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September 23, 2003

Colorado Alliance for Cruelty Prevention




  • Introductions
  • What’s happened since the last meeting?
  • Recap of last meeting
  • Large group discussion of possible strategies
  • Next steps 

Meeting Participants

  • Aura Leigh Ferguson (Jeffco DA’s Office)
  • Joan Casey (American Humane Association)
  • Aubrey Lavizzo (Vet)
  • Kay Dahlinger (City of Aurora)
  • Diane Balkan (Denver DA’s Office)
  • Mary Haave (referred by Jeffco DA’s Office, Linda Lincoln)
  • Barbara Novoryta (Denver Dumb Friends League)
  • Trish Thibodo (Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Bill Walters (Colorado Bar Association)
  • Noni Mayfield (CBA intern)
  • Beth Cunningham (CBA intern)
  • Kath Schoen (CBA)
  • Judy Gordon (facilitator)


Next Meeting

Tuesday October 21, 2003, 7:30-9:00AM at CBA

  • Half-hour presentation by Diane Balkin – a mini-version of the training she does on the link between animal abuse and family violence
  • A representative from DVERT will be invited to come and share the details of that successful collaborative model.
  • Consider how to develop group name and tagline (catchy words).
  • Plan for expansion of members to include greater diversity, other professionals, others from the Aurora Link Project.


What’s happened since the last meeting?

  • CBA has created an intranet site exclusively for use by the collaborative.
  • Reviewed what is currently up there.
  • Distributed copy of home page.
  • Invited members to send in items to share.
  • Will add a section on calendar items. (Members need to keep CBA apprised of events they want publicized on the site.)

Members shared news from their various organizations/affiliations.

  • Diane Balkin is conducting a training on the link for the Denver Domestic Violence Task Force and she invited any interested members to attend (Thursday September 25 10-11:30AM at Denver Police Department District 1). She is also speaking at COVA conference.
  • Kay Dahlinger reported that the 10/16 training (by the Aurora Link Project) has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for 4/22/04. There will be two half-day segments. The reason for the rescheduling is partly because the new video is not yet available.
  • Barbara Novoryta reported that the Denver Dumb Friends League is collaborating with SafeHouse and CCADV in promoting the link at respective events. She also is getting into the schools.
  • Trish Tibodo said there is a rally on the capitol steps at 9:30AM on 10/1 to launch Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the link will be promoted there by DDFL representatives. (Joan Casey offered posters from the American Humane Association for such public promotions.)
  • Joan Casey shared that the Latham Foundation has a new video coming out on breaking the cycle. 
Recap of last meeting

Members added additional names to the list of audiences developed at the July 23rd meeting. (That list will be displayed at all meetings and can be added to at anytime.)


General Discussion
  • Members varied on their interest in defining the collaborative’s mission statement up front or waiting to see what emerges after some initial work together.
  • Members agreed that the reason they are interested in creating a collaborative is because a group can be more powerful than can each organization individually.
  • Members agreed they did not want the collaboration to repeat what is already out there. Need to reach a broader audience.
  • General descriptions of what the collaborative might be about include: raising awareness, educating, preventing, recognizing cruelty against animals and against people, taking action quickly.
  • It was noted that vets are not currently mandated to report animal abuse, but are mandated to report child abuse. This might be an area of legislative focus for the collaborative.
  • It was noted that research is not current, but that American Humane and Colorado Veterinary Medical Association recently conducted a survey that will provide some current data. 
Strategy Discussion – Messaging Campaign

Members were asked which of three possible strategies they wished to consider first: educational materials, messaging campaign, creating Safe Havens. They selected Messaging Campaign.


The following are highlights of that discussion. Group determined it would need the following resources:

  • media outlets (TV likes animals, Barbara Novoryta is speaking on Channel 9 on 10/6 about the link; Channel 9 partners with the Post)
  • spokespeople (e.g., sports figures, Rocky Auto owner, not Jake Jabs, Purina representative)
  • a hook
  • agency (advertising/public relations) support (check what is already out there that might be appropriate, group prefers not to utilize PETA information; PSYTA info might be appropriate to review)
  • good current data
  • dollars (Denver Dumb Friends League offered support here, no details at this time)


  • Therefore, it was suggested that the group focus on a one-to-two-year plan that starts with reaching professionals – developing talking points, lesson plans, and train-the-trainer opportunities.
  • Hold off on messaging campaign, but always be prepared to speak with the media.
  • Consider kicking it up to more audiences as the plan with professionals is successfully implemented.
  • It was suggested that the group focus on the association level, not the individual level, to be more efficient.
Next Steps
  • Ask a member of DVERT to attend the group’s next meeting. (DVERT is an example of a successful collaboration that this group might learn from regarding structure, focus, and implementation.) (Kath will extend the invitation to someone from DVERT).
  • Review what Diane Balkin is already doing regarding training on this subject. (She will present a mini-version of her training at the next meeting.)
  • Research what other states are doing in this area. (American Humane can help here.)
  • Work on our words (group name, tagline, etc.). (Kath Schoen, Aura Leigh Ferguson, and Kay Dahlinger offered to work on this.)
  • Work on expanding the collaborative’s membership (to include greater ethnic diversity, other professionals, more representatives from Aurora Link Project, David Geis of the Animal Assistance Fund, Division of Wildlife, Denver Municipal Shelter, members of other bar associations).



minutes prepared by Judy Gordon with asssitance from Beth Cunningham