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Date of Award

Spring 4-22-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Catherine Miller, PhD


The existing interventions for animal cruelty are lacking outcome data on decreasing animal cruelty behaviors. The purpose of this study was to further explore an intervention model for adults who engage in violent animal cruelty behaviors. The AniCare Model of Treatment for Animal Abuse is the first published intervention for adults that engage in animal cruelty. AniCare was administered to one older adult that was court-mandated for treatment. The study used a single subject design ABA design to explore the effectiveness of AniCare in decreasing animal cruelty behaviors. The measures used included the AniCare Questionnaire Pre-Treatment, AniCare Questionnaire Post-Treatment, and AniCare Factors Questionnaire. The trend of data on the AniCare Questionnaire Pre-Treatment and Post-Treatment suggested a decrease in animal cruelty behaviors. There are several additional factors that may have contributed to the outcome of the study that included: being court-mandated to treatment, reduced stress and agitation over time, benefits from engaging in therapy, and gaps during the study where no data were collected. There is a need for more research on the prevalence, assessment measures, and interventions related to animal cruelty.

Available for download on Saturday, October 24, 2020