Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Prevention - Long Beach, CA

End Abuse Long Beach
Since 1975

CAMFT Approved Continuing Education Provider

February 13 Program Agenda

"Animal Safety Net (ASN):
Redefining animal abuse as family violence

Melanie Wagner, M.S.Ed. Director of Humane Education, spcaLA 323-353-4146


Thursday, February 13, 2014


8:00 - 8:20 a.m. Networking & Introductions
8:20 - 9:30 a.m. - Program


Alpert Jewish Community Center, Senior Room
3801 E. Willow St, Long Beach, CA 90815

EALB will provide 1 CEU to MFTs/LCSWs in attendance (free to EALB members, $10 for non-members).
Approval No. PCE 4131

Melanie Wagner Melanie Wagner, M.S.Ed. has been the Director of Humane Education for the spcaLA since 2004. In that time she has overseen many community education programs; programs such as Teaching Love and Compassion (TLC): a violence prevention program for at-risk youth, jTLC: A violence intervention program for juvenile animal abuse offenders, as well as the spcaLA's well established Friends for Life Kids' Camps. Melanie also heads up the Animal Safety Net (ASN) program at the spcaLA, which is designed to help survivors of domestic violence escape their abusers by offering a safe haven for their pets in their time of crisis. Melanie received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Buffalo, with a minor in animal behavior. She later went on to receive her M.S.Ed. in Counseling Education at Canisius College. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate, in Leadership and Social Change, through Antioch University. Melanie is committed to community education, violence prevention, and the value of caring for our non-human animal friends. She believes that compassion and empathy are contagious, and that spreading the knowledge is what will ultimately shift the way people view the role of animals in our lives.

Domestic violence not only affects humans, it also affects pets. When domestic violence occurs, pets are often threatened or harmed by the violent partner. In addition, when survivors attempt to leave the hostile situation, animals might be used to coerce and control them into staying.

Through the spcaLA, Animal Safety Net (ASN) assists many domestic violence survivors by offering temporary housing for their pets, taking them out of harm's way, and allowing domestic violence survivors to relocate to a shelter. By providing shelter and care for pets, ASN helps survivors leave an abusive home and go to a domestic violence shelter without the fear that their animals may be left behind in a dangerous environment.

This presentation will discuss how animal abuse is highly integrated in the cycle of violence and should be redefined as a form of family violence.  Also discussed will be how advocates can assist clients who have animals in need and the free resource available to them.

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Opinions expressed are those of the speaker and not necessarily those of the Council and its membership.
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