MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
Click photo to visit

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Link Between Violence to Animals and Violence to Humans Studied at DU

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

Based on DU Study Ahead By a Cold, Wet Nose by John Davidson, The Denver Post, April 10, 2010:

According to John Davidson in his article DU study ahead by a cold, wet nose published in the Denver Post, a groundbreaking program at the University of Denver is "exploring the many ways people and pets are connected. The emerging results could reshape practices in social work, law enforcement and public policy, according to leaders of DU’s Institute for Human-Animal Connection.”

The executive director of the institute, Frank Ascione, has been looking into “the link between violent behavior to humans and violence to animals. Ascione was part of a study that "documented cases of violent husbands harming family pets to torment abused wives.” He testified awhile back in Colorado in behalf of a bill to include pets in domestic restraining orders.

As part of the people/pet study, students in DUs Graduate School of Social Work also "documented the positive impact of using therapy animals to teach responsibility and anger control to at risk children.” Although these connections may be obvious, the science behind them is novel and important according to the dean of the Graduate School of Social Work, James Herbert Williams.

The support of the American Humane Association and the Animal Assistance Foundation is credited by Williams for the Institute success, but all of these Denver organizations have brought so much to the table.

“Institute staffers are working on two new efforts: enlisting experts from around the world of fellows and then posting their studies at, and conducting a painstaking study of public and social institutions in Colorado to come up with a better understanding of how animal abuse cases are handled.” It is called the Colorado Link Project, and they are trying to individually target social welfare, law enforcement and the judicial system.

Researchers will look at animal cruelty cases to determine 'how they are investigated, what control the investigator has, what does and doesn’t get investigated, how they are prosecuted and what penalties are handed down,' in order to improve practices in each step.

Graduate students can work with kids in a program, Pawsitive Connection, that teaches them how to train dogs while learning compassion and responsibility for animals.

No comments :