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The Link between Human and Animal Violence

Online Module

This self-paced online module is directed towards animal professionals. You will learn from three experts in their field—Dr. Maya Gupta, Jenny Edwards, and Dr. Bethanie Poe. This seven-section module contains readings from peer reviewed journals, narrated presentations from the speakers as well as tests for comprehension. The module takes approximately 11hrs to complete. You can pause and resume as needed.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction and Overview
  • Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse
  • Children and Animal Abuse
  • Older Adults and Animal Abuse
  • Animal Fighting and Associated Issues
  • Animal Sexual Abuse
  • Cross Reporting

To Purchase this Module, Click HERE

This module is available for purchase year round. This module is a part of the Veterinary Human Support Certificate. Though it is a part of the certificate, you can purchase and complete this course even if you are not enrolled.


Dr. Maya Gupta

Dr. Maya GuptaMaya Gupta earned her BA from Columbia University and both her master’s degree and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia, where her research focused on applying information about the connections between animal cruelty and domestic violence to enhance batterer typologies and to improve the prediction and prevention of violence in all its forms. She has written and trained widely on programmatic innovations such as “safe havens for pets” that assist domestic violence victims in bringing their animals with them to safety. Until December 2013 she was Executive Director of Ahimsa House, a Georgia-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the human and animal victims of domestic violence across Georgia reach safety together. She is now Executive Director of the Animals and Society Institute, which explores the connections between people and animals through supporting research on human-animal interactions, training human service professionals on the assessment and treatment of animal abuse, and promoting the integration of scientific knowledge into evidence-based public policy on animal-related issues. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the National Link Coalition, focusing on the animal abuse/interpersonal violence link, on the Animal Cruelty Advisory Council of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, and as adjunct faculty in the Anthrozoology program at Canisius College. She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She co-chaired the Organizing Committee for the Section on Human-Animal Interaction in the American Psychological Association, previously served as the section’s Chair, and currently serves as its Training Director. In 2012, she received the Task Force Member of the Year award from the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. She and her husband live north of Atlanta, GA, with seven rescued cats and six rescued chickens.

Jenny Edwards

Jenny Edwards is a partner with The Chandler Edwards Group, a research and Jenny Edwardsconsulting organization specializing in animal sexual abuse issues.  Edwards is a guest lecturer for university and college criminal justice and human-animal studies programs, and has developed animal cruelty training programs for the Washington Criminal Justice Training Center, the University of Missouri Law Enforcement Training Institute, and multiple statewide animal control associations.  A certified animal control officer and animal cruelty investigator, Edwards managed an animal shelter for seven years and has been personally involved in the rehabilitation of sexually abused animals

Edwards has been honored for her work on high-profile bestiality cases, and appeared in the film “Zoo” documenting the death of a Washington man after a sexual encounter with a horse.  She has contributed to criminology and veterinary books and publications, and has authored numerous articles on animal cruelty, equine cruelty investigations, and animal sex-abuse related topics.

Dr. Bethanie Poe

Dr. Bethanie A. Poe, LMSW graduated from the University of Tennessee’s College of Social Work’s PhD program in 2016. She was a Fellow in UT’s Veterinary Social Work program with a focus on the Link between human and animal violence. She began her work in family violence over ten years ago, working first in a domestic violence shelter before moving on to work in child protection. She then continued her work in the field at the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence where she worked with batterer’s intervention programs. Dr. Poe is currently the Middle Tennessee Coordinator for UT’s Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee (H.A.B.I.T) program where she strives to bring animal assisted interventions to victims of violence, abuse, and neglect.

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