Drool, hair, urine, feces, and blood that pets leave behind often contains a bit of their DNA. If a criminal happens to come in contact with an animal’s “leavings” and carries a bit away with them, that evidence can be used to tie them to the crime scene. The opposite scenario is also possible. Criminals may inadvertently leave some of their own pet’s “evidence” at the crime scene.
The lab work comes in two stages: First, the crime scene DNA is profiled employing a few marker regions from the genome, and next, the lab [Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California Davis (VGL)] uses its own pet genetic database to calculate probability — how common is this particular pattern in the wider population? In other words, how likely is it that this hair could have come from any other dog or cat than the one linking the criminal to the crime?
In the case of [a] triple homicide in Indiana, a representative of VGL testified that the statistical chance that the feces sample on the shooter’s sneaker and the feces in the yard of the scene of the crime came from two different dogs was staggeringly low. In fact, it was one in 10 billion. And since there aren’t even close to 10 billion dogs in the entire country that meant the feces on the sneaker and the feces in the yard came from the same dog.
The first time pet DNA was ever used as evidence in court involved hair shed from a white cat named Snowball. (Owners of white cats are thinking “of course!”) Sometimes pets even take an active role in helping nab the perpetrators of crimes against their loved ones.
An attempted sexual assault case in Iowa in 1999 was solved largely because of dog urine. Though the victim could not positively identify her assailant, her dog could — by having lifted his leg on the tire of the man’s truck. DNA matching of dog and tire urine placed the man at the scene of the crime.
A Peaceful Farewell provides compassionate at home pet euthanasia to fellow pet owners in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, and most of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
The PAW Blog...
For the LOVE of Pets
The goal of this blog is to help educate pet owners by sharing pet health facts and pet news articles...and ... sometimes put a smile on your face with a cute or funny pet story!
Search for any topic...