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New approach to addressing animal abuse

Animal abuse comes in many forms and so a group of community professionals are working to identify the signs of an animal abuser.

Posted: Feb 26, 2020 6:26 PM

Spring Farm Cares brought together a number of community professionals to address the problems associated with animal welfare and animal abuse. Spring Farm Cares Co-Founder/Director Dawn Hayman organized an Intervention workshop that stressed the importance of why everyone from law enforcement and veterinarians, to animal shelters and mental health specialists need to work together.

"It’s a society problem. Animal cruelty’s just a symptom of something, and we’ve known that. I mean I’ve been in this business for 32 years now, and I’ve watched the changes in the last 32 years and seeing what’s happening, and animals take the hit, but you can’t just address it at the animal level. You have to go to the source of the problem."

Mental health is typically the core of where animal cruelty starts, but Mental Health Counselor Kelsey Mooney tells us getting people the right treatment isn’t an easy task.

"In Oneida County, mental health counselors, social workers, psychologists… they’re filled. They’re absolutely swamped with people, and it’s very difficult to find somebody that might specialize in what you need."

Kim Ferris-Church is a Humane Education Manager Lollypop Farm. She's working on a program in Monroe County that treats people with animal abuse problems. The program provides 12 weeks of therapy, much like addiction counseling.

"Each session goes through various things like anger management, responsible pet care, substance abuse, and we’re addressing the needs of the people in the program in a non-judgemental way so we can really make an impact in their life, and so then we’re hoping by doing this we’re offering support, we’re educating people about the needs of animals, and then we’re preventing future abuse from happening."

Oneida County currently doesn’t have an Animal Crimes Intervention Program, but Spring Farm Cares is hoping to help start a program in the area as a way of protecting animals and human beings.

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