Resources for Practitioners


ASI offers a number of resources for professionals in law enforcement as well as social workers, mental health providers, and others interested in reducing violence towards animals and people to promote the human-animal bond. Resources on AniCare®, and BARK can be found here.



  • AniCare® Adult Handbook – This handbook provides step-by-step guidance on how to identify, assess, and treat adults who have abused animals. The theoretical framework employed is broad, encompassing cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, attachment, and trauma-based therapies. The intervention focuses on the importance of establishing accountability, changing attitudes toward animals, and learning more prosocial interpersonal skills, particularly the ability to empathize with others – including animals. 
  • AniCare® Child Handbook – AniCare® Child is an assessment and treatment approach designed for mental health professionals working with children under the age of 17 who have perpetrated or witnessed animal abuse. It is useful to professionals from a range of other disciplines who work with youth, including social workers, attorneys, probation officers, judges, school counselors, teachers, child care providers, mental health providers, and community members. This intervention helps juveniles identify feelings and develop basic emotional management skills, such as problem-solving. It includes dealing with the impacts of witnessing animal abuse and violence toward family members.
  • BARK (Behavior, Accountability, Responsibility, and Knowledge:  An Intervention Program for Animal Maltreatment Offenders)™ – The Animals & Society Institute offers BARK training courses for law enforcement, mental health providers, social workers, and other practitioners who want to reduce animal abuse. Drawing on elements from both AniCare Adult and Child, it can be utilized in both individual and group settings. A self-directed offender format is under development.


ASI/A&S Colloquium and Webinars Series

ASI and the Animals & Society section of the American Sociological Association co-sponsor this series which is dedicated to highlighting research by emerging human-animal relationship scholars. This series also features publication workshops, job talks, and research by established scholars in the field.


Assessments for Practitioners

As there are many paths to the behavior of animal abuse and many if not most offenders present with comorbid disorders, assessment is critical to determine the most effective intervention. It is suggested that practitioners conduct an assessment interview, obtain a psychosocial history, and have the offender complete one or more of the following instruments. In the service of adding to the literature on intervention outcomes, ideally, the instruments are completed before, immediately after, and several months following the intervention.


Human-Animal Relationship Week (HARA)

The Animals & Society Institute created the Human-Animal Relationship Awareness Week (HARA Week) to highlight the importance of human-animal relationships, and to focus on both the benefits of, and potential problems associated with these relationships. During HARA Week, ASI features a variety of materials such as research, fact sheets, reports, and videos all dedicated to the human-animal relationship.

  • HARA Week is the second full week of November. Join in the fun by using #HARAWeek when posting Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn during this week.
  • HARA 2018 – Read our in-depth feature on why we keep pets and other companion animal resources.
  • HARA 2017 – Learn more about how canine characteristics can affect their length of stay in animal shelters among other human-animal relationship resources.
  • HARA 2016 – Read our violence prevention feature focus and other resources dedicated to human-animal relationships.


Animals & Society Institute / My Dog is My Home 2020 Co-Sheltering Report

The Animals & Society Institute in collaboration with My Dog is My Home used a generous grant from Maddie’s Fund® to explore and describe current approaches to “co-sheltering” of people experiencing homelessness with their companion animals.

The lack of animal-friendly policies and practices in many shelters and social service agencies means people experiencing homelessness are often asked to choose between their companion animals and shelter. The goal of this qualitative study was to better understand how service providers are accommodating clients experiencing homelessness who have companion animals. Using a comparative case study approach, we conducted individual interviews with staff and focus groups with clients with and without animals at four homeless shelters in the U.S. and Canada.

The study assessed animal-friendly homeless shelters’ current approaches to handling animals accompanied by people experiencing homelessness, documenting challenges, key issues, and lessons learned. Project findings will inform development of animal-friendly policies and practices in homeless shelters nationwide, reducing the likelihood that animals will be relinquished simply because their caregivers are experiencing a period of homelessness.


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