The Link Between Family Violence & Animal Cruelty:  A Community-Wide Approach to Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

Conference Schedule

8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Registration 

8:30 a.m.-8:35 a.m. Welcome Remarks
Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney, Dane County Sheriff's Department

8:35 a.m.-9:35 a.m. Vulnerable Together: The Link between Family Violence and Animal Cruelty
This opening session will introduce us to domestic violence, including the link between family violence and animal cruelty, from a holistic and interdisciplinary perspective.
Speakers: Mallory Saurer, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services; Phil Arkow, National LINK Coalition
9:35 a.m.-10:35 a.m. The Role of Veterinarians in Recognizing and Preventing Abuse
Veterinarians play a critical role in combating the cycle of abuse for victims of domestic violence. Learn from a leading expert how to recognize and address animal abuse, including through veterinary forensics, as part of the complex, family dynamic of power and control.
Speaker: Dr. Yvonne Bellay, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
10:35 a.m.-10:50 a.m. Break

10:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. The Importance of Law Enforcement Related to Crimes Against Animals
On the front line, law enforcement officers play a key role in recognizing and preventing animal abuse and family violence. This session will discuss investigations of crimes against animals, as well as the relationship between animal cruelty and other forms of violence.
Speaker: Lindsey Ludden, City of Madison Police Department; John Thompson, National Sheriffs’ Association

12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Lunch Break (lunch not provided)

1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Legal Strategies for Addressing the Link Between Family Violence & Animal Cruelty
Learn how animal protection attorneys use criminal and civil laws and legal strategies to address the link between animal cruelty and family violence to effect change within the legal system.
Speakers: Diane Balkin, Animal Legal Defense Fund; Joe Goode, Laffey, Leitner & Goode

2:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m. Break

2:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Advocacy in Action: How Community Stakeholders Can Effect Change for all Victims of Family Violence
“It takes a village” is common theme referencing an entire community of different people interacting with children in order for children to experience and grow in a safe environment. The same can be said for combating the cycle of abuse within communities. This panel will address ways in which community stakeholders work to create a safe environment for all victims of family violence.
Speakers: Bob Schwalb, Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers; Megan A. Senatori, Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims; Tony Wilkin Gibart, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin; Eric Holsinger, Dane County Humane Society

4:15 p.m. Closing Remarks
Pamela Hart, Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims Co-Founder

4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Reception with keynote address and book signing
Keynote AddressHealing the After Effects of Trauma in People and Dogs with Dr. Patricia McConnell

The conference will be followed by a SAAV Reception with keynote speaker, Dr. Patricia McConnell, on Healing the After Effects of Trauma in People and Dogs. Dr. McConnell is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) who is known worldwide as an expert on canine and feline behavior and dog training, and for her engaging and knowledgeable dog training books, DVDs and seminars.  Dr. McConnell will also be available for signing her book, The Education of Will: Healing a Dog, Facing My Fears, Reclaiming My Life.

Please join SAAV, Dr. Patricia McConnell and fellow community advocates for the book signing and complimentary hors d'oeuvres, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. This reception is open for both conference and non-conference attendees and will be held from 4:30-6:30 pm. Standalone reception tickets can be purchased here.

The Education of Will: Healing a Dog, Facing My Fears, Reclaiming My Life
When a troubled and aggressive young border collie named Will enters Dr. Patricia McConnell’s life, she is confronted with a problem that she has never faced in her decades working as a world-renowned animal behaviorist. Her special connection with Will triggers memories of harrowing traumas in Patricia’s own life and unearths a secret she had long repressed. In order to save Will from his dangerous behavior, Patricia must summon the courage to address her own buried emotional pain. On her journey to healing, with Will as her trusted companion, she transforms fear into compassion, confusion into insight, and isolation into empathy.

Beautifully written, interweaving enlightening accounts of other dogs she has helped with tales of her deepening bond with Will, The Education of Will chronicles Patricia’s fight to reclaim her life—and relieve Will’s fears in the process. Hopeful and inspiring, their story reminds us that, while trauma from the past casts a long shadow, healing is possible—for both people and dogs.