About the Colorado Link Project

The Link® refers to the relations between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence; child and elder maltreatment; criminal behavior and the human-animal bond. On August 1, 2008 the Animal Assistance Foundation  released a request for proposal for the development of an educational curriculum on the Link® between human violence and animal abuse.  The Institute for Human-Animal Connection (the Institute) at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work received funding from the Animal Assistance Foundation to implement the Colorado LINK Project Link definition(the project).  The overall mission of the Colorado
LINK Project is for Colorado to become a “model state” in regards to the state’s awareness and response to the Link®.

If one views the Link® from the perspective of a health and public safety standpoint, it is reasonable to also recognize that early identification, accurate assessment of offending typologies and effective interventions can reduce and/or prevent future violence towards both humans and animals. Animal abuse occurs in myriad settings and the Institute determined that the development a systemic and multifaceted response to the Link® would have greater effectiveness than a single, generalized curriculum.   The first year of the project has focused on information gathering, networking and needs assessment activities focused on learning how the Link® is understood and addressed in the State of Colorado across the many disciplines which are affected by, and respond to, the Link®.  The Colorado LINK Project has developed working relationships with a variety of agencies and organizations already addressing the Link® in Colorado.  

The Colorado link project has worked with

the Colorado Alliance for Cruelty Prevention (CACP);
the Colorado Association of Animal Control Officers (CAACO);
the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA);
the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (DVOMB);
the Sex Offender Management Board 

and other disciplines such as law enforcement and animal control, district attorneys, domestic violence agencies, etc.


Hammer DogCurrently the project is collaborating with a variety of multidisciplinary groups across Colorado to develop and implement training and educational activities that will assist in raising community awareness of the Link®; building community collaborations; providing discipline specific information and resources designed to support effective identification and assessment of animal cruelty; and developing effective intervention strategies.

For more information please contact the Colorado LINK Project.

Link Relationships

Jim Pyle, LCSW
Colorado LINK Project Manager