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State Agencies Embrace Link Training

Juvenile & Adult Probation/Parole Officers Appreciate New Perspective in Homes and Communities


“The training brought up good information - thinking about animal abuse in a different light, connected to other problems.” – Corrections Department officer after attending a recent Link training course

In the wake of a tragic incident last year in which a pack of dogs attacked and killed a woman in Truth or Consequences, it became apparent that social service workers and others who work in New Mexico’s communities could benefit from a greater understanding of the cost and consequences of unaddressed animal neglect and cruelty.

With more understanding of New Mexico laws related to animal cruelty and who to contact, dangerous situations such as this one will be less likely to occur. Armed with more information about the link between family violence and animal cruelty, what “animal cruelty” really means and how it’s defined under the New Mexico statute, as well as how to report animal cruelty or potentially dangerous dogs, workers who encounter abuse of a family member or animals will have the tools they need to intervene and keep everyone safer.

In partnership with the Animals and Society Institute (ASI), Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM) is now working with New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) and New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) to provide this crucial information. Throughout the rest of 2012 and into 2013, APNM is coordinating a series of four-hour training sessions on ‘The Link Between Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence.’

At the foundation of the Link Training is one simple, proven idea: When animals are being abused, people are at risk, and when people are abused, animals are also at risk. With the intention of getting more eyes and ears in the community to more quickly identify and report animal cruelty and neglect, APNM, ASI and its partners in state government aim to make New Mexico’s communities safer for people and animals.

Recognizing the importance of this information, the NMCD Training Committee made our Link Training mandatory for all current officers statewide! Training began in July at both NMCD and CYFD for adult and juvenile probation and parole officers as well as child protective services. After successful sessions in Albuquerque and Farmington, we will soon be visiting regional offices in Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Roswell, and Las Cruces, and - looking ahead to 2013 - additional sites for CYFD will be discussed in the Fall. The response from officers has been very enthusiastic, and APNM staff will continue to work with training directors in both agencies toward making this training a permanent and mandatory part of staff training and development. “The issues presented illustrated a link between animal abuse and domestic violence that I hadn’t thought about,” said one participant. “Excellent training,” said another, “great information, and very effective.”

APNM has created a Pocket Resource Guide with essential contact information for reporting animal cruelty and emergency resources

A critical component of the training is to provide essential information and resources for on-the-scene response. Toward that end, APNM created a Pocket Resource Guide that includes the Link concept, brief overviews of New Mexico’s animal cruelty laws and the Dangerous Dog Act, emergency resources for reporting animal abuse, vicious dogs, domestic violence or other life-threatening situations, and other essential contact information. While producing this handy pocket guide for CYFD and NMCD officers, APNM staff realized that this tool could be just as useful for many other professionals whose work brings them in close contact with residents in neighborhoods throughout the state. Providing this information to property assessors, insurance adjusters, utility workers, real estate agents, housing associations, and others could help interrupt the crushing cycle of violence that often begins at home, behind closed doors. Moving forward, APNM will seek out grants to support the expansion of this project to reach more people in New Mexico communities.

If you’d like to support APNM in getting this critical information literally into the hands of more New Mexicans to help identify and report animal abuse, please make a donation today and note “pocket guide” on your check or online form.


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Animal Protection of New Mexico, Inc. (APNM)

P.O. Box 11395, Albuquerque, NM 87192
(505) 265-2322 | (505) 265-2488 (fax) | email APNM
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