(aka) Animals and Society Institute
2512 Carpenter Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Making a difference in the lives of children and animals: AniCare Child
Mariah has always wanted to help children. That is why she became a counselor who worked with the children of domestic violence. Although she is a lifelong animal lover and has two animal companions, she never made the connection between animal welfare and child welfare. However, her interest was piqued when she saw an announcement for a workshop on "the violence connection" that also offered training to counselors on AniCare Child, a handbook designed for assessing and treating juvenile animal cruelty. As she listened to the research showing how cruelty to animals was linked to family violence and other violent crimes, Mariah found herself making connections to some of the children she saw. She also found the practical strategies, materials, and tools that AniCare Child offered very promising and decided to use the AniCare approach with her children. One year later, at another workshop, she remarked, "I found a big difference when I started asking children about the animals in their lives. I discovered that many of the children were acting out their victimization by victimizing pets in the home. Finding this out early helped me tailor my intervention to address that problem. It helped the child and it helped the animals, too.