The 101 Department: Make Your Case: How to Testify in Court
Whether you’ve been a cruelty investigator for 10 months or 10 years, you can’t help feeling sad and angry when you find a skin-and-bones retriever tied to 15 feet of rusted chain or when you take in the scarred and bleeding pit bulls victimized by a dogfighting operation.
But it’s best to keep that emotion out of the courtroom when you’re called to testify.
“You would be amazed at how many animal control officers get emotionally involved in the case,” says Patrick Bucher, a retired Maryland State Police captain and instructor in criminal investigation and courtroom procedures at the East Coast Animal Control Academy in Westminster, Md. “You absolutely cannot tolerate that because the case is not made on emotion; it’s made on factual analysis.”