Research has well documented the link between animal abuse and family violence. With 67% of American homes having pets, child protection professionals will encounter animal abuse and pets that are targeted to gain silence and compliance of child victims. Understanding this dynamic can assist with safety planning, forensic interviews, investigations and prosecutions. This session will explore the latest research studies on how animal abuse links to child abuse, the importance of addressing animal abuse in homes experiencing child abuse, how agencies can work together for better outcomes for children, and service strategies to help children and families with pets in crisis. Investigation and prosecution strategies involving the link between child abuse and animal abuse will also be discussed. No abusive photos will be shown.
* Learning Objectives of Presentation:
1. Understand the growing body of research on the harmful effects of animal abuse in the home.
2. Learn how to talk to children about animals and animal abuse for better intervention and advocacy for the child.
3. Learn about agency policy changes that recognize family pets and that can more effectively help families be safe.
4. Learn about investigation and prosecution strategies when animal abuse is linked to domestic violence.