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July 23, 2003


Colorado Alliance for Cruelty Prevention





§         Background

§         Introductions

§         Brainstorming

§         Next Steps



Purpose of Potential Collaborative

§         Publicize how violence against animals is linked to other forms of family violence.

§         Decrease the incidences of abuse against animals in family violence situations.



Meeting Participants


§         Linda Lincoln (Jeffco DA’s Office)

§         Aura Leigh Ferguson (Jeffco DA’s Office)

§         Meredith Silverstein (American Humane Association)

§         Aubrey Lavizzo (Vet)

§         Ralph Johnson (Colorado Veterinary Medical Association)

§         Sarah Nickles (Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

§         Kay Dahlinger (City of Aurora)

§         Bill Porter (Creating Caring Communities)

§         Sharry Erzinger (Violence Prevention Education Committee,

§         Rebecca Riff (grad student in social work, working at American Humane Association)

§         Dave Shultz (Denver PD)

§         Trish Thibodo (Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

§         Jan Mickish (Mickish Consulting)

§         Bill Walters (Colorado Bar Association)

§         Greg Martin (CBA)

§         Rick Weinberg (City of Aurora)

§         Noni Mayfield (CBA intern)

§         Beth Cunningham (CBA intern)

§         Kath Schoen (CBA)

§         Judy Gordon (facilitator)



Next Meeting

§        Tuesday September, 2003, 7:30-10:00AM at CBA

§        Continue thinking about what problems/solutions group wants to work on.

§        Break into concurrent small groups and report back to large group on same day.

§        Define additional/confirm coalition partners.




The following is a synopsis of discussions at the July 23, 2003 meeting.


Background (presented by Kath Schoen)

§         The idea for the project/collaboration began with a conversation between the Colorado Bar Association’s Executive Director and the Denver Dumb Friends League Executive Director.

§         Next steps are to begin brainstorming to see what the community wants to do with the issue on a larger scale.

§         Two recent events have spurred interest and concern about animal abuse and the need to raise public awareness around the issue: (1) release of a cat in a balloon by a Denver radio station and (2) numerous area cat mutilations.



§         Participants introduced themselves.

§         CBA staff will create, distribute, and maintain a roster of participants.


Following is a selection of introductory comments.


What I bring . . .

§         “experience working with collaborations”

§         “experience dealing with this issue in my practice”

§         “ability to assess level of violence in situations”

§         “connection to DV organizations”

§         “connection to vet community”

§         “training materials”

§         “expertise with youth”

§         “review of the relevant literature and policies nationwide”

§         “training expertise”

§         “experience working with victims and perpetrators”

§         “a template for project-based collaborations”


What I hope to get from the project/What I hope the project accomplishes

§         “increase public awareness”

§         “discover the best thinking on this issue”

§         “get more people involved”

§         “earlier and continuous intervention”

§         “not start from scratch”

§         “share cross-professional perspectives”

§         “do cross-training”

§         “work on prevention and intervention, and hopefully eliminate need for prosecution”

§         “break the cycle”

§         “put info in a consumer-friendly mode”

§         “treat crimes of violence against animals and crimes of violence against humans more equitably”



§         A handout was distributed listing three problems the group may choose to address. These problems were articulated by several members prior to the convening of the larger group.

§         The problems all shared a common theme – people need more information and education about this issue.

§         The problems addressed different audiences – Professional, General Public, and Victims.

§         At the meeting, the group expanded the audiences to consider (see below).

§         The group did not discuss any strategies to address the problems. That discussion will take place at future meetings.



Preliminary List of Potential Audiences to be Served by the Collaboration:





consider two overarching categories:

(1)   animal welfare and family violence professionals

(2)   professionals who work with families on other issues


§         attorneys – civil and criminal

§         Violence Prevention Education Committee of

§         educators and researchers

§         law enforcement (probation, parole, diversion, fire department)

§         veterinarians

§         judges

§         day care providers

§         pet sitters

§         DV advocates and service providers

§         human medicine professionals (hospitals, physicians, dentists, social workers, lay health visitors, therapists)

§         human services/social services professionals

§         first responders

§         perpetrator treatment providers

§         staff at animal control/shelters

§         child protection service providers




§         PTAs

§         business community (CBA’s Domestic Violence: Make It Your Business project has been successful in reaching out to the business community)

§         taxi drivers

§         homeowner associations
















(there is a range of different ways people believe animals should be treated; cultural factors)




Highlights of General Discussion

§         Animals may serve as a hook to help make people more aware of domestic violence. (Most people have empathy around animals; we can get their attention by playing to their heart strings.)

§         Women lack resources to leave abusive situations; may not be able to take care of their animals; someone has made an offer of crates (animal shelters?); we can connect across constituencies.

§         When we say domestic violence some may not hear us.

§         Animal abuse is not just happening in domestic violence.

§         The Link is offering a training on October 16th, 2003 that is open to all interested. Kay will provide details.



Next Steps

§         CBA will circulate minutes and a roster to all in attendance and all who were on the initial invite list.

§         American Humane Association will send CBA electronic versions of a recent environmental scan and a policy matrix.

§         All other members are invited to send appropriate information to CBA to support efforts in resource mapping, building a document library.

§         CBA will make all resources available to all members who will be asked to review these pieces prior to the next meeting (Tuesday September 23, 2003 from 7:30-10:00AM at CBA).

§         CBA will provide meeting space, facilitation services, and intern services, as needed.



minutes prepared by Judy Gordon