New Zealanders consider their companion animals to be members of the family,1 however, this close bond increases the animal’s risk of abuse, especially if other forms of family violence are occurring in the home2.
When humans are cruel to animals, they are more likely to mistreat and abuse the vulnerable people around them.

Over forty years of research recognises the common roots of violence towards humans and animals, and the close link between animal cruelty, family violence, and child abuse.     

SPCA Targeted Interventions Portal is an online practice resource for practitioners, students, and scholars. 

The Portal was developed in collaboration with New Zealand practitioners and academics to support the early identification of co-existing human victimisation and animal cruelty, and to address the enduring social and emotional impact of animal cruelty on children and adults.


About SPCA Targeted Interventions

Early identification of child victimisation, family violence and co-existing animal cruelty

Animal Cruelty Defined

“Socially unacceptable non-accidental behaviour that causes unnecessary pain, suffering, distress or death."





The Connection Between Family Violence and Animal Cruelty


Animal Cruelty Information For Practitioners