An important example of animal protection as a public policy issue is seen in ASI's work within the "cycle of violence." Studies show that there is a link between acts of cruelty to animals and violence toward humans, including child abuse, spousal battery and other types of criminal violence.
The treatment of animal abusers has become an increasingly acknowledged necessity: 27 states currently recommend or mandate judges to require counseling for persons convicted of animal cruelty. We educate health, education and criminal justice professionals to recognize animal cruelty as a law enforcement issue and as a probably indicator of violence toward others.
Created in 1999, the AniCare Model of Treatment for Animal Abuse is the first professionally developed psychological intervention program for animal abusers over the age of 17. A program called AniCare Child is used to treat offenders under age 17.
The AniCare program uses a cognitive-behavioral approach with direct interventions emphasizing the client's need to acknowledge accountability for his or her behavior (much like the approach used with spouse batterers). It involves both assessment and treatment, using exercises that clinicians use to suggest specific interventions for the particular client. It addresses seven major concepts: accountability, respect/freedom, reciprocity, accommodation, empathy, attachment and nurturance.
Materials include the use of a detailed AniCare manual that clinicians use to tailor treatments for individual clients. Questionnaires and follow-up procedures help us keep the AniCare program effective and current. Data collected from individual cases is used to learn more about the psychological profiles of animal abusers and to provide feedback to professionals and the public as part of our ongoing efforts to eliminate violence against animals and human beings alike.
The ASI sponsors workshops to train social service professionals in the use of AniCare materials, and makes manuals and related videos and other materials available for purchase. Our executive director, Ken Shapiro, Ph.D., is also available as an expert speaker on the subject.
Our Rapid Response program was launched to complement AniCare with outreach to judges, prosecutors and others in court systems around the country, as well as to the media and the general public.
Our new AniCare brochure outlines the scope of the program and can be downloaded for sharing with professionals related to law enforcement, social work and psychology. Click here to see the full brochure.
Order AniCare manuals and other materials here.
For additional AniCare resources, please visit these links:
Anicare Approach Brochure
Anicare Yahoo Email List