Orleans Parish Animal Ordinances
Updates Effective March 22, 2013
Fighting Dog Combined DNA Index System
The CANINE CODIS database is the first multi-agency forensic DNA database of dogs. To address the growing problem of dog fighting using current technology, the Missouri Humane society, the ASPCA, the Louisiana SPCA, and the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory have come together to establish the first ever database dedicated to combating the crime of dog fighting.
This database is similar to the FBI’s human CODIS database used in criminal and missing person investigations. The CANINE CODIS database contains individual DNA profiles from dogs that are seized during dog fighting investigations as well as profiles from unknown samples collected at suspected dog fighting venues. DNA will be used to identify relationships between dogs and thereby allow investigators to establish connections between fighting dog breeders, trainers, and operators. Blood collected from dog fighting sites will be searched against the CANINE CODIS database to identify the source. This database will provide the criminal justice system with a powerful tool for investigating and prosecuting dog fighting cases.
Upon seizure of the dogs, cheek swabs are collected and submitted to the laboratory for DNA testing. The DNA profile is then searched against the CANINE CODIS database. In the event that the query returns a “hit”, the agency submitting the query sample and the agency that submitted the database sample are notified.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Combined DNA Index System?
Nuclear DNA makes up your chromosomes and is the genetic blueprint for each individual. Just like the human CODIS maintained by the FBI, the CANINE CODIS will contain individual DNA profiles from known dogs that are seized during investigations as well as profiles from unknown samples collected at suspected dog fighting venues.
How will DNA testing help?
DNA will be used to identify related dogs that will help investigators to establish connections between different fighting dog breeders, trainers, and operators. DNA will also be used to identify the source when blood is found on an object at a dog fighting location.
What can you test? How are samples collected?
We can test blood, saliva, tissue, bones, teeth, feces and urine. When blood or saliva is located on an object, it is best to submit the entire item for testing. If that is impractical, it can be collected onto a moistened cotton swab.
Who can access CANINE CODIS?
All DNA results are confidential. If there is a “hit” on the database, the agencies involved will be notified. DNA test results belong solely to the agency submitting the sample, and they can be removed from CANINE CODIS upon written request.
Can anyone submit samples?
No, only agencies that are engaged in dog fighting investigations may submit samples to CANINE CODIS for comparison.