Connecting the Dots in Civil and Criminal Justice: Protecting People by Focusing on Animal Abuse

Connecting the Dots in Civil and Criminal Justice: Protecting People by Focusing on Animal Abuse
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-04-04
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Connecting the Dots in Civil and Criminal Justice: Protecting People by Focusing on Animal Abuse
Unit 2Transcript: Connecting the Dots in Civil and Criminal Justice: Protecting People by Focusing on Animal Abuse
Unit 3Workbook: Connecting the Dots in Civil and Criminal Justice: Protecting People by Focusing on Animal Abuse
Unit 4Recording: Connecting the Dots in Civil and Criminal Justice: Protecting People by Focusing on Animal Abuse

99% of US households see pets as family members or close companions. This same wonderful, feel-good statistic depicting the human-animal bond is being leveraged by abusers where pets become a pawn to impose power and control over the victims. This webinar explores the concept of the Link where animal cruelty co-exists with other forms of family violence.

Leading the webinar is Phil Arkow. He is the Coordinator of the National LINK Coalition and is an internationally acclaimed lecturer, author, and educator. He is active in the animal abuse and family violence space having presented over 300 times across the world and authored over 95 reference works on the topic.

Specifics of his discussion are on:

  • The multi-disciplinary collaborative approach required to address the Link to effectively hold abusers accountable and keep communities safe.
  • The National Link Coalition – their mission and the work and initiatives they’re involved in.
  • The four forms of family violence in the concept of the Link, how they operate traditionally in silos, how the Link demonstrates the overlap across these, and the eight animal/human violence links.
  • The human-animal bond: The prevalence of pets in the US, animals’ relationship with children and women in homes, and how this bond is exploited by abusers and becomes ominous with the Link.
  • The history of anti-cruelty laws and the disconnect between the public perception of animals and their legal standing.
  • Why animal abuse should be taken seriously as it can predict and escalate into other forms of abuse and recognition of the Link is key to stopping different forms of violence and crime in the community.
  • Animal cruelty challenges in terms of reporting, definition of concepts, lack of public consensus, marginalization of animal welfare agencies, and lack of criminal justice support.
  • Developments and efforts being made at the federal, state, and local levels to address these challenges.
  • Viewing animal cruelty as a crime of violence on a global scale that overlaps with other crimes.
  • Key research findings and case studies indicating how the Link manifests, its impact on animals, people, and communities, and the need for a collaborative approach to effectively address it.
  • A rundown of the reasons for adults and children perpetrating cruelty.
  • A brief history and government efforts to address child maltreatment.
  • Study findings that illustrate the animal abuse-child maltreatment link.
  • Barriers for domestic violence victims to seek help and how pet-friendly shelters is bridging this gap.
  • The intergenerational cycle of violence and power and control wheel that demonstrates how domestic violence and animal cruelty coincide with each other.
  • Issues that the elder population is struggling with and how these can lead to opportunities for both elder abuse and animal abuse.
  • Hoarding: How the elderly are prone to this, how it creates a cycle of isolation, and the different types of hoarders.
  • Developments and recommendations in response, policy, programs, and legislation to address and prevent animal cruelty and the Link, assist victims, and keep communities safe.

Questions from the webinar participants are on:

  • Recommendations for courtroom professionals on the impact of the Link on civil cases.
  • Effective treatment and approach for animal cruelty offenders.
  • Link statistics for horses and other larger animals.
  • How lethality risks double for responders when calls for service involve both domestic violence and animal abuse.
  • How animal abuse typically co-occurs with elder abuse.


Click here to view and register for other upcoming Animal Welfare webinars on the JCH Platform



Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “The most valuable thing I learned from this webinar is the acknowledgment from more agencies that animal cruelty is a serious crime that needs the attention of law enforcement agencies nationwide”. — Ronald
  • “I can so see this being an issue in DV cases and divorce/custody. I love the idea of shelter animals going to people’s shelters and juvenile courts for therapy. I plan to talk to our local entities about this as our shelters are full of animals that they cannot accept any more.” — Rhonda
  • “Learn something new from Phil with every presentation.” — Marilyn
  • “Phil is always awesome, always on point, and always informative. Great job here again.” — Nathalie
  • “The linking between the abuse categories and having the research data to back it up. Very interesting topic and an enjoyable presentation.” — Cynthia




This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.




This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.




Additional Resources
1 year ago
After the Webinar: Connecting the Dots in Civil and Criminal Justice – Protecting People by Focusing on Animal Abuse. Q&A with Phil Arkow
Webinar presenter Phil Arkow answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Connecting […]
1 year ago
Online Course: Animal Control Officer Online Certification (Level 1)
Your work as an animal care and control officer has never been more important. ACOs are called to […]
1 year ago
Online Course: Building and Winning an Animal Welfare Case
In many jurisdictions, resource limitations mean that all aspects of investigation and courtroom pro […]
3 years ago
Improving Public Safety by Stopping Animal Cruelty: The LINK
Efforts to raise awareness on the concept of the Link have been gaining traction over the last few y […]
3 years ago
Thoughts on Neglect from Audra Houghton
Audra Houghton of the Humane Society of the United States shared a number of excellent insights and […]
4 years ago
Animals as Victims: Charging and the Law
Cases on animal cruelty or neglect can be difficult to investigate or prosecute. Lack of knowledge a […]
5 years ago
The Link between Animal Abuse and Human Abuse: Understanding the link to help investigate and prosecute your cases
Various research and numerous cases have substantiated the link between animal abuse to other forms […]