191212 Link between pet abuse and family violence

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:30 PM

Phil Arkow , Interim Director, American Humane Association, Stratford, NJ
In recent years there has been a renaissance of interest in an age-old concept that cruelty to animals frequently serves as a bellwether of interpersonal, family, and community violence. Compelling links have been reported connecting animal abuse with child maltreatment, domestic violence, elder abuse, violence perpetrated by children and adolescents, and dogfighting and associated criminal activities. A multidisciplinary cadre of authorities are re-examining the complex motivations behind acts of animal cruelty, and are advancing innovative animal-assisted intervention strategies to work with the perpetrators and victims of family violence. Concomitantly, researchers are expanding knowledge of how pets improve individual health and functioning to a broader perspective that includes pets within the scope of enhanced social capital and community well-being, with many implications for public health professionals.

Learning Objectives:
The links between animal abuse and other forms of family violence, particularly domestic violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse. The impact of pets on social capital as a powerful force to build trust and reciprocity in increasingly alienated communities. The depth of many individuals’ attachments to companion animals which may be manifested in extreme situations, such as disasters and emergencies, with significant implications for public health and safety programming.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an internationally renowned leader, lecturer and author in this emerging field for 25 years and have an extensive CV of professional publications and affiliations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.