In six forensic cases involving murder, bank robbery, theft and poaching, evidence material comprising shed hairs supposedly originating from dogs or wholves was analyzed by mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequencing. A 79 bp segment of the control region was amplified, sequenced, and compared with an established database of the domestic dog and wolf populations. In three murder cases exclusions of all eight suspects could be made. Furthermore, two of the murders could be linked to each other by a rare sequence variant, and the breed of the dog was indicated. In a theft case and a bank robbery a link could be established between the evidence material and the suspects. In a case of suspected wolf poaching, it could be established that the evidential material was of dog rather than wolf origin. We conclude that single hairs from common pets are suitable for DNA analysis and that the described method has proved to be a valuable tool for forensic investigations.
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