Oregon Humane Society


Victim to Verdict: Identification, Investigation
and Prosecution of Animal Cruelty


The annual Victim to Verdict conference brings together leaders in the field of animal cruelty investigations and explores innovative and effective means of working collaboratively to enforce animal abuse and neglect laws.


This year's conference will take place at the World Forestry Center's Miller Hall on March 21, 2013. Registration has closed as of March 20. If you have any questions, please call (503) 802-6750 ext. 311 and we will return your call shortly.


More details about Victim to Verdict 2013:



Event Details


Where: World Forestry Center, Miller Hall

Portland, OR 97221

Map, directions and transit information


When: 8 am–5 pm on Thursday, March 21, 2013


Cost: $99.00 per registration (student rate also available)


Audience: law enforcement, animal control, veterinary professionals, prosecutors


Lodging: There are two options for discounted-rate lodging for conference attendants this year. Mention the "OHS Victim to Verdict conference" to get the special rate.


Shilo Inn
9900 SW Canyon Road
Beaverton, OR 97225
Phone: (503) 889-1145 - Fax: (503) 297-7708
$79 per night


Hotel Monaco
506 SW Washington (at 5th)
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 866-861-9514
$149 per night

Visit this link to get the group room rate

*Reserve your room by March 11 to take advantage of this rate*





This year, all conference registrations will be done online. The registration period closed at noon on March 20. We will see you at the conference on Thursday!





The planned schedule of events for the day-long conference:


8–8:30 am Check-in and continental breakfast
8:30–9 am Introductory remarks
9–10:30 am Speaker 1 - Jim Boller
10:30–10:45 am Break
10:45 am–12:15 pm Speaker 2 - Diane Balkin
12:15–1:15 pm


(vegan options available; please specify on your registration form)

1:15–2:45 pm Speaker 3 - Panel on the topic of hoarding: Dr. Cathy Miller, Linda Fielder, Scott Heiser
2:45–3 pm Break
3–5 pm Break out sessions (see table below)


Break out session topics and speakers:


Law Enforcement Lawyers Veterinary
Neil Mackey Nicole Jergovic Dr. Kris Otteman
Dr. Julie Weikel Scott Heiser Linda Fielder
Jim Boller Diane Balkin  
Whitney Kubli    



About the Speakers


Diane Balkin is a contract attorney for ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program. She began her career as a prosecutor in the Denver District Attorney's Office in 1979, where she has worked for the last 32 years. When she retired from the DA’s office on July 15, 2011, Diane was the Chief Deputy District Attorney (trial attorney) where she prosecuted all types of felonies (including homicides) and supervised a team of junior lawyers and support staff. Diane also served as the “animal crimes” prosecutor in her office where she demonstrated time and time again her commitment to ensuring both an effective investigation and an aggressive prosecution of every animal cruelty case within her jurisdiction.


Prior to becoming Chief Deputy, Diane served as the director of the Complex Prosecution Division where she was the legal advisor to the Denver County Statutory Grand Jury and she supervised the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed against the elderly. She has also served as the director of the Juvenile Division and the Domestic Violence Unit. Diane was appointed to the Colorado State Board of Veterinary Medicine in June 2001 and served on the Board for 8 years. She received her J.D. in 1977 from the University of Denver and is a nationally ranked lecturer on animal cruelty investigations and prosecutions with a strong emphasis on training veterinarians.


Jim Boller has over 29 years of animal-related experience, with an emphasis in field investigation. While the Director of Field Services at the Houston SPCA, Jim became widely known as one of the professionals featured regularly on Animal Planet Television's "Animal Cops: Houston." In 2006, Mr. Boller became an executive staff member of Code 3 Associates, Inc. in Erie, CO. Code 3 trains law enforcement in dealing with animal cruelty investigations for livestock and pets. Code 3 conducts hands-on animal rescue and care operations during disaster events in the US and Canada and offers certified animal welfare training seminars.


Linda Fielder has been with the Oregon Humane Society since 2003. Prior to arriving at OHS, she spent ten years as a veterinary technician in Kansas City, Missouri, where she assisted with diagnosing and treating a wide range of medical issues affecting an equally wide variety of animals, from cats and dogs to pigs and parrots. Because of her medical expertise, Linda became Shelter Medicine Coordinator and was a key player in conceptualizing and launching OHS' full service veterinary hospital in 2007. In 2009, she was selected to oversee investigations as the department's manager. Her medical background has served her well in this position, where she fields the unique medical questions arising daily from officers in the field. Since Linda took over management of the Investigations Department, the department has expanded its geographical response area, implemented a large scale rescue plan, and hosted an annual training program known as 'Victim to Verdict' for industry professionals. In 2012, Linda became one of only two Certified Animal Welfare Administrators in the state of Oregon.


Scott Heiser heads up ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program and provides a full spectrum of services to law enforcement and prosecutors who investigate and litigate animal cruelty cases. Scott and his team (with over 60 years of prosecution experience among them) regularly provide training to law enforcement officers and prosecutors across the country on how to achieve the best possible outcomes in animal cruelty investigations and prosecutions. Under Scott’s leadership, ALDF has forged partnerships with both the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) and the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) to provide the training necessary to ensure that prosecutors get the results these cases deserve.


