National Link Coalition - One Health Commission

National Link Coalition


1.             Organization Name:  National Link Coalition


2.             Narrative Description


The National Link Coalition is an informal, multidisciplinary, collaborative network of professionals in animal welfare and human services who focus on “The Link” – the areas where animal cruelty, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and elder abuse intersect. We explore new developments in research, public policy and programming with a goal of transforming social services through the collaboration of humane and human services agencies. We consider human welfare and animal welfare to be inextricably intertwined and the prevention of family and community violence to be a health concern that can be addressed most effectively through partnerships representing multi-species perspectives.


3.             Purpose


The purpose of the National Link Coalition is that the Link between violence against humans and violence against animals is widely known and understood. We believe that through the recognition and integration of this understanding into policies and practices nationwide, humans and animals will be measurably safer.


4.             Type of Organization


Unincorporated network of national and local nonprofit organizations, associations and interested individuals


5.             Scope


United States, with partnerships with related organizations in the United Kingdom, Spain, The Netherlands, Canada, and elsewhere.


6.             Country and State and City


Headquarters in Stratford, NJ; Steering Committee members located across the U.S.          


7.             Primary Funders




8.             One Health Courses being taught


Extensive schedule of training lectures on the relationships between animal abuse, domestic violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse, presented to the general public and targeted professional audiences, including: veterinarians; physicians and public health; prosecutors and judges; law enforcement; social work; child protection caseworkers; domestic violence officials; adult protective services.


Monthly webinar trainings for prosecutors in handling animal cruelty cases in conjunction with the ASPCA, National District Attorneys Association, and Animal Legal Defense Fund.


9.             Other One Health Activities/Initiatives


Biennial training conferences and organizational town meetings/summits

Monthly electronic bulletin, The LINK-Letter, distributed in 25 countries with readership of over 950

Campaigns to establish community-based anti-violence coalitions


10.          Organization Website



11.          Participants and Key Collaborators


Contact Person: Phil Arkow, Coordinator

                                                                37 Hillside Road, Stratford, NJ 08084




                Steering Committee members:

                                Lesley Ashworth                                 

                                                Consultant, The Link, Worthington, Ohio

                                Barbara W. Boat, Ph.D.                       

                                      Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine 

Executive Director, Childhood Trust, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

                                Maya Gupta, Ph.D.                             

                                                Executive Director, Ahimsa House, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.

                                Jane A. Hunt                                         

                                                Violence Prevention Specialist, St Paul, Minn.

                                Mark Kumpf, CAWA                           

                                                Past President, National Animal Control Association, Dayton, Ohio

                                Randall Lockwood, Ph.D.                  

                                                Senior Vice President, Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects,                                                    ASPCA, Falls Church, Va.

                                Anna Melbin                                        

                                                Former Housing Director, National Network to End Domestic Violence                                                 Founder, Catalyst Consulting & Training, Yarmouth, Maine 

                                Emilie Meyer, J.D.                               

                                                Associate Attorney,                                                                                                                                             National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Reno, Nev.

                                Maria Luisa O’Neill                              

                                                Program Services Coordinator,                                                                                                                      National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Denver, Colo.

                                Emily Patterson-Kane, Ph.D.              

                                                Animal Welfare Scientist, Animal Welfare, American Division,
                                                   American Veterinary Medical Association, Schaumburg, Ill.

                                Allie Phillips, J.D.                                

                                                Director, National Center for Prosecution of Animal Abuse                                                                                        Deputy Director, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse 
                                                National District Attorneys Association, Alexandria, Va.

                                Chris Risley-Curtiss, MSSW, Ph.D. 

                                                Associate Professor and Animal-Human Interactions Coordinator 
                                                School of Social Work, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

                                Barbara Shaffer, MSW, LCSW           

                                                Senior Director of Chapter Services, Prevent Child Abuse America 
                                                Breckenridge, Colo.

                                Kathleen Schoen                                 

                                                Director, Family Violence Program, Colorado Bar Association  
                                                Colorado Alliance for Cruelty Prevention, Denver, Colo.

                                Hugh Tebault III                   

                                                President, The Latham Foundation, Alameda, Calif.                                       

                                Philip Tedeschi, MSSW, LCSW          

                                                Clinical Director, Institute for Human-Animal Connection,                                                                                              University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, Denver, Colo.



12.          Additional Information


With 98% of Americans considering pets to be either close companions or family members, it is apparent that animal abuse can no longer be excused, trivialized, or marginalized as an outlier, but must be considered within the broader continuum of family violence. Research continually demonstrates that acts of animal abuse serve as sentinel indicators, and frequently as predictors, of family and community violence. We believe that a collaborative approach among human and humane services organizations, on the global, national and local levels, can be more effective in addressing and preventing family and community violence. Our trainings to veterinarians cite the One Health concept as a rationale for practitioners to recognize and respond to not only animal cruelty but domestic violence and child abuse as well. The National Link Coalition is educating public and professional audiences about these connections and the many public policy, programmatic and research programs that have been undertaken in recent years.


                While the National Link Coalition is not involved with epidemiology, environmental health or infectious diseases, we are vitally interested in the perception of family and community violence as a public health concern potentially more resolvable via public health interventions than by traditional law enforcement or social services. We focus on what has been called “the dark side” of the human-animal bond: the broken bonds that emerge from negative interactions between the species and how these events frequently manifest in interpersonal violence.




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