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Animal Advocates of Arizona Message Board › Building awareness between animal abuse and family violence

Building awareness between animal abuse and family violence

Mesa, AZ
Post #: 51
American Humane's The Link eNews

February 2009

Coming Soon to a Venue Near You: Link Training

Phoenix, Ariz., March 2009
(Specific date TBA) Chris Risley-Curtiss is speaking at a community event on domestic violence organized by the police department and school system. For details contact

Got a training program or good news to add to the list? Please let us know.
Contact Phil Arkow at

Dear vicki,


On June 8-9, 2008, over 100 authorities who have been working on The Link® for many years convened in Portland, Maine. Sponsored by American Humane, The Linkage Project and the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, with assistance from The Latham Foundation, the National Town Meeting and its follow-up Experts’ Summit reviewed 25 years of progress and set forth key challenges, opportunities and directions for the future.

The result was the formation of the National Link Coalition, with five committees busily addressing these key issues:

Building public awareness about The Link through marketing, messaging and communications
Overcoming the fragmentation of systems by building networks
Providing Link education and training for professionals in multiple disciplines
Addressing the root causes of violence through prevention, intervention and prosecution
Engaging academics for Link research and data collection

Strategizing the Link National Town Meeting

The 44-page proceedings of the National Town Meeting and Summit have just been published by American Humane. For a free hard copy, email Phil Arkow at, or (with “Link Proceedings” in the subject line). You may also download a PDF version.

The 2008 National Link Summit


Sarah Davies, violence prevention coordinator at the Calgary Humane Society in Alberta, Canada, presented at the first World Conference for Women’s Shelters in September, where she described the Pet Safekeeping Program. The program provides temporary housing to the animal victims of domestic violence. Davies’ presentation resulted in her first published article appearing in Fempower, the magazine of WAVE (Women Against Violence - Europe).

Mary Zilney, executive director of Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, reports that the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with several collaborative partners, has received funds from the Humane Society of the United States to replicate the research she spearheaded in Guelph, Ontario, a few years ago on cross-reporting between the child welfare and humane society sectors. An extremely effective cross-reporting checklist was developed in Guelph. She has been invited to present research findings in March in North Carolina and share lessons learned.

Christina Risley-Curtiss reports she has received funding from the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust, for the Children and Animals Together Assessment and Diversion Program.


Washington, Nebraska, Iowa, South Carolina, Hawaii and Wyoming have become the most recent states to introduce bills to include pets in domestic violence protection orders. Several bills have unique language that does not appear in other state bills or laws.

In Washington State, HB 1148 replaces a 2008 bill that died in committee. It would include pets among the petitioner’s personal effects and would also prohibit the respondent from coming within a specified distance of specified locations where the pet is regularly found. It would allow judges to grant the petitioner exclusive custody or control of pets belonging to the petitioner, respondent or a minor child in the home, and prohibit acts of violence, harm or interference with these animals. Violation is a gross misdemeanor. Twenty-seven legislators introduced the bill, which is currently in the Judiciary Committee.

Nebraska’s Legislative Bill 83 and Iowa’s House File 32 would allow judges to issue protection orders directing the care, custody or control of domestic animals kept by either party or a minor child in the household, and enjoining the respondent from harming or killing such animals.

In South Carolina, HB 3117 would allow the court to prohibit harm or harassment to the petitioner’s pet and order temporary possession of the animal to the petitioner. This replaces a similar bill that died in committee in the 2008 Legislature.

Hawaii’s SB 1086 would allow family court judges to grant exclusive care of pets to a party, and to enjoin the respondent from visiting, taking, concealing, threatening, physically abusing or disposing of a pet in the exclusive care of the protected party.

Wyoming’s HB 206 allows the court to direct the care, custody and control of any animal owned or kept by either party or a minor in the household. A new provision allows local law enforcement officers responding to requests for assistance in domestic violence cases to provide or arrange for temporary care, custody and control of these animals.


A comprehensive rewriting of the U.S. Virgin Islands animal cruelty statutes in 2005 included a requirement for all veterinarians in St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John to report suspected animal abuse. Title 14, Chapter 7, Sec. 187 of the V.I. Code states, “It is the duty of any veterinarian licensed in the Virgin Islands to report to the Police Department, Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture, any police officer or other appropriate enforcement agency any animal found, reasonably known or believed to be abandoned, neglected or abused as set forth in this chapter, and such veterinarian is not subject to any civil or criminal liability for such reporting or for participating in an investigation of animal abuse or neglect, if done in good faith.”


Mission Viejo, Calif. - Justin Carrafield, 26, was arrested on charges of animal cruelty, domestic violence and cultivating marijuana after neighbors alerted Orange County sheriff’s deputies about Azure, an 8-month-old dog who had been stabbed seven times with a martial arts-style sword. Azure’s owner, Erin Lup, 19, told the Orange County Register that things were getting out of control when Carrafield downed a bottle of alcohol and started fighting with her. “He’d been taking depression pills all week. He started choking me and I just wanted to leave with my dog,” she said. Veterinarians were able to save Azure thanks to donations.
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