Washington, D.C. (July 21, 2014) — The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced that the World Pet Association has made a $25,000 donation to help gather, fund and promote scientific research that demonstrates the human health benefits of pet ownership.
“The World Pet Association’s commitment to researching the human-animal bond helps demonstrate the value of pets and the pet industry to society,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “Support and active participation from leaders like the World Pet Association is vital to advancing the science that demonstrates the positive roles they play in the integrated health of individuals, families and communities.”
The HABRI Foundation maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; funds innovative research projects to demonstrate the health benefits of pets and other animals; informs the public about human-animal bond research; and advocates for public policies that support the beneficial role of pets in society.
“WPA is pleased to be able to assist HABRI fulfill their mission of providing information about the benefits of pet ownership,” said Word Pet Association President Doug Poindexter. “Having these resources in one place and readily available is critical to the long term welfare of the industry.”
About World Pet Association
WPA is the oldest industry organization promoting responsible growth and development of the companion pet and related products and services. SuperZoo is the most popular trade show in North America for the pet store industry, attracting thousands of retailers, product suppliers and service providers every year. SuperZoo 2014 will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 22–24. Produced by the World Pet Association (WPA), the show is an annual event that provides independent pet store owners with the knowledge and resources they need to be successful. WPA works to inform and educate the general public in order to ensure safe and healthy lifestyles for our animal friends. In addition to producing SuperZoo, WPA is the host of America’s Family Pet Expo, the world’s largest consumer pet and pet products expo, held annually in Costa Mesa, California, the Atlanta Pet Fair and the Aquatic Experience, held in Chicago, Illinois.
Founded by The American Pet Products Association (APPA), Petco Animal Supplies Inc., and Zoetis, the HABRI Foundation serves as a rallying point for a broad coalition of companies, organizations, and individuals who believe that our relationship with pets and animals makes the world a better place by significantly improving human health and quality of life. For more information on the HABRI Foundation, visit www.habri.org.
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Partnership Highlights Veterinarian Role in Strengthening the Human-Companion Animal Bond
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) have partnered to highlight the importance of veterinary medicine to support strong, long-lasting human-companion animal bonds and to promote the health benefits of interacting with pets. Activities agreed under the partnership will focus on promoting the science of the human-animal bond and the veterinary profession’s positive role in animal welfare and human wellness. The WSAVA is also represented on the Advisory Committee which participates in the development of the online Human Animal Bond Certification course, created by HABRI and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC). “Veterinarians are uniquely positioned as trusted resources for pet owners who are more attuned to their pets’ health needs than ever before,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “HABRI is proud to join with WSAVA to help veterinarians connect with their clients and share scientific information about the human-animal bond.” Findings from a HABRI survey of US pet owners demonstrate that veterinarians are seen as trusted resources on scientific information focused on the benefits of pet ownership. Research also shows that knowledge of the science behind the human-animal bond can motivate pet owners to take better care of their pets. Specifically, the survey found that when pet owners knew more about the human health benefits of pet ownership: 92 percent said they were more likely to maintain a pet’s health, including keeping up with vaccines and preventive medicine; 89 percent said they were more likely to maintain a pet’s health, including regular check-ups with a veterinarian; and 89 percent said they were more likely to take better care of a pet overall. Dr. Shane Ryan, Past President of the WSAVA, said: “Caring for an animal companion provides benefit not only for the animal itself in terms of its health and welfare needs, but can have many positive benefits for the...
PetSmart Joins HABRI Board of Trustees
The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced that Sherry Jane Love, PetSmart Vice President Merchandise Buying – Hardgoods, has been elected to the HABRI Board of Trustees. PetSmart joins the three founding organizations on the Board – American Pet Products Association (APPA), Petco, and Zoetis – in making a major commitment to advancing scientific research that demonstrates how pets are good for human health. “PetSmart is a leader in strengthening the human-animal bond for millions of pet owners,” said APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere, who serves as HABRI President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “With Sherry Jane Love lending her time and talent to the HABRI Board of Trustees, PetSmart is showing how serious it is about achieving good health at both ends of the leash.” “At PetSmart, we have always been firm believers that pets make us better people, and we know the positive impact they have on our lives,” said Sherry Jane Love, PetSmart Vice President Merchandise Buying – Hardgoods. “HABRI is unifying everyone who believes in the healing power of pets. PetSmart is proud to be part of this important effort to strengthen and share the human-animal bond.” The HABRI Board of Trustees is the governing body that oversees the programs and activities of this 5-year-old non-profit organization. HABRI funds research on an annual basis in the areas of child health and development; healthy aging; and mental health and wellness, contributing to the growing body of evidence that shows companion animals are good for human health. HABRI also widely shares information about how the presence of companion animals in society helps make individuals, families, and communities healthier.
New Research to Study Effects of Service Dogs on Post 9-11 War Veterans with PTSD
The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced it has awarded a $42,000 grant to Purdue University to lead a first-of-its-kind, controlled scientific study to measure the effects of service dogs on post 9-11 war veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Participants in the K9s For Warriors program, a nonprofit organization pairing war veterans with service dogs, will take part in the study. “While numerous studies have confirmed that companion animals help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has cited a lack of specific scientific evidence on the effectiveness of service animals for war veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “We are committed to addressing this gap in peer-reviewed science so that every veteran who needs a service animal can get one.” PTSD is a prevalent and debilitating disorder that, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, affects nearly 20 percent of post 9-11 war veterans. Typically triggered by intense events and situations, symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts. To explore the effect of service dogs on war veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI, the Purdue-led study will monitor the health and wellness of the K9s For Warriors participants including medical, physiological, and self-perception indicators. It is hypothesized that the veterans who have service dogs will demonstrate better health and wellness compared to those receiving other treatment services while on the waitlist for a service dog. “While there are existing PTSD treatments available for veterans, a number of them have limited effectiveness and high drop-out rates,” said Marguerite O’Haire, PhD, Purdue University. “This controlled research study will document the impact of service dogs on veterans, which may provide an effective addition...