I am completing my advanced practicum with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.  The ARL serves people and pets within the community through several programs including humane education and animal cruelty intervention.  They advocate tirelessly on both the local and state level to create and strengthen laws that impact animal welfare and their dedication and commitment to the community is evident through their community recognition and awards they have received.  As a social worker with 15 year of experience, I have witnessed the link between animal abuse and human violence.  There is a clear need to address this link within our community. Animal abuse is now considered a sentinel indicator and often the first sign of other family and community violence. As the first social worker working with the ARL, I am helping to create a community coalition to strengthen communication among key community members that work with animals, children and families affected by violence.  Our goal is to create a program for cross training and cross reporting among the key community members in order to create opportunities for early intervention in an attempt to break the cycle of violence.  -- Traci Rudolf, MSW Student