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sk8rgrl23 May 30th, 2007 05:40 PM

confidentiality concerning animal neglect/abuse
One of my big concerns in this field is dealing with people who abuse or neglect animals. I believe in all 50 states that therapists are madated reporters when it comes to children being abused or neglected, but no such consideration exists for animals.

I chafe when I hear of a client who breeds purebred dogs for sale. In fact, our local Humane Society will refuse to place an animal in a home without assurance that the animal will be neutered and they have turned down applications by people they know have intent to breed said animals. There's enough unwanted animals in the world without adding more, and in many cases these breeding kennels are run by people who care more about profit than the welfare of the animals in their charge.

But I'm talking about cases where I hear of clients who have thrown their animal against a wall, or leave a dog in hot weather wiht no water or sun protection. I feel I have a moral obligation to help animals in trouble,and if I could prevent someone who does that from possessing another animal again I would, and I would certainly like to see people be held accountable more often for abuse and neglect.

If ever there was a creature that had no voice, moreso even than children, it's animals. However becasue of Confidentiality (pause here for a moment of respectful silence) the abuser's right to confidentiality supercedes the animal's right to fair treatment, so when I hear things like this I"m pretty much bound by confidentiality.

I'm wondering what would it take to get animal abuse/neglect to be included in the mandated reporter clause. I am considering approaching our state board about this. I was wondering if there are other therapists who feel the same way.


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