Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Announces 2016 Research Grants | HABRI

Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Announces 2016 Research Grants

Washington, D.C. (December 13, 2016) — The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced funding for four research grants focused on the effects of human-animal interaction on human health, including outcomes for children undergoing hospital procedures; classroom learning; and the link between the health of pet owners and the health of their pets.

“The human-animal bond is an essential element of human wellness,” said Bob Vetere, President and CEO of the American Pet Products Association and President of the HABRI Board of Trustees. “HABRI-funded research projects are scientifically documenting how pets improve the health of people, pets and the communities where they live.”

For 2016, HABRI has awarded a total of $175,000 to the following recipients and research projects:

“We know from previous scientific research that animal-assisted therapy is effective in alleviating anxiety in hospital patients,” said Margaret Gruen, DVM, PhD, DACVB of Duke. “This is one of the first studies to focus on the potential of animal-assisted therapy to impact a clinical outcome. If results are successful, this study could potentially add non-pharmacologic, low-cost options to improve diagnostic quality for children having medical imaging procedures and could encourage broader use of therapy dogs in other pediatric cardiology settings.”

“The PIC study will provide meaningful insight on the broad impact of child and animal relationships and help prepare schools and teachers with the responsibilities necessary to support the humane and effective incorporation of pets in classrooms and curricula,” said Dr. Amy McCullough, American Humane Association National Director of Research and Therapy.

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 by an independent Scientific Advisory Board comprised of experts in the field 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.

“HABRI is grateful for the commitment of the many companies and organizations that make HABRI’s research program possible,” added Vetere. “With their support, HABRI has built a strong pipeline of quality research projects to expand our knowledge of the healing power of the human-animal bond.”

About HABRI

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 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, please visit habri.org.

Contact

Jamie Baxter

jamie@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

###

Press Releases
Veterans Day Virtual Lecture: Efficacy of Service Dogs for Veterans Living with Post-traumatic Stress

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and IDEXX held a virtual lecture on the health benefits of psychiatric service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is the first lecture of the IDEXX Human-Animal Bond Lecture Series, which highlights impactful scientific research on the health benefits of the human-animal bond and the importance of veterinary medicine in strengthening human-animal bonds. The Veterans Day lecture, titled The Efficacy of Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD, featured a conversation with Marguerite E. O’Haire, PhD, Associate Professor of Human-Animal Interaction, Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University. Dr. O’Haire discussed findings and implications of her groundbreaking HABRI-funded study, Preliminary efficacy of service dogs as a complementary, therapeutic treatment for post-traumatic stress in military members, veterans and their families. “IDEXX is proud to sponsor this lecture series which will serve as a valuable educational resource for both the general public and for the veterinary community about the science of the human-animal bond,” said Kerry Bennett, Corporate Vice President, IDEXX. “We know pet owners rely on their veterinarians to deliver scientific information about the health benefits of their pets, and when veterinarians and animal health professionals effectively communicate the science of the human-animal bond, they can strengthen bonds by encouraging compliance and improving animal care and welfare.” Published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 2018, Dr. O’Haire’s proof-of-concept study assessed the efficacy of service dogs as a complementary treatment for military members and veterans living with PTSD. Results indicate that those with a service dog exhibited significantly lower overall PTSD symptom severity, including increased overall psychological well-being; a better ability to cope with flashbacks and anxiety attacks; a lower frequency...

Press Releases
New Research to Investigate Impact of Pets on Social Functioning in Children with ADHD

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today it has awarded a grant to GITAM (Deemed) University for a new study which will investigate the impact of pet ownership and human-animal interaction (HAI) on overall social functioning including social attention in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This study aims to fill a critical gap in the current literature by uncovering the potential benefits of HAI on core deficit areas in ADHD. “This project brings together an international team of experts to undertake a comprehensive examination of social attention and emotion processing in neurotypical children and children living with ADHD,” said Dr. Georgitta Valiyamattam, GITAM University, the study’s Principal Investigator. “We hope to answer a key question – do foundational social skills in ADHD have the potential to be impacted by animal-assisted interventions? This knowledge will provide the necessary groundwork for future research and practice, which we hope will improve treatment and quality of life for children living with ADHD.” Along with Dr. Valiyamattam, the team comprises Dr. Harish Katti, Dr. Jessica Taubert, Dr. Vinay Chaganti and Dr. Virender Sachdeva. A substantial body of research describes social attention and emotional recognition deficits to human faces in ADHD. This project will study the impact of pet ownership on children with ADHD to determine whether HAI may enhance social attention and emotional recognition and modulate overall social functioning. State-of-the-art eye tracking technology and rigorous statistical approaches will be deployed to compare attention towards human and nonhuman faces. Researchers will also investigate the recognition of facial expressions. The research team anticipates that children with ADHD will show greater attention and emotion recognition capabilities for animal faces as compared to human faces. The focus on uncovering the visual mechanisms regarding HAI may also...

Press Releases
New Research to Help Shelters Better Place Cats in Loving Homes

Results of a newly-published study funded by HABRI and the Winn Feline Foundation in the Animal Studies Journal, led by researchers at the University of Missouri, demonstrate the effectiveness of the Feline Temperament Profile (FTP) in assessing the behavioral responses of cats in different situations. Results also indicate that the FTP may be shortened with no loss of reliability to serve as a quick and practical tool for animal shelters and rescue organizations to assess a cat’s temperament to find compatible homes and reduce the likelihood of cat relinquishment. “Cat temperament assessments can help shelters and rescue organizations better place cats into the right homes, and are especially important for families with special needs who may fare better with a more social and calm cat,” said Dr. Gretchen Carlisle, Research Scientist at the University of Missouri and Principal Investigator of the Feline Friends study. “With this study, we conclude that the shorter FTP can be deployed to increase the possibility of successful adoptions by matching cats with adopting families’ expectations and improving shelter staff’s accuracy to easily and objectively assess behavior.” “We know from scientific research that pets, especially dogs, can be beneficial to families of children with autism in improving family functioning and decreasing stress,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “Research also shows that quiet and non-verbal interactions with cats may be beneficial for children with autism by promoting social contact. Having a reliable way to assess feline temperament is important to this equation.” “Up until now there has been a critical lack of evidence-based studies regarding the temperament of cats and the effect on different aspects of the human-cat bond. The results of this study provides important information assisting shelters with finding compatible homes for successful adoption of cats’, added Dr. Vicki Thayer, interim executive director...

HABRI