Preparation||Provides an example of a blank affidavit
re: requesting a search warrant.
|Agreement - Lead & Assisting Organizations Providing Animal Care Post Seizure||Animal Care ‐ Post Seizure||Outlines the agreement for care of
animals seized during the course of an
investigation between the lead
organization and an assisting
|Animal Care Record-Emergency Animal Rescue Shelter||Animal Care ‐ Post Seizure||Records routine, individual daily care of
animals in the emergency animal rescue
|Animal Cruelty Case Report Form||Complaint Reporting &|
|To be used by agency to collect cruelty
complaint information over the phone;
aligns with Case Report section of Animal
|Animal Inventory Form||Seizure or Relinquishment|
|Use to list details of all animals (alive or
dead) taken during a seizure; provide a
copy to the owner/caretaker.
|Animal Removed for Exigent Reason Notice||Complaint Reporting &|
|To be left at site when an animal is seized
under exigent circumstances per 13 V.S.A.
,Chp. 8, 352 and 354.
|Animal Removed from Hot Vehicle Notice||Complaint Reporting &|
|To be left on car when an animal is
removed from a hot vehicle per 13 V.S.A.
Chp. 8, 386 and 352.
|Application for Search Warrent with Affidavit-Blank Example||Search Warrant Preparation||Provides an example of a blank
application for a search warrant to which
affidavits would be attached.
|Behavior Assessment Form||Animal Assessment||Document a general assessment of an
|Chain of Custody-Single Animal Record||Seizure or Relinquishment|
|Use to list and track an individual seized
animal's movements while in your care.
|Chain of Custody-Multiple Animals Record||Seizure or Relinquishment|
|Use to list and track the movements of
multiple seized animals while in your
|Citation Example||Complaint Reporting &|
|Example of a blank citation given to a
defendant by a Humane Officer.
|Cruelty Case Foster Application||Resources Planning &|
|Application to be completed by potential
foster homes for animals in an agency's
|Equine Body Condition Evaluation||Animal Assessment||Document the body condition of an
equine using 7 point scale detailed on
|Equine Investigation Form||Complaint Reporting &|
|To be used by investigator on equine
related complaint to collect detailed
information about living conditions and
|Equipment & Supplies List for Animal Rescue- perations||Resources Planning &|
|Checklist of equipment and supplies that
may be needed during an animal rescue
|Euthanasia Authorization Agreement||Seizure or Relinquishment|
|Use to obtain an owner's signature on a
legal agreement to euthanize animals
when deemed necessary by a licensed
|Evidence Cage Card||Seizure or Relinquishment|
|For use as label for cage of each animal at
the time of seizure or relinquishment;
lists information for each animal and to
whom the animal is to be placed with.
|Evidence Inventory Form||Seizure or Relinquishment|
|Use to list details of all non‐animal
evidence taken during the seizure;
provide a copy to the owner/caretaker.
|Incident Report||Animal Care ‐ Post Seizure||To record details of an incident (including
actions taken) at an emergency animal
|Necropsy Record||Animal Assessment||Document a veterinarian post‐morten
|Ownership Relinquishment Agreement||Seizure or Relinquishment|
|Use to obtain an owner's signature on a
legal agreement to relinquish animals.
|Pet Dealer Inspection Checklist||Animal Assessment||Provides a checklist of the animal welfare
regulations for inspections of pet dealer
|Pocket Pet General Assessment Form||Animal Assessment||Document general assessment of a
pocket pet's condition.
|Poultry General Health Assessment Form||Animal Assessment||Document general assessment of an
poultry animal's condition.
|Rabbit General Health Assessment Form (1)||Animal Assessment||Document general assessment of rabbit's
|Report Animal Cruelty Business Card||Complaint Reporting &|
|Distribute to possible witnesses who wish
to report anonymously.
|Restitution Charges||Resources Planning &|
|Records the detailed costs associated
with the rescue and care of each animal
for possible reimbursement orders.
|Search Warrant-Blank Example||Search Warrant Preparation||Provides an example of a blank search
|Search Warrant Application - Animal Cruelty Case Example||Search Warrant Preparation||Provides an example of a search warrant
application & the granted search warrant.
|Search Warrant Inventory -Blank Example||Search Warrant Preparation||Provides an example documenting the
non‐animal items, objects, etc. seized
during the warranted search. A copy of
the completed form is left with the
|Search Warrant Preparation Checklist||Search Warrant Preparation||Provides a checklist of items to have in
order before approaching a judge for a
|Small Animal Health General Assessment Form||Animal Assessment||Document general assessment of an
|Summary of Recommendations-Equine||Complaint Reporting &|
|To be given to a horse's owner following
an investigation which lists
recommendations for future care.
|Summary of Recommendations-Small Animal||Complaint Reporting &|
|To be given to a small animal's owner
following an investigation which lists
recommendations for future care.
|Team Assignments & Roles for Cruelty Investigation||Resources Planning &|
|Outlines the various teams (and related
roles) needed during an animal cruelty
|Treatment & Medication Log-Emergency Response- eam||Animal Care ‐ Post Seizure||To track the treatment and/or
medications recommended or given to
each animal at the site of seizure or
|Vermont Search Warrant Rules-Annotated||Search Warrant Preparation||Detailed description of Vermont court
rules related to search warrants.
|Vermont Statutes Title 13, Chapter 8 Compliance Check List||Complaint Reporting &|
|To given to an animal owner. Details
specific areas of non‐compliance in Title
13 that require follow‐up/improvement.
|Veterinarian's Detailed Exam Finding - Small Animal||Animal Assessment||Document a veterinarian's physical
assessment of a small animal
|Veteranarian's Detailed Exam Findings - Equine||Animal Assessment||Document a veterinarian's physical
assessment of an equine
|Veterinary Concern Log||Animal Care ‐ Post Seizure||To record conditions or concerns that
require attention by a veterinarian.
|Volunteer Work Log-Emergency Animal Rescue Shelter (1)||Resources Planning &|
|Form to record volunteer work at an
emergency animal shelter
Fact Sheets & Articles