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October 21, 2003

Colorado Alliance for Cruelty Prevention




  • Presentation by Officer Joe Stafford, Douglas County Animal Welfare Officer (subject: his experience as member of DVERT – Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team in Colorado Springs)
  • Presentation by Diane Balkin, Denver District Attorney’s Office (subject: the training she does for various audiences on link between family violence and animal abuse)
  • Next Steps



Meeting Participants

  • Diane Balkin (Denver DA’s Office)
  • Joan Casey (American Humane Association)
  • Mary Haave (referred by Jeffco DA’s Office, Linda Lincoln)
  • Rhoda Hafiz (Student Animal Legal Defense Fund)
  • Betty House (Family Tree Women in Crisis)
  • Ralph Johnson (Colorado Veterinary Medical Association)
  • Barbara Novoryta (Denver Dumb Friends League)
  • Meredith Silverstein (American Human Association)
  • Noni Mayfield (CBA intern)
  • Beth Cunningham (CBA intern)
  • Judy Gordon (facilitator)




Next Meeting

Tuesday November 25, 2003, 7:30-9:00AM at CBA

  • Share information on statewide professional associations to target for initial outreach/training campaign.
  • Consider group name and tagline.




Joe Stafford’s Presentation

Joe shared his experience with DVERT.

  • DVERT was formed in 1996 and now includes 36 different agencies. Representatives of 11 of these agencies are housed in one location that is independent of any of the partner agencies (includes law enforcement, victim advocacy, prosecution, child protective services, animal welfare, and CASA). Each member has equal say.
  • Their caseload is the 50 most lethal cases of domestic violence in the Colorado Springs area.
  • The animal perspective is present. The team recognizes that violence cuts across categories and that animal cruelty is often an early warning sign of violent tendencies that will eventually be acted out against people.
  • Joe was asked if vets were on board with DVERT and he acknowledged that is a weakness (due to a political issue); although Joe feels he is accepted and respected by the vet community. Member Betty House noted that the Aurora Link also has difficulty getting vets on board.
  • (Staff will ask Joe to send an electronic version of his handout for the purpose of posting it on the collaborative’s Intranet site.)



Diane Balkin’s Presentation
  • Diane uses a PowerPoint presentation that combines simple one-line text statements with lots of still photos (abuse and recovery in some cases) and some video clips, complete with audio portion. She incorporates humor.
  • Her handout is not a handout of the PowerPoint presentation and she does not distribute her handout until the conclusion of the presentation. It includes: How to Recognize Abuse; What to do When You Suspect Abuse; If You Conclude There’s Abuse; Why It’s Critical to Act; Breaking the Cycle of Violence and Abuse; Violent Perpetrators and Their Prior History of Animal Abuse; Factors in the Assessment of Dangerousness in Perpetrators of Animal Cruelty; Excerpts of Statutes and Ordinances; DVERT’s Referral Form; Resource Listing.
  • Diane says she knows the training is successful because she gets reporting calls from vets afterwards and gets requests for trainings from new audiences. Another sign of success is that she is currently working with the Denver Police Department to revise their operations manual.
  • Diane is willing to have others use pieces of the training she does, but emphasizes that anyone using the info needs to keep the statistics up-to-date.
  • (Staff will ask Diane to send an electronic version of her handout for the purpose of posting it on the collaborative’s Intranet site.)
  • (Following the meeting, Diane sent a listing of the trainings she has done to date. The list of trainings will be posted to the collaborative’s Intranet site.)



General Discussion
  • Ralph noted that there is growing interest in this topic within the vet community.
  • Group agreed that there is a lot of information (in addition to Diane’s presentation) from which to pull what the collaborative as a group will distribute/present. These materials need to be pulled together at a central source.
  • Meredith shared that the American Humane Association is doing a conference in Tennessee in November on the link; AHA will share that info with the collaborative upon their return.
  • Betty shared that the Link’s video will be ready soon.



Strategy Discussion – Outreach to Professionals
  • The collaborative can be a ready-made speakers bureau.
  • Collecting testimonials from vets who would speak to the value of the training/awareness about the link would be a valuable marketing tool.
  • Members will be asked to identify the statewide professional associations the collaborative should target and provide information about when these associations hold regular meetings and conferences in 2004. The collaborative will attempt to get on those meeting/conference agendas.



Next Steps
  • Members bring to the next meeting information about what statewide professional associations the collaborative should target (along with details of those associations’ regular meetings and conferences).
  • Consider group name and tagline.
  • Begin to pull together materials to be used in outreach to professional associations.


minutes prepared by Judy Gordon