Washington, D.C. (February 6, 2015) — The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced that the American Veterinary Distributors Association (AVDA) has made a $5,000 donation to help gather, fund and share scientific research that demonstrates the human health benefits of pet ownership.
“The industry leading companies that form the AVDA understand the importance of the human-animal bond and how it enhances both human and animal health,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “The veterinary community plays a key role in the health of our communities and AVDA’s support will help deliver that message.”
“AVDA is proud to join the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative effort,” said AVDA Executive Director Jackie King. “By supporting research and education on the benefits of the human-animal bond, AVDA can help bring the health benefits of pets to more people and more families.”
The HABRI Foundation maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; funds innovative research projects to scientifically document 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.
Founded more than 35 years ago to enhance the distributor’s position in the animal health distribution channel, AVDA is committed to the success of its members by providing networking, education, and business tools to strengthen the vital link between distributors, suppliers and veterinarians. For more information on the AVDA, visit www.avda.net.
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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New Research to Inform Best Practices in Animal-Assisted Therapy
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Pet Partners announced today a grant to the University of British Columbia for a new study, Direct Experimental Assessment of Therapy Dog Handlers on Child and Dog Behavior During Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI). This study will aim to determine how different therapy animal handler styles influence stress behavior in both children and dogs during animal-assisted therapy sessions. “Pet Partners has long been the gold standard for therapy animal handler training and this study will help provide scientific evidence to guide handler best practices to maximize the benefits of the intervention,” said Annie Peters, President and CEO of Pet Partners. “We are proud to partner with HABRI in supporting human-animal bond research that will help inform best practices and foster consistency in the profession.” “Therapy dog handlers are trained to be active in sessions and interact with the participants and the dogs alike, however the handling procedures can be inconsistent, and often not even measured across sessions,” added Megan Arant, MS, Principal Investigator. “It is possible that the handler variation of in-session procedures with their own therapy dogs is also influencing the participants through altering the way the dog is presented as well as altering the dogs’ own behavior, which could cause discrepancies in the therapeutic effect. Therefore, it is beneficial to create a consistent standard for how handlers are instructed to interact with their dogs in AAI sessions to ensure homogeneity.” This study aims to provide empirical data on how to improve outcomes of AAI sessions. Specifically, the study focuses on one largely neglected area, namely how the owner-handler of the therapy dogs interacts with their own dog in the session, and subsequently influences the dog’s behavior and the therapeutic effect of the session. By targeting handler behavior and manipulating factors such as leash restriction...
New Research Says Therapy Dogs Are OK!
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today the publication of a study exploring the impacts of therapy dog sessions on the welfare of the dogs involved. Conducted by researchers at American Humane, findings of the study demonstrate that dogs did not show increased stress resulting from the therapy visits. Funded by HABRI and Zoetis, American Humane’s newly-released “Canines and Childhood Cancer Study,” is one of the largest human-animal bond studies focusing on the impact of animal-assisted interaction (AAI) on children with cancer and their parents, as well as the participating therapy dogs. “Results of this study demonstrate that dogs did not show increased behavioral or physiological stress, indicating that placing therapy dogs in this type of therapeutic setting does not cause undue stress to the animals,” said Amy McCullough, PhD and Principal Investigator, American Humane. “This research will help American Humane, HABRI and practitioners in the field to maintain the highest standards of animal welfare.” “This research project is important because now we have strong evidence that, with proper training and handling, the welfare of therapy animals in hospital settings is not adversely impacted,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “As more animals are deployed to help hospital patients, we can be confident that the dogs are OK!” Dr. McCullough, along with Ashleigh Ruehrdanz, MPH and Molly Jenkins, MSW of American Humane, supervised data collection on participating handler-dog teams at five children’s hospitals across the United States. The objective of the study in regard to participating canines was to determine the stress levels of therapy dogs during regular AAI sessions with pediatric oncology patients and their families. The research team videotaped each animal-assisted therapy session and coded the dogs’ behavior using an ethogram developed to capture affiliative and stress-related behaviors. The frequency...
Feeling stressed? Pets help people cope during isolation
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