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SEMINAR ADDRESSES ABUSE

A six-year study, "Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Violence and Associated Injury Among Urban Women,"conducted in 11 metropolitan cities and published in the Journal of Community Health, found that pet abuse is one of four predictors of domestic partner violence.

In recognition of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Pinellas County Domestic Violence Task Force and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Tampa Bay will host a free seminar on human factors in animal abuse.

The seminar will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the Ike & Libby Einherst Education Center at the SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N, Largo.

The seminar is open to the public and also offers continuing education credit to law enforcement officers, social workers and guidance counselors.

Topics covered will include patterns of abuse in animal cruelty and human violence, how to be a better bystander for people and the animals, and SPCA Tampa Bay's role in investigating and assisting law enforcement in building cases to convict perpetrators of violence.

Speakers will include representatives from city police departments, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, victims' advocates and the SPCA investigative team.

Scheduled workshop speakers include Laura Spelman,Clearwater Police Department; Joan Rueben and Denise Thornton, Pinellas County School Board; Suzanne Horn, Community Action Stops Abuse; Denise Hughes-Conlon, Pinellas County Domestic Violence Task Force/Pinellas Ex-offender Re-entry Coalition; Martha Boden, SPCA Tampa Bay; Doug Brightwell, Pinellas County Animal Services; and attorney Jim Helinger.

Several notable animal cruelty cases in Pinellas' history will be presented, including the Eldred/Pettyjohn case.

Sixth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Bill Burgess,who served as the assistant state attorney on the Eldred/Pettyjohn case, will review steps taken in the investigation that led to the successful prosecution of the two men accused of what prosecutors described as the county's most egregious case of animal abuse.

"How we treat animals is a measure of our civility. The barbarism exhibited in the Eldred/Pettyjohn case is completely unacceptable in a civilized society. The level of cruelty was morally reprehensible," Burgess said. "Because of this, we devoted a significant amount of resources to the investigation. The crime was monstrous in itself but also in where it was headed. The pattern of cruelty that the case revealed pointed to future acts of violence against people. There is a correlation."

Community services provided by SPCA Tampa Bay include animal cruelty investigation, lost and found pet assistance, animal admission and pet cremation assistance, pet adoption, ambulance transport for sick or injured strays and estate planning with pets in mind.

Pinellas County Domestic Violence Task Force members include law enforcement, social service and animal service agencies working together to facilitate a coordinated community response to domestic violence issues.

To learn more, call (727) 586-3594 or visit SPCATampaBay.org.

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The Barrington Senior Living Community, 901 Seminole Blvd., Largo, will host a senior-style Health and Wellness Expo at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

It will feature a wide range of vendors from different health care providers, as well as information booths promoting new and innovative products and procedures.

Attendees can get health screenings, arrange scooter, wheelchair or walker repair and find valuable resources to improve personal health and well-being.

Flu shots will be guaranteed to the first 50 people who make a reservation.

Admission is free.

To register, call (727) 585-5900.

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The Clearwater Yacht Club at 830 S Bayway Blvd. on Clearwater Beach plans to go pink for the first annual "Totes For Ta-Tas" event benefiting the Morton Plant Mease Foundation's Campaign to Transform Cancer Care.

The fundraiser kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday. During the event, guests can bid on new or gently used totes, wallets, clutches and purses during a silent auction.

Admission is $25 and includes heavy hors d'oeuvres, a drink ticket and door prize entry.

For more information, email totesfortatasFL@gmail.com or visit tinyurl.com/onhnst8.

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Everyone knows Halloween is fun. But can it be healthy, too?

Watch as Brad Myers shows how to put a healthy spin on traditional Halloween candies with raw, gluten-free and vegan sweets during a free demonstration at 4 p.m. Saturday at Nature's Food Patch, 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater.

Call (727) 443-6703 or visit naturesfoodpatch.com for more information.

Mail health news to Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100-A, Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4221; or email nbeall@tampabay.com.

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