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Introduction to Animal Abuse Evaluations

Online CE Course

Introduction to Animal Abuse Evaluations

CE Course - In-person, Online (and Hybrid) Options Available

March 27 - June 2
Thursday 6-8pm
10-Week Online Course
Join the class in the classroom or watch a live feed online!
Learn at your own pace with weekly assignments throughout the Spring Quarter

Cost for 10-Week Quarter:
Professional: $625
DU Affiliate: $599
Plus option for additional consultation services available through Denver FIRST for professionals new to these evaluations

This course offers 2.0 CEU.

Register today!

Animal cruelty is not only traumatic to the animal victims, but research has shown that people who engage in cruelty or harmful behavior to animals are more likely to harm humans in the future. The correlation between animal cruelty and risk for abusive behavior towards people, most often observed in the context of family violence, is referred to as the LINK. The FBI is tracking animal cruelty cases in its efforts to predict violence and the larger criminal justice system is just now building the expertise to effectively evaluate individuals engaged in cruelty toward animals. In Colorado, the courts are now requiring evaluations in cases of animal cruelty but there are very few providers credentialed to complete the evaluations. In fact, until recently, there were no academic programs providing training and guidance on how to perform these specific types of evaluations. SPACES ARE LIMITED - DON'T WAIT TO SECURE YOUR SPOT!

Read the full course description

This graduate-level course will examine animal cruelty, defining the risk factors at the individual, community, and societal levels. The course covers the dimensions of animal welfare; risk factors; typologies of individuals who engage in animal cruelty; legal considerations; assessment procedures (for youth and adults); the populations and settings where animal abuse is most prevalent; and the evaluation, sentencing, and treatment of individuals who engage in violence toward animals.

Students will also learn from guest speakers, such as judges, prosecutors, forensic clinical specialists, veterinarians, human law enforcement and probation officers, with expertise in responding to animal cruelty cases. One of these experts is the GSSW's Clinical Professor Philip Tedeschi, Executive Director of IHAC, who recently authored a chapter in the Oxford Press's publication, "Animal Maltreatment: Forensic Mental Health Issues and Evaluations."

Come away with a deeper understanding of the connection between animal cruelty and acts of violence against humans, and the skills to evaluate individuals who engage in cruelty or harmful behavior to animals. At the conclusion of the course, non-licensed students may request a list of supervisors if they wish to conduct an animal abuse evaluation and consultation services are available through Denver FIRST for licensed professionals who are new to these evaluations.

Learning Objectives:

Students who complete the course will meet the following learning objectives: 
  • Perform a Forensic Animal Maltreatment Evaluation (FAME)
  • Knowledge of the contexts and settings in which animal abuse occurs, the link between interpersonal violence and animal abuse, and risk factors and treatment considerations of individuals who abuse animals
  • Become LINK-informed: Understand the human-animal bond at various levels of society, the bond's relevance to evaluating the values and ethics that inform animal abuse legislation, learn how to work from a human-animal bond-centered approach to public safety, and learn the skills needed to assess and intervene in the identification and treatment of animal abuse in a variety of settings 

Download a PDF of the course description and instructor bio here.



For registration and information contact the Center for Professional Development at  or 303-871-4161

This program is approved for 3 CEU. The University of Denver, Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GSPP maintains responsibility for this program and its content.