AniCare Model

The AniCare Model


The First-Ever Psychological Intervention Program For Treatment of Animal Abuse

The AniCare Model

Created 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.

The 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. 

As 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.

What is The AniCare Model?





Why the need for The AniCare Model?





How AniCare Works


Since 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 population.

  • 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 of treatment.
  • Post-treatment questions on the questionnaire assess and report the effectiveness of the AniCare approach and its usefulness to the therapist.
  • Therapists are asked to employ this questionnaire and return it to Society & Animals Forum.
  • Other sections of the AniCare manual provide a framework for the approach -- background, philosophy, and underlying principles.
  • AniCare also identifies seven concepts -- accountability, respect/freedom, reciprocity, accommodation, empathy, attachment, and nurturance -- that are important themes to address with clients.


In 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 human beings.

Society & 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.

Become 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 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 here.

We invite you to join us in spreading the word about AniCare.

Here are a few other ways you can help:

  • Spread the word about the AniCare materials, training, workshops, and model
  • 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.
Where can I order AniCare?  

AniCare can be purchased from Society & Animals Forum (in print or CD-ROM format) via our secure online orders page.

For a referral list of mental health professionals trained in AniCare, please contact:

Kenneth J. Shapiro, PhD, ABPP
Society & Animals Forum
PO Box 1297
Washington Grove , MD   20880-1297

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You can help support this important work! Society & Animals Forum sends its project directors around the nation conducting

training sessions with mental health professionals, parents, teachers, and law enforcement groups and giving presentations to raise awareness about the "Violence connection." 

Society&Animals Forum
Violence Link
Animals in the Classroom
Resources & Educational Material
How You Can Help