On September 20 and 21, The Anti-Cruelty Society will host “The AniCare Approach: Interrupting the Cycle Between Animal Abuse and Violence Toward Humans” at the Society’s Mullane Auditorium at 169 W Grand Ave in Chicago. Led by Dr. Kenneth Shapiro, the co-founder of the Michigan-based Animals and Society Institute, the program will discuss the psychology of animal abuse behaviors and the relationship between animal cruelty and other abuses, including domestic violence. The general portion of the program will be useful to animal control officers, animal advocates, probation officers and others in the criminal justice field.
During the workshop portion, therapists will be trained to administer an assessment and treatment program called AniCare, which was specifically developed to address juveniles and adults convicted of animal abuse and get to the root of the behavior before it repeats or escalates. A discounted registration fee of $50 is made possible by a grant from the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust.
AniCare Adult will be offered on September 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; AniCare Child will be offered the following day at the same times.
Once they complete the program, the therapists will be certified to carry out counseling ordered by the courts, which more frequently include mental health provisions in addition to appropriate punishment for violent crimes against animals.
A case currently pending in the Chicago area is that of Derek Fiero, an elementary school teacher in Lakeview who was arrested last month for allegedly punching to death a dog he had adopted from the Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation less than a year ago. In March, a 22-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy were charged with felony cruelty for torturing several dogs and posting videos of it on YouTube.
“Unfortunately, there is a never-ending stream of animal abuse cases in the Chicago area that underscore the need for a comprehensive approach to this problem,” says Tatiana Garrett, Director of Community Outreach. “Since a large part of our mission is educating our community about the humane treatment of animals, we feel that our region will greatly benefit from the AniCare treatment model and will help to make a difference and reduce these tragedies.”
Anyone wishing to register for the training program can do so at www.anticruelty.org/
Created in 1999, the AniCare (Adult) Model of Treatment for Animal Abuse is the first professionally developed, comprehensive psychological intervention program for animal abusers over the age of 17. The AniCare Child program is used to treat offenders under age 17. Designed for use by experienced therapists and social workers skilled in psychological assessment and interviewing techniques, the AniCare program uses a mixed approach, including cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and attachment theories. Direct intervention emphasizes the client's need to acknowledge accountability for his or her behavior (much like the approach used for spouse batterers) and to develop respect and empathy for both animals and people.
About The Anti-Cruelty Society
The Anti-Cruelty Society is Chicago’s oldest and largest, private non-profit, open-admission, unlimited stay humane society. With a mission of building a community of caring by helping pets and educating people, its comprehensive programs and services help over 50,000 animals and humans every year and include: adoption, charity veterinary clinic, low or no-cost spay/neuter clinic, cruelty investigations and rescue, humane education, anti-violence after school programs, pet visitation, a free behavior hotline, dog training classes, S.A.F.E. program (short-term accommodations for emergencies)