Canadian Violence Link Coalition

What is the Violence Link?

The relationship between violence against people and animals is commonly known as the Violence Link. Evidence-based research shows that violence against animals and violence against people are not distinct or separate problems. Rather, they are part of a larger pattern of violent crimes that often co-exist. Cases of partner abuse, gang violence, youth crime, assault, homicide, sexual assault and child abuse also commonly include animal abuse.

The Canadian Violence Link Coalition (CVLC) was formed in 2018 as a result of issues brought forward at Humane Canada’s 2017 Canadian Violence Link Conference. The CVLC is committed to advancing awareness, education and training about the link between violence against humans and violence against animals. The CVLC’s goal is to introduce violence prevention and intervention strategies across the country and to establish policies and practices that make our communities safer.

If you are interested in learning more about the work of the CVLC and/or in joining the CVLC, please contact the Program Manager:


New for 2021, we are pleased to bring you the Canadian Violence Link Coalition Newsletter:

Members of the  Canadian Violence Coalition Steering Committee

Destiny Bedwell – Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Ontario 211 Service

Barbara Cartwright – Chief Executive Officer, Humane Canada™

Dr. Kendra Coulter – Associate Professor, Brock University

Tara Dobec – Assistant Crown Attorney, Ontario

Kathy Duncan  – Manager, Animal Services, City of Brampton

Dr. Amy Fitzgerald  – Professor, University of Windsor

Christine Hartig – Strategic Support Officer, By-law and Regulatory Services, City of Ottawa

The Hon. Michael A. Kelen – Retired Justice of the Federal Court of Canada

Louise Lathey  – Prevention and Enforcement Officer, BC SPCA

Michelle Lem – Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

Dallas Mack – Ontario Crown Counsel

Jenny Mason, Lawyer and Policy Advisor, PEI

Tammy Merritt  – SafePet Ontario Program Manager

Kathy Powelson – Executive Director, Paws for Hope Animal Foundation

Cassie Preston – No Pet Left Behind Coordinator, Paws for Hope Animal Foundation

Dr. Andrew Sparling, DVM – Board Member, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association

Frances Wach – Executive Director, Saskatchewan SPCA

Erin Whitmore  – Executive Director, Ending Violence Association of Canada

Dr. Jane Young  – Chair, Women for Humane Canada

Canadian Violence Link Coalition Projects Underway:

  1. Violence Link Training for police officers across the country

  2. An amendment to section 160 of the Criminal Code of Canada (bestiality)

  3. Amending ViCLAS book to add animal abuse questions

  4. Amending threat assessment questionnaires to add animal abuse questions

  5. The National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty’s 2020 Crown prosecutor training

  6. Judicial training on the Violence Link, spearheaded by The Honourable Michael A. Kelen, Retired Justice of the Federal Court of Canada

  7. Animal abuse statistics recorded by Statistics Canada (police statistics)