More law enforcement officials are applying forensic methods to cases involving animals, says Fox News. Beth Wictum, Director of the University of California Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab, said there is usually a transfer of biological evidence in the form of saliva, hair, urine, or feces from a crime scene to a victim that provides critical evidence. “People are always amazed to see we are doing this kind of work because animals have DNA just like people do, but it doesn’t occur to people that we can do the same type of testing,” she said.
Wictum’s lab is the largest of its kind. Its findings have lead to the prosecution of criminals. The lab used DNA testing to match dog excrement found on the bottom of a murder suspect’s shoe to excrement found near the crime scene – a piece of evidence that helped secure the man’s conviction. In another case, a sexual assault victim couldn’t pick her attacker out of a lineup, but remembered her dog had urinated on the man’s pickup truck. The dog’s DNA matched DNA traces found on the truck’s tire and the suspect pleaded guilty.