Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

Animals and Society Institute, Ann Arbor, MI

Good Cause:

The Animals and Society Institute helps improve and expand knowledge about human-animal relationships in order to create safer and more compassionate communities for all. We direct ASI's Human-Animal Program that equips people who are working in the areas of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention and treatment of animal abuse with state-of-the-art resources. We train human service providers to identify, evaluate, and treat individuals who have abused animals. We provide the public and a wide range of professionals with information and resources, including a database of effective and promising human-animal interaction programs and practices, virtual trainings and in-person presentations on children’s relationships with animals, and diversion and intervention programs. Our research-to-practice briefs translate research on human-animal relationships into information that shelter, rescue and other “hands-on” animal agency professionals can use to improve the well-being of animals and people alike.

Great Results:

Lisa worked with ASI from 2012 to 2020. Highlights of her work include:

  • Writing a winning $50,000 grant proposal to Maddie’s Fund to evaluate pet-friendly homeless shelters’ current approaches to handling animals accompanied by people experiencing homelessness, documenting lessons learned and best practices. The goal is to use the project findings to inform development of animal-friendly policies and practices in homeless shelters nationwide, reducing the likelihood that animals will be relinquished simply because their caregivers are experiencing a period of homelessness. Read the final report Maddie’s Fund Final Report_June 2020 and the executive summary Maddie’s Fund Executive Summary 2020.
  • Creating a one-of-a-kind, 16-week intervention/diversion program for animal abuse offenders and a half-day psycho-educational program designed to teach participants how to care responsibly and empathically for companion animals. The program is being used in Syracuse and Rochester, NY, and Maricopa County, AZ.
  • Conceptualizing and implementing a successful fundraising campaign to support scholarships for ASI’s first-ever Summer Institute for human-animal studies scholars, exceeding the fundraising goal by more than 50%.
  • Developing a conceptual framework (logic model) to integrate multiple program components and guide program development and expansion.
  • Leading a strategic planning effort for a Kansas City coalition that is now working to raise awareness of the relationship between animal cruelty and other forms of violence.
  • Leading a strategic planning effort for the Animals and Society Institute.
  • Writing a case statement to be used for fundraising.
  • Developing communication tools, including elevator speeches, brochures, and a comprehensive messaging grid to support all of ASI’s communication efforts.
  • Working with Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI) to create a training on the relationship between animal cruelty and other types of violence and antisocial behavior to be presented to more than 100 imams at the College of Sharia Law in Israel. This is the first in a 40-hour series on human-animal relationships designed to engage the imams in improving the lives of animals in Israel.

  • Writing a successful grant proposal to expand our work in Chicago and Ohio. In both Chicago and Columbus, Ohio we have conducted workshops for juvenile probation officers, prosecutors, judges, and domestic violence service providers on animal abuse, its relevance to their work, and the critical role they play in early identification and intervention. We have also trained mental health professionals in AniCare, the first psychological treatment model for people who abuse animals. As a result of our work, youth who enter the Cook County, IL court system are now regularly screened for exposure to animal abuse as either a witness or a victim, and intervention is provided, as needed.
  • Being invited by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary to participate in the Department of Justice’s Animal Cruelty—Public Safety Listening Session. The purpose of the event was to facilitate a conversation among 20 experts from various fields, including research and practice, about priorities in responding to animal cruelty and the nexus between animal cruelty and public safety. The Department of Justice sought to identify gaps that need to be addressed, explore strategies to address those gaps, and identify promising practices that could be replicated.
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