A prosecutor for seventeen years, Scott served the last eight of those as the elected district attorney in Benton County, Oregon. He has been president of the Oregon District Attorneys Association (ODAA) and a member of the Governor’s Drug and Violent Crime Advisory Committee. Scott also served on the board of directors for the Heartland Humane Society in Corvallis, Oregon. While Scott has prosecuted all types of criminal conduct including capital murder, he has always found animal cruelty cases among the most compelling cases he has handled. His passion for holding animal abusers accountable for their crimes led Scott to join ALDF.


Scott also lectures on issues related to animal cruelty prosecution and is a member of the adjunct faculty at Lewis & Clark Law School. In fact, Scott was the number-one conference attendee-rated speaker at the national Taking Action for Animals (TAFA) conference, and he consistently receives the highest praise for his engaging lectures. Scott received his JD from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College and his undergraduate degree in economics from Oregon State University. Scott is a regular instructor at trainings hosted by the Oregon Department of Justice and has served on the board of directors of his local humane society animal shelter, helping to fund the construction of a new shelter. In 2011 Scott received the Diamond Collar Award from the Oregon Humane Society for his work on behalf of animals. In addition to spending time with their canine and feline family members, Scott and his wife enjoy sailing, whitewater kayaking, and scuba diving.


Nicole Jergovic, Deputy District Attorney, Multnomah County

Nicole has been at the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office for 10 years. As a Deputy District Attorney she prosecutes Homicides, Arson cases, Burglaries, Robberies, Vehicular Assaults and Weapon Offenses. She also prosecutes Offenses Against Animals. She is dedicated to improving the lives of animals in this community. As a Deputy District Attorney, no one knows better than Nicole how difficult animal cruelty cases can be to prosecute. Forensic Evidence is hard to come by and the victims can’t speak for themselves. Despite these barriers, Nicole has earned the reputation as one of the best Deputy District Attorneys in the state when it comes to advocating for animals. Nicole’s dedication to helping animals goes beyond the DA’s Office. Nicole also volunteers hundreds of hours a year to the OHS, and is the team captain of a leading fundraising team “Paws for Justice” for OHS’s annual Doggie Dash event.


Whitney Kubli has advocated for victims of all kinds of crime for 15 years. She has worked for the University of Oregon, the Washington County DA’s Office, nonprofit organizations and the United Nations Development Program for Women (UNIFEM) in Bangkok, Thailand. As an animal lover, Whitney volunteered for four years at the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter in Hillsboro, OR. While volunteering at the shelter and working as a victim advocate at the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, her two worlds collided as she repeatedly witnessed the “The Link” between animal cruelty and domestic violence. She identified gaps in services and a lack of communication between agencies, and in April 2010 founded the Washington County Animal Protection Multidisciplinary Team to address and prevent child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence and animal abuse in her community. Whitney is currently a paralegal in Portland and shares a home with her husband, two pit bulls and two cats. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Poland 1999-2001), a Master Gardener and an aspiring roller derby player.


Neil Mackey has worked for the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office since 1984 in a variety of positions including patrol deputy (including seven years as a K-9 deputy), School Resource Officer, Training Officer, Special Services (which includes out Search and Rescue and Marine Patrol units), and Community Policing Coordinator. His current position is Admin Corporal; he is the first line supervisor for their Field Law Enforcement Technicians (other agencies call the same position Animal Control Officers) and he supervises the overall management of the county's Large Animal Rescue facility. Neil has been married to the same patient woman for 33 years, and has four daughters and will soon be a grandparent.


Dr. Catherine Miller is a licensed psychologist and the Assistant Dean in the School of Professional Psychology at Pacific University. She received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from West Virginia University in 1993 and has been licensed as a psychologist in West Virginia, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Oregon. She has been working at Pacific University since moving to Oregon in 1999. She currently teaches a class in Juvenile Forensics and supervises a clinical team of graduate students. Dr. Miller is a member of the American Psychology-Law Society, an interdisciplinary organization focused on scholarship, practice, and public service in psychology and law. She has published two articles in peer-reviewed journals on animal cruelty, has guest lectured on animal cruelty in psychopathology courses, and has supervised several doctoral dissertations on animal cruelty, animal hoarding, animal-assisted therapy, and prison-based animal programs. 


Dr. Kris Otteman brings 24 years of veterinary and leadership experience to her current roles as OHS Director of Shelter Medicine and adjunct faculty member for Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She leads the OHS Animal Medical Learning Center, the nation’s only in-shelter teaching hospital, responsible for the care of 10,000 shelter pets annually.


A co-founder of Banfield, The Pet Hospital, Dr. Otteman's background also includes seven years in mixed animal practice in Southern Oregon. Her broad experience at Banfield included executive leadership and management as well as a strategic partnership with PetSmart Charities on national fundraising and adoption initiatives. She has also serves on the board for Cat Adoption Team, has served as a trustee of Banfield Charitable Trust, and has been a member of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Licensing Board. Dr. Otteman is a Charter Member of the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association, a member of the OVMA and AVMA. She lives at home in Washington with her family.


Dr. Julie Weikel has been practicing large animal veterinary medicine for over 40 years. Her experience ranges from private mixed animal veterinary practice to consulting work for Beef Profit Decisions to field veterinary work for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. She is a former rancher, Vice President of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, and is currently the Horse and Burro representative to the Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Committee. Dr. Weikel has also been an invited speaker at for many professional subjects, including at the University of Washington Law School Animal Welfare Forum. She has made her home in Eastern Oregon, where she raised four children and is the grandmother of boys.




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