Stop animal abuse before it starts

Animal abuse is often also a sign of domestic violence.

How do you feel about animal abuse? It’s horrible, right? And domestic abuse? Just as horrible! But did you know that even minor indications of animal abuse could be a sign of abuse within a family or other group of people?

The LED offers veterinarians support in dealing with animal abuse.

If a veterinarian is concerned about an animal’s condition, he or she should be able to report it immediately. And when an incident is reported we should be able to do something about it straight away. That is why we want to start a ‘Landelijk Expertisecentrum Dierenmishandeling (National Animal Abuse Expertise Centre, LED), so that we can provide veterinarians with round-the-clock support in reporting animal abuse and preventing further violence.

Make the difference

Do you also feel that we should stop violence before it occurs? Then please support my project. It'll make all the difference!



Who I am

I am Dr. Nienke Endenburg, health care psychologist and University Lecturer in the Department of Animals in Science and Society at Utrecht University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. My PhD research focused on the interaction between humans and animals, with a special emphasis on the effect of pets on child development. Since 2000, I have also had my own practice, where I focus on child- and health psychology.  

What I do

My research mainly deals with the effect that animals have on the development of children and young people, the behaviour of companion animals, animal welfare, animal abuse and domestic abuse. I also teach several courses in the Netherlands and Germany, and I am involved in many organisations dealing with animals, animal welfare and veterinary medicine. 

If you would like to know more about me, click here


The problem

Over the past few years, the media has paid considerable attention to the issue of animal abuse. Unfortunately, it is still unclear exactly how many cases of animal abuse and neglect occur every year. Unfortunately, animal abuse is not limited to just animals. Research in America and the UK has shown that there is a strong correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence. But so far, little research has been done on the phenomenon in the Netherlands. A multi-disciplinary approach is needed in order to effectively identify, analyse and prosecute both of these problems.

The relationship between animal abuse and domestic violence is so strong that indications of animal abuse can serve as an ‘early warning sign’ of the development of psychopathology in children and adults. It is therefore vital that these signals are identified and reported as early as possible.  It is increasingly clear that a combination of knowledge is needed: forensic medical examinations of animals draw from a variety of disciplines.

What we want to do

In order to work efficiently with a large number of partners, we need a National Animal Abuse Expertise Centre (LED).

The goal is to support practicing veterinarians in recognising and reporting animal abuse. In imitation of the work of the National Child Abuse Expertise Centre (LECK), we wish to provide practicing veterinarians with an opportunity to contact a forensic and veterinary expert at any time, day or night, so that they can immediately receive veterinary and legal assistance.

The end result

The services of a National Animal Abuse Expertise Centre (LED) are therefore desperately needed in order to bring about a positive change in the veterinary field. In order to accomplish this however, the organisation and staffing of the LED require funding. Will you help us make a change?


Every contribution counts.

We're extremely grateful for any contribution you might be able to give. Together we can make the difference!