Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Announces 2015 Research Grants | HABRI

Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Announces 2015 Research Grants

Washington, D.C. (September 28, 2015) — The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced funding for seven research grants in 2015, totaling more than $225,000 dollars. Focused on child health and development, mental health and wellness, and healthy aging, these grants will advance scientific understanding of the human-animal bond and its impact on human health.

“As one of the organization’s founders, I am proud of how far we have come in only a few years,” said Bob Vetere, President and CEO of the American Pet Products Association and President of the HABRI Board of Trustees. “With HABRI, we can put science behind what many of us believe – if we take good care of our pets, they will take good care of us!”

“The companies and organizations that support HABRI are leaders in supporting the scientific research to advance our knowledge of the human-animal bond,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “Everyone associated with HABRI is grateful for their commitment to this important endeavor.”

HABRI has awarded a total of $226,557 to the following recipients and research projects:

  • Sandra Branson, PhD, MSN, RN (University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston): Biobehavioral Effects of Therapy Dog Visitation in Elderly Intensive Care Unit Patients
  • Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, ABPP (Yale University): Interactions with Animals to Reduce Children’s Stress
  • Rebecca A. Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP (University of Missouri): Companion Animals, Social Engagement, and Psychological Well-Being in Mid and Later Adulthood
  • Annie Petersen, Ed.D (Association for Human-Animal Bond Studies): Listening EARS: How Does Reading to Rabbits Effect the Reading Skills of Third Grade Students?
  • Robin L. Gabriels, PsyD (University of Colorado, Denver): Physiological Wellness Effects of Animal-Assisted Activities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Specialized Psychiatric Hospital Program
  • Marguerite E. O’Haire, PhD (Purdue University): Pilot Study of the Effects of Service Dogs on Mental Health and Wellness in War Veterans with PTSD and/or TBI
  • Alan Monavvari, MD, MHSc, CCFP, CHE, CPHQ (Markham Stouffville Hospital): Using the Pet Query to Assess Patients’ Environmental History and Social Context

HABRI’s annual grant program is managed in partnership with the Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that invests in science that advances knowledge and improves health for companion animals, horses and wildlife. Proposals were evaluated on study design, investigator capabilities, adequacy of facilities, cost effectiveness of budget, and potential for impact on the way these areas of interest are diagnosed, treated, or otherwise understood by an independent Scientific Advisory Board comprised of experts in the field.

“I am keenly interested in improving the quality of life among those who are experiencing stress, strains, and challenges of everyday functioning,” said one study’s primary researcher, Dr. Alan Kazdin, professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry at Yale University, Ph.D, ABPP.

Another researcher, Marguerite O’Haire, PhD of Purdue University said of her grant, “There are existing PTSD treatments available for veterans, however a number of them have limited effectiveness and high drop-out rates. This new research study on the impact of service dogs on veterans may provide an effective addition to enhance current practices.”

“High-quality scientific evidence will ultimately allow more people to benefit from the healing power of companion animals,” Feldman added. “More pets lead to healthier people, families and communities.”

About HABRI

The HABRI Foundation maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; to date has funded more than half a million dollars in innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; and informs the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information about the HABRI Foundation, visit www.habri.org.

Contact

Jamie Baxter

jamie@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

###

Press Releases
New Research to Study Impact of Therapy Dog-Assisted Forensic Interviews with Children

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Pet Partners announced today a grant to the University of Toledo for a new study, Implementation of Canine-Assisted Forensic Interviews with Children. This lab-based study will examine the effect of the presence of a therapy dog on the quantity and quality of children’s event reports. “From countless anecdotal evidence, we know that a visit from a registered Pet Partners therapy dog can put a smile on a child’s face, no matter what they are going through,” said Annie Peters, President and CEO of Pet Partners. “Scientific research to validate the efficacy of therapy dogs in forensic interviewing has the potential to not only provide more children with much needed comfort and emotional support, but to also promote justice for such a vulnerable population.” “The overarching goal of the study is to provide evidence-based guidelines regarding how and when to incorporate therapy dogs in legal settings,” said the study’s principal investigator, Kamala London, PhD, University of Toledo. “We expect that this study will help support therapy dog-assisted forensic interviews as a safe, affordable, and widely available technique that may improve the accuracy and quality of event reports among maltreated children.” Only about 15% of all child maltreatment cases come to the attention of authorities. Among cases that do come forward, children may be reluctant to disclose traumatic experiences, particularly when those experiences involve family member perpetrators. Over the past decade, forensic and legal professionals have begun to incorporate dogs into their practices in an effort to build rapport and trust, and foster a warm, supportive environment for children. Despite the increase in practice, the effects of therapy dog-assisted forensic interviews have not been studied. This study will work to address this identified gap in human-animal interaction (HAI) research. 120 children age 6-9 will experience a...

Press Releases
Nature’s Variety Supports Human-Animal Bond Research

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today that Nature’s Variety®, makers of natural, wholesome and delicious pet food has become an official supporter of HABRI and its research into the health benefits of the human-animal bond. “At Nature’s Variety, we believe in the power of pure, real nutrition to keep beloved pets healthy and happy. The human-animal bond is so central to our mission to give pets everything they need for a long and happy life with us,” said Reed Howlett, CEO of Nature’s Variety. “Supporting research into the human health benefits of pets is a perfect complement to our mission. We support better health for people and pets together.” Scientific evidence increasingly shows that pets improve heart health; alleviate depression; increase well-being; support child health and development; and contribute to healthy aging. In addition, companion animals can assist in the treatment of a broad range of conditions from post-traumatic stress to Alzheimer’s disease to autism spectrum disorder. The benefits of the human-animal bond impact more than just human health. Findings from a recent HABRI survey of 2,000 pet owners demonstrate that knowledge of the scientific research on the human-animal bond motivates pet owners to take better care of their pets. Specifically, when educated about the scientific research on the health benefits of pets, 88% of pet owners are more likely to provide their pets with high quality nutrition. “HABRI is thrilled to add Nature’s Variety as a HABRI supporter,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “By joining forces with HABRI, Nature’s Variety is demonstrating its leadership in the pet care community!” “From HABRI research, we know that healthy pets transform the lives of people through the human-animal bond – and Nature’s Variety transforms the lives of pets by empowering pet owners to provide their pets with natural nutrition,” added Howlett. “While HABRI does...

HABRI