Valuable Counseling Resources Now Widely Available in New Mexico

Judges and District Attorneys Receive List of AniCare Therapists

In March, APNM provided another valuable tool to the statewide toolbox aimed at interrupting the cycle of violence that often begins with animal abuse. As a follow-up to last year’s comprehensive training offered to therapists, social workers and counselors in treating animal abusers, APNM is now maintaining a statewide list of those specially Trained AniCare Therapists.

 
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APNM’s list of Trained AniCare Therapists includes therapists & social workers who participated in our Summer 2011 AniCare Training Workshops, co-sponsored by APNM and the NM Department of Public Safety.
“I want to thank you for providing the therapist list. I can already see some cases where it might be very useful and will file it away for referrals as appropriate. Thanks.”
- Judge William H. White, Edgewood

When cases of animal abuse are pursued by prosecutors and the courts, it’s often crucial that, in addition to penalties, offenders be ordered to receive counseling as part of their sentencing. District attorneys and judges need to know that specially trained counselors are widely available to provide this service.

APNM recently sent the new list of AniCare therapists to the district attorneys and district court judges in all 13 New Mexican judicial districts, as well as to all municipal and magistrate court judges around the state. The AniCare Therapist list consists of approximately 20 trained therapists and social workers who are now available for referrals from the courts to provide the AniCare Approach for Assessment and Treatment of Juveniles and Adults Who Abuse Animals.

The AniCare Approach emphasizes the abuser’s need to acknowledge accountability for his or her behavior, to take responsibility for those actions, and to develop respect and empathy for both animals and people. Created in 1999, the AniCare Model is the first professionally developed, comprehensive psychological intervention program for animal abusers.

The incontrovertible link between animal cruelty and other violent behavior, including child abuse, spousal battery and other types of criminal violence, means that addressing the attitude and behavior of animal cruelty offenders is essential to breaking this cycle of violence.

New Mexico’s animal cruelty statute 30-18-1 mandates that juveniles convicted of cruelty to animals be referred for assessment and any necessary psychological counseling or treatment. The statute also states that adult offenders convicted of cruelty or extreme cruelty to animals may be referred for psychological counseling.

With the widespread availability of specially trained counselors, both DA’s and judges have ready resources to further support this approach to counseling as part of sentencing and/or probation requirements for every animal cruelty offender. Providing this information to those in the criminal justice system reinforces the idea that specialized therapy is a critical part of the rehabilitation processes for offenders to interrupt the cycle of violence that is so damaging to our communities.

For more information about AniCare or the list of AniCare Therapists, please go to www.nmanicare.com or contact APNM’s Sharon Jonas at 505-265-2322, ext. 23.