Improving Public Safety by Stopping Animal Cruelty: The LINK

Improving Public Safety by Stopping Animal Cruelty: The LINK
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-06-16
Unit 1Slide Deck: Improving Public Safety by Stopping Animal Cruelty
Unit 2Transcript: Improving Public Safety by Stopping Animal Cruelty
Unit 3Workbook: Improving Public Safety by Stopping Animal Cruelty
Unit 4Recording: Improving Public Safety by Stopping Animal Cruelty

Efforts to raise awareness on the concept of the Link have been gaining traction over the last few years but there’s still a lot left to be done particularly in the areas of legislation and response protocols. This session provides one of the most comprehensive discussion on the Link – touching on history, collateral crimes, statistics, impact on various agencies and current developments on the topic.

This course’s esteemed instructor is Phil Arkow, an internationally-acclaimed lecturer, author, and educator. He is also the co-founder and coordinator of the National Link Coalition. He has worked with the ASPCA, American Humane Society, National Animal Care and Control Association, among others, making up his prolific career in the field of animal welfare.

Points tackled on this informative webinar include:

  • The National Link Coalition’s history, goals, work, and resources developed.
  • A rundown of the major areas and crimes that animal abuse is linked with.
  • Understanding how the Link is manifesting and impacting the COVID world.
    • How measures implemented against COVID-19 become risk factors to interpersonal and interspecies violence.
    • How the pandemic is impacting social services and animal welfare agencies’ workload, availability of services, staffing, resources, response, and policies.
  • Understanding how animal abuse…
    • Is not a standalone issue that is resolved by agencies in a vacuum.
    • Must be seen as an opportunity to uncover other deeper forms of abuse in a household.
  • The history of the Link – from its earliest vague notion to the more contemporary researches supporting the concept of the link and initiatives to address it.
  • Unpacking animal abuse and its link to…
    • Domestic violence – statistics showing prevalence, batterers’ motivations to target animals, the dynamics of DV as demonstrated with the Power and Control Wheel, and the Cycle of Violence.
    • Child abuse – numbers highlighting its correlation, how it impacts children, and how it evolves and manifests.
    • Elder abuse – how animal abuse intersects with the various facets of elder abuse, the elderly’s potential for animal hoarding, and the role pets play in an elder adult’s life.
  • Researches, developments, and efforts on the animal care and control field to address the Link.
  • Initiatives to integrate the Link in social work through training, awareness campaigns, proactive solutions, employment opportunities, and a paradigm shift on the concept of the family and the genogram.
  • Empowering veterinary professionals around the world through awareness, support, legislation, tools, and other guidance to be more proactive to report animal abuse.
  • Programs that support domestic violence victims, provide protection to their pets, and support agencies responding to domestic violence.
  • Criminal justice’s recognition that threats to animals translate to threats to human safety, and the integration of animal crimes to the FBI – National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
  • Researches done by various agencies and individuals to shed light on the Link, cycle of violence, and animal sex abuse.
  • Legislation being passed to protect animals better, acknowledge the intersection of animal welfare to human safety, and encourage cross-reporting.
  • Efforts to recognize exposure to or participation in animal abuse as a type of adverse childhood experience.

Phil clarified the audience’s questions on:

  • Kentucky’s position when it comes to veterinarians proactively reporting potential animal abuse.
  • Changing organizational culture to start integrating the concept of the Link in policing.
  • Ways how veterinary professionals can extend support and assistance to victims of link crimes.
  • Ways that NIBRS data will be utilized.
  • How the defund the police movement can impact response to victims of Link crimes.
  • The type of animal abuse witnesses that may impact children negatively
  • How animal behavior changes after abuse.


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “The argument for animal abuse as a public health/safety issue could not have been made more clear!” — Alix
  • “Thank you, for the extra time you have taken to answer all questions! This was an exceptional webinar with a great amount of information.” — Desiree
  • “What an amazing webinar! It is a topic that is so understated and not looked at as much as it should be. I believe it should be thought in the police Officer trainings so they also become more aware this actually does happen, and more than anyone expects. The numbers are insane, this whole webinar was wonderful and I took a lot away from this.” — Gina
  • “I have followed Phil Arkow and the LINK, but some of the amazing stats were new to me. GREAT presentation!” — Marilyn
  • “I learned so much! Even as a veterinary technician, police officer, and professor! I am very impressed with his research and the work being done. I hope to become more engaged in this effort. Thank you so much. One of the most informational and interesting webinars yet!” — Rhonda
  • “The LINK web site address to get more info. Great broad overview of the current state of affairs on the topic. Phil was a great speaker – plenty of clear and concise info. on many levels. More webinars by Phil would be useful.” — David
  • “Phil did a fantastic job of distilling a lot of information to the important facts. Outstanding webinar!” — Rebecca


View our Animal Welfare Webinar  Schedule and Recordings



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.





** This webinar has been certified by the National Sheriffs' Association and may be eligible for Continuing Education Units through your POST. Please consult your local certification processes for additional details. Paid subscribers that attend will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Sheriffs' Association logo.
Additional Resources
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After the Webinar: Improving Public Safety by Stopping Animal Cruelty. Q&A with Phil Arkow
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