HABRI Awards Grant to Green Chimneys | HABRI

HABRI Awards Grant to Green Chimneys

Study Will Examine Impact of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Study Will Examine Impact of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Washington, D.C. (August 7, 2014) — The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) today announced it had awarded a $24,000 grant to Green Chimneys, a leader in animal-assisted therapy and educational programs, for a new research study, Animal-­‐Assisted Social Skills Training for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

This grant to Green Chimneys advances the HABRI Foundation’s mission to better document the effects of animals on human health through scientific research,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “Animals can play a positive role in the lives of those with autism, and we look forward to learning more as a result of this study.

Further exploring the effect of dogs on children with ASD, the purpose of this study is to develop and test an animal-assisted social skills intervention. As one of the first research projects undertaken by The Sam & Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys, the 12-week study will include a controlled trial with 32 Green Chimneys students ages 8-15, comparing an animal-assisted social skills group and a traditional social skills training group without an animal present.

It is predicted that participants in the social skills training group that incorporates work with dogs will exhibit greater levels of change in social skills, perspective taking, theory of mind and decreased feelings of isolation when compared with those participants receiving the traditional social skills training. If significant results are found, it will further demonstrate that animal-assisted interventions are a valid approach for teaching children with ASD the skills necessary to engage with peers and will further support the role of the human-animal bond in advancing children with developmental delays.

Green Chimneys’ long history of incorporating animal-­assisted activities into therapeutic treatment makes it an ideal laboratory for conducting research in the area of human-animal interaction (HAI),” said Dr. Steven Klee, Green Chimneys Associate Executive Director, Clinical & Medical Services. “This grant from HABRI will help advance our understanding of HAI, add to the growing pool of data demonstrating the benefits of integrating animals into therapy and ultimately, create strong practice models for treatment professionals.”

Contact

Brooke Gersich

brooke@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

Jennifer Milillo

jmilillo@greenchimneys.org

845.279.2995 x109

###

Press Releases
New Research to Examine the Healing Influence of Pets for Intimate Partner Violence Survivors

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) today announced funding for a new research project at Thompson Rivers University that will explore the role of companion animals (pets) within incidents of intimate partner violence (IPV), including how pets can contribute to the wellbeing of IPV survivors. “Despite a well-established link between IPV and animal abuse, little research has examined the specific impact of pets on IPV,” explained Dr. Rochelle Stevenson, lead investigator for the study. With co-investigators Dr. Allison Gray (Western University) and Dr. Patti Timmons Fritz (University of Windsor), Stevenson offered that “our research will document that pets are victims in their own right as well as important partners in the healing journey of human survivors.” This multi-method study will use data from the 2018 Statistics Canada administered Survey on Safety in Public and Private Spaces (SSPPS), a nationally representative sample of Canadian adults, to understand how the experience of animal abuse, which often co-occurs with IPV, relates to survivors’ health and wellbeing. The analysis of this data will be paired with interviews with survivors to explore how companion animals influence help-seeking and healing from violence. Existing data shows that the majority of IPV survivors report pet abuse or the threat of pet abuse. Despite this, only a small percentage of domestic violence shelters offer on-site pet services. Without the ability to leave with their pets, as many as half of these survivors will delay leaving violent situations, putting themselves—and their pets—at further risk. “Our goal is to use these findings to encourage more domestic violence shelters and services to embrace pet-friendly measures that will allow survivors of IPV and their pets to heal together,” added Stevenson. “HABRI is proud to fund research with real-world impact,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “This project will provide new, timely data in...

Press Releases
Pet Partners Commits $100K to Support Therapy Animal Research

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today that Pet Partners, the nation’s leading organization in animal assisted interventions, will donate $100,000 to fund research on the health, education, and wellness outcomes of therapy animals, for both the people and animals involved. This announcement is a supplement to HABRI’s 2019 Request for Proposals, open now through February 7, 2019. “Pet Partners recognizes the importance of developing scientific findings that further demonstrate the benefits to health and well-being associated with the human-animal bond,” said Annie Peters, President and CEO of Pet Partners. “Together, Pet Partners and HABRI will expand our knowledge, allowing more people to experience the benefits of high-quality therapy animal programs.” In order to be eligible for this funding, investigators must incorporate registered Pet Partners volunteer therapy animal teams into their proposed research. As part of the organization’s registration process, all Pet Partners therapy animal teams must meet high standards in the areas of patient and public safety and outstanding animal welfare. “Pet Partners programs are the gold standard for animal-assisted interventions, which will lend themselves to greater consistency and accuracy for research purposes,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI Executive Director. “We are grateful to Pet Partners for their leadership, generosity, and commitment to high standards.” In addition to funding provided by Pet Partners, researchers can apply for other HABRI grants to investigate the health and wellness outcomes of pet ownership and animal-assisted activity. Proposals should have a strong theoretical framework and take an innovative approach to assess the effect of companion animals on humans within the categories of child health and development, healthy aging and mental and physical wellness. For more information on HABRI funding opportunities and the award application process, please visit...

Press Releases
New Research to Study Whether Therapy Dogs Can Lower Dose of Sedation in Children Undergoing Surgery

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) announced today it has awarded a $79,000 grant to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for a new study, The Effect of Animal-Assisted Intervention on Preoperative Anxiety and Dose of Sedation in Children. This study will examine the effect of animal-assisted intervention (AAI) on children’s anxiety levels and sedation medication dosages prior to surgery. “The goal of this study is to determine if interaction with a therapy dog 20 minutes prior to surgery has a significant effect on reducing a child’s anxiety levels and, in turn, lowering the dose of medication necessary for sedation,” said the study’s principal investigator, Zenithson Y. Ng, DVM, MS, College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Tennessee. “The results of this study may be further used to justify and advocate for AAI in various medical situations and open doors for additional research on measurable medical outcomes associated with AAI.” The three-year, cross-over-designed study on behalf of the veterinary college’s Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and Biomedical and Diagnostics Sciences will examine 72 children between the ages of 2 and 17 and randomly determine whether the child receives a therapy dog or an iPad tablet 20 minutes before sedation. Dr. Ng and co-investigators Julia Albright, DVM, MA and Marcy Souza, DVM, MPH, will then evaluate heart rate, blood pressure and medicine levels for sedation and compare the amounts of each group. It is expected that children provided with a therapy dog prior to surgery will have significantly lower preoperative anxiety and will require a decreased amount of medication for sedation compared to children who do not interact with a therapy dog. “Scientific research has shown that therapy dogs in hospital settings can have a calming effect, ease stress and provide reassurance to patients young and old, and to their families as well,” said HABRI Executive Director...

HABRI