Animal Cruelty Awareness Class Offered for Non-Investigators

MHS Chief Investigator Deborah MacDonald will bring critical training in cruelty investigation awareness to the MPAW-MAACO Conference in October.

Do you know what constitutes animal cruelty in Michigan? How are the different types of cruelty investigated and by whom? How and when should you report cruelty, and what steps can you take to ensure your evidence will be useful? These questions and more will be answered in a presentation by Michigan Humane Society’s Detroit Animal Care Center Director and Chief Investigator Debby MacDonald. Debby’s many years in the field and overseeing the MHS Cruelty Investigation and Emergency Rescue teams give her a unique perspective on the development and prosecution of animal cruelty cases. She developed this class specifically for staff and volunteers of animal shelters, rescue groups and interested community members who are not law enforcement but who may encounter animal suffering in their work or volunteer outreach. It is appropriate for animal organizations that do not investigate cruelty but that need to be able to give good information to community members about what constitutes cruelty and what to do about it.

Understanding the law and how to safely gather evidence and report it in a timely manner to the right people can mean the difference between life and death for animals. At the same time, investigative techniques and processes must be followed. Relationships between law enforcement, cruelty investigators, and local prosecutors are critical links in cruelty cases. Some situations can be resolved with education; others require stronger interventions. Debby will help you understand the parameters of investigation so that you can be knowledgeable and helpful to the process. Her talk will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28th, at the upcoming MPAW-MAACO Animal Welfare Conference in Mt. Pleasant. Registration for the conference is still open, but it is filling up quickly! You can register online HERE or fax your registration form to 248-283-1001.


Investigator MacDonald investigates animal fighting, neglect, abandonment, and abuse cases in Michigan.

Debby began working for MHS as a volunteer 25 years ago. She has held positions including Adoption Counselor, Animal Evaluator, and Shelter Manager. She has been a Cruelty Investigator for 21 years and is qualified as an expert witness in dogfighting cases. Debby has worked collaboratively with local, state, and federal law enforcement on dogfighting cases. She is an instructor for Code 3 Associates / Colorado State University’s Cruelty Investigators Academy and has taught law enforcement courses in the U.S. and Canada. Don’t miss this chance to hear and learn from one of the top investigators in the country to help improve your understanding and outcomes for animals in your own community!



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