First-Ever Psychological Intervention Program
For Treatment of Animal Abuse
by Society & Animals Forum (formerly known
as PSYETA) in unique partnership with the
Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1999, The AniCare
Model of Treatment for Animal Abuse is the
first professionally developed psychological
intervention program for animal abusers over
the age of 17. Society & Animals Forum
has also created AniCare Child: an Assessment
and Treatment Approach for Childhood Animal
Abusers, which is aimed specifically at dealing
with children who have abused animals. For
more information, please
visit out AniCare Child page.
link between animal abuse and violence against
humans is increasingly recognized by mental
health professionals, social service workers,
parents, teachers, law enforcement, and the
criminal justice system. In our violence-prevalent
society the treatment of animal abusers has
therefore become an increasingly acknowledged
necessity, and a growing number of states
are mandating court-enforced psychological
counseling for convicted animal abusers.
a result of lobbying by Society & Animals
Forum and other animal protection organizations,
significant changes have been made in state
anti-cruelty statutes. Forty-one states
and the District of Columbia now consider
certain types of animal cruelty to be felony
offenses. Twenty-seven states now provide
for the court to order those convicted of
cruelty to animals to undergo counseling or
anger management. These numbers are growing
at an increasing rate. The AniCare Model
of Treatment for Animal Abuse is now in use
in thirty states.
is The AniCare Model?
the need for The AniCare Model?
most of the individuals receiving treatment for
animal abuse have been referred by the courts, treatment
may be relatively short-term and clients who are
not entering treatment voluntarily may initially
resist therapy. For these reasons, AniCare uses
a cognitive-behavioral approach with direct interventions
emphasizing the client's need to acknowledge accountability
for his or her behavior. This is similar to a successful
approach to treating spouse batterers that has been
found to be the most effective for this related
- The AniCare manual contains
ten exercises. Each exercise offers and explains
to the clinician specific suggestions for intervention
for the particular client, and suggests homework
assignments to reinforce the particular intervention.
- A treatment questionnaire gives
the clinician information to guide the course
- Post-treatment questions on
the questionnaire assess and report the effectiveness
of the AniCare approach and its usefulness to
- Therapists are asked to employ
this questionnaire and return it to Society &
- Other sections of the AniCare
manual provide a framework for the approach --
background, philosophy, and underlying principles.
also identifies seven concepts -- accountability,
respect/freedom, reciprocity, accommodation, empathy,
attachment, and nurturance -- that are important
themes to address with clients.
addition to helping us evaluate our work,
collecting the important data from the questionnaires
will teach us more about the psychological
profiles of those who abuse animals. Society
& Animals Forum will provide feedback
to inform professionals and the general public
of these findings as part of our ongoing effort
to eliminate violence against animals and
& Animals Forum is contacting mental health
agencies and professional groups to offer
training workshops in The AniCare Model of
Treatment for Animal Abuse. Our offers
are being well-received. As of June 2004,
Society & Animals Forum has provided workshops
in 27 states, the District of Columbia, and
Canada. Some criminal courts are stipulating
the AniCare model as the treatment required
for their convicted animal abusers.
a Certified Counselor!
Attention Counselors: PSYETA offers certification
in the AniCare and AniCare Child approach.
If you are interested in becoming a Certified
Counselor, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also certifying counselors to help
us in giving AniCare and AniCare Workshops.
For information on the criteria on becoming
a Certified Trainer click
invite you to join us in spreading the word
Here are a few other ways you can
- Spread the word about
the AniCare materials, training, workshops,
- Inform appropriate mental
health groups -- human services, domestic
violence, child protection -- that you know
or work with in your area.
- Arrange for Society &
Animals Forum to conduct a training workshop
with a mental health agency in your area.
- Working together, we AniCare
professionals can educate the mental health
community to take animal abuse seriously
through early identification and effective
clinical inquiry and treatment.
You Can Help End the Cycle of Violence
can I order AniCare?
can be purchased from Society &
Animals Forum (in print or CD-ROM
format) via our
secure online orders page.
a referral list of mental health professionals
trained in AniCare, please contact:
can help support this important work! Society
& Animals Forum sends its project directors
around the nation conducting
sessions with mental health professionals, parents,
teachers, and law enforcement groups and giving
presentations to raise awareness about the "Violence