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The Link Between Human & Animal Violence

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

Online Module

This self-paced online module is directed towards mental health professionals. This program provides the participant with an in-depth overview of the Link including historical background, modern research, and suggestions for micro and macro level interventions. Topics covered include: definitions of animal abuse and the Link; domestic violence and animal abuse; children and animal abuse; elder abuse and animal abuse; animal hoarding; and animal fighting.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of animals in context of a family system with attention to diversity.
  • Understand the various roles of violence toward animals and its human implications.
  • Assess personal and community responsibilities toward animal abuse regulations and laws.
  • Be able to identify social work interventions pertaining to the Link both on the micro and macro levels
“This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886617824-3880) for 11 continuing education contact hours.”

To earn the CE credit, participants must complete the evaluation the becomes available once the module is finished. After the evaluation has been submitted, the certificate will automatically become available on the learning site.


Dr. Bethanie A. Poe, LMSW, received her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Social Work. While enrolled in the UTK Ph.D. program, Bethanie was a fellow in the Veterinary Social Work program. Bethanie began studying the Link between human and animal violence as a MSSW intern with Veterinary Social Work. During her internship, Bethanie worked to increase public awareness and advocated for pets being allowed on Orders of Protection, which became the law in Tennessee in 2007. Her work experiences include the areas of domestic violence, child welfare, and mental health education.

Bethanie’s research interests include the Link between human and animal violence, child abuse, domestic violence, compassion fatigue, suicide prevention, social welfare policy, and teaching methods. Her dissertation which focused on cross reporting by animal welfare professionals in Tennessee.

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