Learn why the connection between animal abuse and child/elder/domestic abuse is so important and what to do about it

Animal abusers rarely stop there. Domestic, elder and child abuse are often linked with animal abuse, and animal abuse charges are often the first time violators appear in court, so it’s vital professionals recognize and stop the violence. To this end, the Humane Society of Huron Valley’s (HSHV’s) Humane Education Department together with Animals & Society Institute (ASI) present “Animal Abuse and Interpersonal Violence,” a workshop open to the public.

“Research supports what we have seen time and time again—that there is a strong connection between cruelty towards animals and violence toward humans and other criminal acts,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV’s CEO and president. “In fact, last year the FBI started tracking crimes of animal cruelty alongside other felony crimes in recognition of this link.”

“And there are many different facets to this link,” notes Hilgendorf. “For example, assailants will often hurt or kill a family pet as a way of intimidating a domestic partner or to scare a child into silence. Just seeing a beloved animal being intentionally harmed is traumatizing and can be permanently scarring.”

Workshop attendees will learn about the research behind animal abuse as well as:

  • The relation between animal abuse and other forms of abuse, and how to integrate awareness into your profession
  • The range of animal abuse behaviors
  • How to identify when people and animals may be at risk
  • Important information on Michigan’s animal cruelty laws
  • What to do if abuse is identified, including possible interventions

Dr. Lisa Lunghofer, Director of Human-Animal Programs at ASI, will be presenting. Having received her Ph.D. in social policy, over the past 20 years, Dr. Lunghofer has worked extensively in the areas of child welfare, animal welfare and the human-animal bond. She is an expert in evaluation and implementation of violence prevention programs.

“We at HSHV are committed to preventing animal cruelty and helping to create a more humane world for all living, feeling beings. We are very pleased to be able to offer this educational workshop so that we can help other professionals working with at-risk populations better understand the link and to have more tools at their disposal to help stop the cycle of violence. It takes us all working together to protect vulnerable animals and people,” says Hilgendorf.

The workshop will take place at the Humane Society of Huron Valley (3100 Cherry Hill Rd, Ann Arbor, MI) on Wednesday, April 19. Attendees can select the morning session (9:30-11:30 am), focused on the connection between animal abuse and interpersonal violence and antisocial behavior; and/or the afternoon session (12:30-3:30 pm), concentrating on what those who work with children need to know. The fee is $50 per person for the full day, $25 for morning only or $35 for afternoon only. Space is limited. For more information and to register, go to www.hshv.org/animalabuseworkshop.


About Animals & Society Institute

Animals & Society Institute (ASI) helps improve and expand knowledge about human-animal relationships in order to create safer and more compassionate communities for all. ASI is the leader in translating research on human-animal interaction into practice, providing essential knowledge and tools, and promoting evidence-based approaches that get results. ASI’s “AniCare” Model of Treatment for Animal Abuse is the first professionally developed psychological intervention for adults and children who have abused animals. For more information on ASI, see www.animalandsociety.org.

About The Humane Society of Huron Valley:

The Humane Society of Huron Valley, located in Ann Arbor, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies solely on the generosity of our supporters to provide critical community programs and services. HSHV is an award-winning organization, recognized for our best practices and highest animal “save-rate” among all similar shelters in Michigan. Charity Navigator, the nation’s top charity evaluator, awarded HSHV a 4-star ranking, the highest possible. The mission of HSHV is to promote the loving, responsible care of all animals in our community. HSHV is not affiliated with any other humane organization and does not receive funding from the United Way. More information can be found on HSHV’s website (www.hshv.org) and on our annual report (www.hshv.org/annualreport).