WSAVA Webinar:  Pets and Domestic Violence – is your team prepared?

(08.06.2021) The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is to host a free webinar to highlight the impact of domestic violence on veterinary practice - patients, clients and employees.


Researchers have documented that violence towards animals can be both a component and a symptom of child, spousal and elder abuse. This means that veterinarians are increasingly being called upon to be responsive to suspected animal abuse as a sentinel indicator of other violence against human and non-human family members. This has enhanced the veterinarian’s role in One Health and public health responses to family and community violence.


Dr Melinda Merck
The webinar will be led by Dr Melinda Merck, former co-chair of the WSAVA’s Animal Wellness and past president of the NAVC. Dr Merck is a forensic veterinarian consulting on legal cases involving animals and chair of the NAVC VMX Veterinary Forensics: Animal CSI track.  She provides training for veterinary, attorney, and law enforcement professionals globally on the use of veterinary forensic science and medicine in the investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases.

During the webinar, she will give advice on how to spot the signs of potential domestic violence-related issues in the patient and suggest approaches to handling discussions with clients.  She will also explore the role of the wider veterinary community in the development and implementation of response programs for pets of domestic violence.

This webinar and subsequent live Q&A will be moderated by WSAVA One Health Committee Chair Dr Michael Lappin.  Dr Lappin is the Kenneth W. Smith Professor of Small Animal Clinical Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University, USA, and Director of the Center for Companion Animal Studies.

Link: Find out more about the webinar   



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