In June 2014 professionals from thirteen organizations including those in adult protective services, domestic violence, animal protection, veterinary medicine, public health, social work, mental health, substance abuse, academia, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, met in Oklahoma City to form the first Link Coalition in Oklahoma. The Link refers to the connection between animal cruelty and domestic violence. Once viewed by law enforcement as a tangential concern better left to animal welfare organization, animal cruelty is now becoming recognized as part of a larger network of violence and crime including domestic and child abuse, drug trafficking, gambling, illegal firearms possession, rape, and murder.
The National Link Coalition is a national initiative to address the link through education, public policy, programs, and research (nationallinkcoalition.org). Based on the ideas started at the national level, the Oklahoma Link mission is "to promote prevention, education and intervention to end violence against people and animals in Oklahoma." The Oklahoma group meets once a month to discuss topics related to the link. The group also aims to provide information to professionals about the public through presentations and handout materials.
The Oklahoma Link coalition meets monthly in Oklahoma City. If you are interested in attending these monthly meetings or finding out more about the organization, please visit the Oklahoma Link coalition's facebook page.