Understanding Animal Abuse and How to Intervene with Children and Young People : A Practical Guide for Professionals Working With People and Animals book cover
1st Edition

Understanding Animal Abuse and How to Intervene with Children and Young People
A Practical Guide for Professionals Working With People and Animals

  • Available for pre-order on March 2, 2023. Item will ship after March 23, 2023
ISBN 9780367761134
March 23, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
184 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Understanding Animal Abuse and How to Intervene with Children and Young People offers a positive, compassion-based and trauma-informed approach to understanding and intervening in animal abuse. It provides an accessible cross-disciplinary synthesis of current international evidence on animal abuse, and a toolkit for professionals working with people and/or animals to help them understand, prevent, and intervene in cases of animal abuse.

With contributions from experts in the field, this essential text offers ten user-friendly chapters with questions for reflection and key summary points. It offers a definition of animal abuse, synthesises the latest research on children, young people and animal abuse, and explores the link between animal abuse and other forms of abuse, and legal perspectives on animal abuse. The second half of the book presents a practical toolkit for professionals, offering guidance and strategies for prevention of and intervention in cases of animal abuse.  It provides multidisciplinary perspectives on interventions; from teachers’ and social workers roles in detection and intervention of childhood animal abuse, to the roles of enforcement agencies and veterinarians in legal cases of adult animal abuse.

Together with a final chapter proposing new directions for research, policy, and practice, this guide is for all who work with children, young people and/or animals, including psychologists, social workers, veterinarians, education professionals, and animal welfare educators. It is also key reading for those involved in legal and policy issues relating to animal welfare.  

Table of Contents

1. Animal abuse: A concern for all.

2. Psychological risk factors for animal harm and abuse among children and young people.

3. The links between animal abuse and domestic violence/abuse.

4. Defining animal cruelty within an international framework.

5. Investigating animal abuse and the importance of sharing intelligence.

6. What to do about animal cruelty from a veterinary perspective.  

7. Parents and professionals working with children and young people. 

8. Interventions for intentional and unintentional abuse towards animals.  

9. A toolkit for evaluating animal welfare education interventions. 

10. Animal Abuse: What we know, what we can do, and what we need to know. 

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Gilly Mendes Ferreira joined the Scottish SPCA in 2005 and together with amazing colleagues creates innovative animal welfare education initiatives, conducts research in the fields of animal welfare and human-animal interactions and engages at a political level to ensure current animal welfare legislation meets modern day issues.

Joanne M. Williams is Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology and an expert in children’s interactions with animals. Her research spans the positive effects of pets on children’s development to psychological risk factors for animal cruelty. She works extensively with the Scottish SPCA and other welfare charities to promote children’s compassion to animals.


Praise for Understanding Animal Abuse and How to Intervene

'I would encourage all people working with animals and people to read this book. 

Based in evidence, this book highlights the link between animal and human welfare and identifies the power professional agencies working together, can have in intervening in animal abuse cases.

The authors inspire the integration of animal abuse prevention into the school curriculum from the early years and also provide a structure to follow when dealing with possible childhood animal abuse cases.

This was a valuable read.'

Karen Bowman, Primary School Teacher 

‘I’m sure this book will be of great interest animal professionals and those working in the social sector. It brings together experts who show an evidence-based understanding of the facets of animal abuse and how it can be tackled. An well-referenced book that would be easy to dip into or read cover to cover. It skilfully explains the aspects of each topic and the case studies from around the world give the reader a better understanding of how these have been tackled.

Whilst reading I kept thinking how different colleagues needed to read each chapter and can imagine that this book being essential reading for anyone in the sector.’

Tracy Genever, Head of Welfare Standards and Education, Blue Cross

‘This book is a fantastic explanation of the different facets of animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence and how they intersect and relate to one another from the perspective of all the different professionals who need to be involved in these cases. It clearly demonstrates both the need and the mechanisms for greater interagency understanding, co-operation and joint working.’

David Martin BVSc MRCVS, Group Animal Welfare Advisor IVC Evidensia

‘This is an important book. It has profound implications for social work practice and training. It will help social workers to understand how crucial assessing the role of animals in children’s lives is, the early warning signs to look out for and the impact this can have on their development and behaviour, and provides clear advice on how to prevent and intervene in cases of animal abuse. Justice social workers will want to consider the implications in cases of domestic abuse and how we deliver interventions to achieve successful outcomes, including diversionary measures such as Diversion from Prosecution, restorative justice and as part of a community payback order. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.’

James Maybee, Justice Policy & Practice Lead, Social Work Scotland

‘This book could save lives, animal and human.  The link between human abuse and animal abuse could not be clearer, the evidence is laid bare, and for many professionals working in social care or animal welfare the effects of this link will be sadly familiar.  This seminal book shows how we can intervene, whether we are a teacher, social worker, a vet, or animal welfare professional, we have a role to play and if we work together to spot signs early and act in alliance, we can prevent the worst from happening.

Importantly Gilly and Jo, both experts with a long history in this field, take us further still to explore ways in which we can prevent animal abuse happening through evidence based education programmes for children at risk of abusing or more generally as part of their education.

Whether you are in animal welfare, a teacher, a vet or a social worker I would recommend this as a must read book, it is highly informative, practical and for me, an inspiration.’

Kelly Grellier – Chief Operating Officer, Blue Cross