Importance of Detailed Documentation (photos, notes, etc)
First begin by taking good notes about what you see, hear, and smell. Be sure to document in those notes all of the important facts. There is no such thing as too much detail. But lack of detail and specifics can cause problems for the possible prosecution of a case. Be sure to document how to the evidence comes to you for review, who brings the evidence to you, how it is labeled, how long you have it, and who you return it to.
Be sure to take photos both before and after you review the evidence. Take photos of every angle. A picture really is worth a thousand words. This is especially true if a case goes to a jury. Photographs do the best job of convincing a judge or jury of the animal’s true condition. Before and after photo of live evidence, photos that are taken at or near the time of the crime and then again later down the road, in cases such as starvation help show the jury the extent of the crime and how easy it was to put some weight on the animal.
Videos can be just as valuable. If you have access to a video camera, use it to document the conditions that you see.
Certain things like overgrown toenails, skin infections, and sores help demonstrate neglect. Pay close attention to and be sure to documents even minor injuries or abnormalities. You never know what will become important down the road.
If there are multiple animals, be sure to identify them with an ID number or some other means. It will be important to be able to distinguish the animals.