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PR ACT Launches Examination of Role of Animals in Domestic Violence

Humane Society of Southern Arizona



Coalition Recognizes National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For Immediate Release

September 14, 2001

Contact information regarding this public awareness campaign:
Marsh Myers or Jami McDowell, Humane Society of Southern Arizona:
(520) 321-3704, Ext. 125 or 141
Mike Lent, DVM, Animal Cruelty Taskforce Co-Chairman: (520) 885-3594

Regarding law enforcement and prosecution information:
Det. Mike Duffey, Pima County Sheriff’s Department: (520) 741-4751
Laura Brynwood or Pat Mehrhoff, City of Tucson Attorney’s Office: 791-5492, Ext. 1510 or 1515

Regarding domestic violence issues:
Rebecca Edmonds, Governor’s Office on Family Violence Prevention: (520) 906-9961

Tucson – October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona (ACT) is spending the month examining the role of animals in family violence.

“When most people think about the victims of domestic violence, they typically think of people… men, women and children,” said Dr. Mike Lent, Co-Chairman of ACT and President of the Southern Arizona Veterinary Medical Association. “ACT’s attempt is to raise awareness of the role of animals as victims in the home. The fact is that the dog or the cat are usually the first victims of this kind of violence, but they are also the last to be recognized or rescued.”

Every Monday from October 1st through 22nd, ACT will address multiple topics on the subject of animals and domestic violence with press releases and special events.

Week of October 1: ACT will examine the link between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence, including the groundbreaking psychological studies pioneered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and others which retooled how law enforcement approach these types of crimes.

Week of October 8: ACT will examine the similarities between children and animals in domestic violence situations, including similar abuse scenarios and how abused boys and girls will often vent their pain and frustration on the family pets.

Week of October 15: ACT will examine how batterers will use and abuse animals as a means of controlling other family members. Available information will include case studies and statistical studies from all over the country.

Week of October 22: In anticipation of Halloween, ACT will conclude its month-long campaign with an examination of ritualistic abuse of animals. Included will be Halloween safety tips for pet owners and information on the role of Satanic “dabblers,” young people who abuse animals as part of occultist beliefs.

ACT’s campaign will also include a free daylong seminar entitled “The Role of Animals in Domestic Violence” on October 10th. This free seminar will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the downtown branch of the Tucson-Pima Public Library. The seminar will deal with all these topics in greater detail and will provide participants with free literature and resources. Attendance is limited to 50 people and pre-registration is required by contacting Jami McDowell at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona at 321-3704, Ext. 141.

Additional information on ACT’s campaign is available by contacting the Humane Society at 321-3704, Ext. 125 or 141 or visiting the ACT website at

Courtesy of

3450 N Kelvin Blvd
Tucson, Arizona 85716
Shelter Phone: (520) 327-6088

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