Reflections of a Student Evaluator: Animal Maltreatment as a Line in the Sand for Forensic Work

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Lavita Nadkarni

Second Advisor

Laura Meyer

Third Advisor

Karen Grabowski


Forensic psychology, Forensic assessment, Risk assessment, Animal abuse, Special populations


Animal maltreatment is a complex issue that has gained increasing public attention over the last several years. With increased attention has come misconceptions and stigma regarding the individuals who commit these offenses, and sound clinical approaches to treatment and intervention with this population are significantly lacking. Additionally, there are few forensically focused clinicians who feel willing and/or equipped to work with this population. The purpose of this paper is to examine my experiences as a student evaluator, exploring how they highlight the characteristics of this subset of offenders, and thereby suggesting best practices for evaluation and treatment to help prevent further victimization. Data and case examples from a university-based training clinic are provided to illustrate the complexities noted within these cases. Personal experiences are also shared to emphasize the importance of self-reflective practice and supervision when engaging in this type of work.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


32 pgs

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