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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!
The Link: Violence Towards Humans and Animals 

Interested in learning more about the link between human and animal violence? You might be interested in completing our online and self-paced module "The Link: Violence Towards People and Animals." This program provides the participant with an in-depth overview of the Link including historical background, modern research, and suggestions for micro and macro level interventions. Topics covered include: definitions of animal abuse and the Link; domestic violence and animal abuse; children and animal abuse; elder abuse and animal abuse; animal hoarding; and animal fighting.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of animals in context of a family system with attention to diversity.
  • Understand the various roles of violence toward animals and its human implications.
  • Assess personal and community responsibilities toward animal abuse regulations and laws.
  • Be able to identify social work interventions pertaining to the Link both on the micro and macro levels
The Link Between Human and Animal Violence module has been approved by the NASW (provided #886617824-6327) for 15 contact hours.
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The LINK Newsletter
If you are interested in the latest updates on the link, check out The LINK newsletter. The LINK newsletter is produced by the National Link Coalition. This coalition is "working together to stop violence against people an animals”. This months newsletter focused on how animal abuse is a warning sign for family abuse and how animals can end up being a barrier for survivors to leave these abusive situations. The newsletter addresses domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, abuse of the elderly and disabled, and much more! 
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PAWS (Pets and Women Safety) Act 
Pet and Women Safety Act of 2017 would allow domestic violence protection-from-abuse orders that include pets and would be enforced across state lines. It would also make up to $3,000,000 in federal funding available to help shelters build pet friendly facilities. This would help to reduce or even eliminate the barrier pets sometimes create for survivors to escape abusive situations. The act was reintroduced in 2017 after previous versions failed to pass, and congress has yet to have a vote. Corporations and nonprofits have been pushing for the passing of the PAWS act.
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Grant funds available for Educational Outreach
The Latham Foundation for the Promotion of Humane Education is awarding grants from $5,000-$10,000 for one year and up $15,000 for two years to those who apply to support humane education outreach programs or research into the efficacy of humane education. There are some restrictions and guidelines for the grant and the deadline to apply is December 28th. 

The Latham Foundation for the Promotion of Humane Education was established by Edith and Milton Latham in 1918. It’s purpose is to “foster a deeper understanding of and sympathy with man’s relations — the animals — who cannot speak for themselves, to inculcate the higher principles of humaneness upon which the unity and happiness of the world depend, to emphasize the spiritual fundamentals that lead to world friendship, and to promote the child’s character through an understanding of universal kinship” To read more about the foundation and humane education as well as grant opportunities, please click below. 
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One Health Day 
One Health Day is November 3rd. One Health is a collaborative, multi-sectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach, working locally, regionally, nationally, and globally, to achieve optimal health and well-being of all animals, people, plants and their shared environment, recognizing their inextricable interconnections ( This model works under the promise that all health is interconnected to some extent. The health of the environment impacts the health of the animals which impact the health of humans. Contamination and disease are just two examples of how health is interconnected. Dr. Blackwell’s presentation at the Summit titled “Strengthening the Social Safety Net” gave great insight into the one health model and why it is important. The goal of One Health Day is to build the cultural will necessary for a sea change in how planetary health challenges are assessed and addressed ( The goal of One Health Day is to bring global attention to the need for One Health and to give an opportunity for people to see what it looks like “in action” and is designed to engage as many individuals as possible from as many arenas as possible.  
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Continuing Education Opportunity!
Veterinary Social Work: Ethical considerations for supporting humans in the human-animal bond
The presentation by Dr. Melissa Holcombe LCSW will explore the human-animal bond and the strategies social workers could consider while working with client populations, as well as ethical considerations for practice. This will take place in Chattanooga TN on Wednesday, November 7th. The learning objectives for this presentation include:

1. Develop an understanding of the unique characteristics of the human-animal bond and implications for social work with individuals, groups, and communities and 
2.  Identify common areas where ethical dilemmas may arise and best practices for addressing these dilemmas within the context of the NASW Code of Ethics.

Dr. Holcombe LCSW completed her Doctor of Social Work and Veterinary Social Work Certification at the University of Tennessee in 2014 and works as a School Social Worker and Homeless Liaison in Northwest Georgia. Additionally, she works as a private practice providing individual counseling for pet loss and compassion fatigue in the animal services community. 1.5 contact hours of ethics CEU credit are available from this opportunity. To read more and sign up, please click the link below. 
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Job Opportunities 

UT VSW does not endorse or verify job openings. The below job openings are an opportunity for you, the applicant, to verify and research on your own, and are not reflective of the UT VSW Program. We try to share positings that are searching for a vatriety of professionals with different educational backgrounds.

Counselor (LPC/MSW)
Pence Springs, WV
Greenbrier Academy has an excellent position for a highly motivated psychotherapist who needs personal challenges and self-growth opportunities, and one who will work with a team of therapists at a non-acute residential center/therapeutic-academic boarding school for girls. Therapy at GBA is delivered in various contexts including local and international service trips, equine and other animal assisted therapy, and indigenous village. 
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Animal Assisted Therapist
Hamilton, NJ

Position Summary: To provide high quality comprehensive clinical services as an Animal-Assisted Therapist that include:
*clinical triage 
*psychosocial evaluations
*group and family treatment
*treatment plan development and coordination
*referent relations
*discharge planning
*utilization management with insurance companies
*case management with social service support systems, schools and other relevant external entities.
The above services shall be provided under supervision of the appropriate clinical discipline. This position represents the Animal-Assisted Therapy Program through a variety of mechanisms including presentations, meetings with referral sources and interviews. The Animal –Assisted Therapist may provide services at multiple sites.

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Assistant Clinical Director
Swansea, MA
Meadowridge Academy is a 36 bed therapeutic residential school that provides comprehensive treatment for adolescents with emotional and behavioral issues, mental health disorders and complex trauma histories. Our mission is to protect and support our students, while developing their strengths, teaching them skills and re-writing their stories. Our vision is to create a homelike environment that promotes wellness where all students feel truly cared for.

Job description:
*provide direct oversight of the clinical services provided to our students
*work in tandem with the Clinical Director, Program Director, and Administrative team toward a shared vision of the school and to maintain the elite reputation of Meadowridge Academy's clinical services
*direct oversight and supervision of all clinical services provided including individual, family and group therapies and unique therapies provided including, ARC, Animal Assisted Therapy, and Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Therapy
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Social Worker: Purdue Veterinary Medicine  
West Lafayette, IN 

The veterinary social work position is integrated into the Veterinary Teaching Hospital medical team, to:
* Facilitate client decision-making about their animals medical treatment, quality of life and end-of-life issues 
* Provides crisis intervention, brief counseling, and grief support for hospital clients
* Provides support, debriefing, consultation, and educational services related to client interactions and difficult medical situations to faculty, clinicians, staff and students
* Participates on committees as needed. 

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Counselor II/III-Student 
Auburn University
The Division of Student Affairs at Auburn University is seeking candidates for the position of Student Counselor in Student Counseling & Psychological Services. This is an embedded position and is housed in Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). The CVM consists of 500 professional students, 110 graduate students (including interns and residents), 459 staff, and 117 faculty members. 

Entry into the applicant pool requires a Master's degree from an accredited institution in Education, Counseling, or relevant field (e.g., Psychology, Social Work, etc.) and two (2) years experience in providing counseling or psychological services. 

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Contact Us

Veterinary Social Work Certificate Program
University of Tennessee
College of Veterinary Medicine
College of Social Work
VSW Services:
Certificate Program:

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