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Michigan State University
Spartan Sagas
Melinda Merck
Alumna, 1988
Gainesville, Florida
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Melinda Merck

Justice for all animals.

Alumna, 1988
Gainesville, Florida


Melinda Merck is a pioneer in the field of veterinary forensic medicine—a crime-scene investigator for cases involving animals.

The owner of Veterinary Forensics Consulting LLC and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Florida teaching veterinary forensic sciences, Merck received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988. Since then, she’s dedicated her career to bringing justice for animals that are victims of cruelty and literally has written the book on animal-cruelty investigations.

A tenacious advocate for animals, Merck has worked on high-profile cases, including the case of Michael Vick, the professional football player who spent time in prison for his involvement in a dog-fighting ring. It was her expert testimony that helped send Vick to jail.

“In 20 years, I hope to see that we have in every jurisdiction a functioning animal crimes unit, from law enforcement all the way to veterinary support to the crime lab to prosecution,” says Merck.