Subaru donates a CSI vehicle to ASPCA

Posted By elaine on May 17, 2010

The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has a new  ”Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)” response vehicle, a 2010 Subaru Outback donated by Subaru of America that has been customized for the ASPCA’s Veterinary Forensics team.  The new vehicle was unveiled at the Veterinary Forensic Sciences Conference in Orlando, Fla.

The original CSI unit

The purpose of this customized 2010 Subaru Outback is to help collect and process evidence at animal crime scenes. Dr. Melinda Merck, Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics at the ASPCA, said that they had it made not necessarily because there’s an increase in animal cruelty, but because more people are reporting it and more law enforcement are getting involved.

From left: Dr. Jason Byrd, Associate Director of Veterinary Forensics at the University of Florida; Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics; Todd Lawrence, Promotions and Sponsorship Manager at Subaru of America, Inc.; Jim Echikson, Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships at the ASPCA; (Ginger, 8-year-old Lab mix, Orange County Animal Services)

“We have a larger 26-foot-long CSI unit that was donated in 2007 to the ASPCA, but we needed a smaller unit so we could reach some of the crime scenes where we can’t always get the bigger unit back there,” said Merck. “We needed something that could carry people, supplies and evidence.”

Dr. Merck said the older unit was primarily used to examine animals, but the new response vehicle focuses more on examining evidence from animal crime scenes.

The modified unit is unique and gives them more flexibility. It has everything needed to respond to animal crime – special lighting, a radio, computer, exam table, roof rack and refrigerator to store evidence.

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