Washington, D.C. (January 21, 2021) — The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and IDEXX held a virtual lecture on the impact of a shelter cat fostering program on the health and wellbeing of older adults living independently alone. This was the second in a planned series of lectures, sponsored by IDEXX, to highlight impactful scientific research on the health benefits of the human-animal bond and the importance of veterinary medicine in strengthening human-animal bonds.
In this lecture, “The Impact of a Feline Fostering Program for Older Adults Living Alone”, Dr. Sherry Sanderson, BS, DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVIM, Dipl ACVN, Associate Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, discussed the main aims and shared preliminary results of her ongoing HABRI-funded study, “Healthy Aging: Human Companionship Through Fostering Felines”, which have indicated that participation in the foster cat program decreases loneliness in older adults.
“IDEXX is proud to sponsor this human-animal bond lecture and to provide pet owners and veterinarians with tangible, real-world examples of how the human-animal bond can improve lives in both humans and companion animals in need,” said Kerry Bennett, Corporate Vice President, IDEXX.
Funded by HABRI, “Healthy Aging: Human Companionship Through Fostering Felines” aims to determine if fostering a shelter cat, with the option for adoption, improves the mental health and emotional health of older adults living alone. In addition, Dr. Sanderson and her research team are assessing the impact of feline fostering on older adults’ interest in and commitment to adopting their foster cat, as well as evaluating the feline fostering program as a sustainable partnership between the University of Georgia and community partners. Preliminary results indicate that participants experience a decrease in loneliness at one- and four-months post placement of the foster cat, and that the level of comfort participants receive from their cats continually increases the longer they are with their cat.
“HABRI is grateful for IDEXX for their continued sponsorship of this lecture series which serves as a wonderful opportunity to reach a broad audience of pet owners and animal health professionals interested in the science of the human-animal bond,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “IDEXX also supports HABRI’s research program, which is demonstrating that pets play a vital role in not only supporting the health and wellbeing of older adults, but also in improving the lives of all pet owners and the communities where they live.”
Professionals who register and view this session are eligible to receive RACE-approved Continuing Education (CE) credit through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).
The lecture will remain available on-demand at http://www.habri.org/HAB-Lectures. The first lecture in the Human-Animal Bond Lecture Series, “The Efficacy of Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD”, which HABRI hosted on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020, is also available on-demand at http://www.habri.org/HAB-Lectures.
HABRI is a not-for-profit organization that 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, please visit https://www.habri.org/.
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is a member of the S&P 500® Index and is a leader in pet healthcare innovation, serving practicing veterinarians around the world with a broad range of diagnostic and information technology-based products and services. IDEXX products enhance the ability of veterinarians to provide advanced medical care, improve staff efficiency, and build more economically successful practices. IDEXX is also a worldwide leader in providing diagnostic tests and information for livestock and poultry, tests for the quality and safety of water and milk, and point-of-care and laboratory diagnostics for human medicine. For more information, please visit https://www.idexx.com/en/.
More Press Releases
Virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill to Celebrate Growing Importance of Pets in America
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today that it will host virtual Pet Week on Capitol Hill the week of October 18th, a free-to-attend series of virtual programs dedicated to sharing information about the importance of pet ownership in America and the scientific evidence that shows how the human-animal bond is essential to public health. The pandemic has reinforced the role of pets as important sources of social and emotional support for a growing majority of American households, which has climbed to 70 percent according to the latest National Pet Owners Survey commissioned by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). “Pets are more important in American life than ever before,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “This year’s Pet Week will feature engaging sessions about lifesaving pet-friendly policies, key veterinary issues and legislation, statistics on pet populations, data on the economic impact of pet care businesses, and more.” Pet Week on Capitol Hill will conclude with the unveiling of the winners of the thirteenth annual Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill contest, hosted by the Animal Health Institute. The full Pet Week schedule is listed below (All Times Eastern): Monday, October 18th, 2021 12:00pm-12:30pm The Importance of Pets and the Human-Animal Bond Steven Feldman, President, HABRI 4:00pm-4:30pm Data on Pet Sheltering Before, During and After the Pandemic Susanne Kogut, President, Petco Love Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 12:00pm-12:30pm Pet Ownership Data & Economic Outlook Steve King, CEO, American Pet Products Association 4:00pm-4:30pm The State of Homeless Companion Animals in the United States Dr. Jo Gale, Veterinarian, Senior Manager Global Science Advocacy, Corporate Affairs, Mars Petcare Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 12:00pm-12:30pm The Importance of Pet-Inclusive Rental Housing in the United States Dr. Gary Michelson, Inventor and Philanthropist, Michelson Found Animals Foundation Steven...
NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS THE BENEFITS OF PET-FRIENDLY RENTAL HOUSING
Non-profit organizations Michelson Found Animals Foundation and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) today announced the release of a new Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative (PIHI) Report, outlining the path to create more than 8 million new pet-friendly rental homes in the United States. The report identifies both the economic opportunity for rental housing owners and operators and the community benefits of pet-inclusive rental housing. “Michelson Found Animals and HABRI developed this report to provide clear and detailed market-based strategies that benefit all – housing owner/operators, residents, and our beloved pets, who have been so important to us during the pandemic,” said Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals. “We look forward to sharing this report to create more pet-inclusive housing for healthier, more connected communities.” The report highlights results of a comprehensive survey of residents and owner/operators conducted on behalf of the Pet-inclusive Housing Initiative, and looks at the opportunity for pet-inclusivity to help blunt the impact of the pandemic on the rental housing marketplace. “This report is grounded in data that will spur common-sense changes to increase the availability of pet-inclusive housing,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI president. “Our message to housing providers is that they can do good and capture an economic opportunity by easing restrictions on pets in rental housing communities.” The data shows that significant restrictions on pets in rental housing present hurdles for pet-owners. It also shows that the majority of rental housing owners and operators love pets. Bridging the gap by increasing the availability of pet-inclusive housing can help families find the homes they need, provide economic benefits to owners/operators, and help up to 8.2 million animals find new homes over time. Rental housing owner/operators can benefit from pet-inclusive policies by becoming attractive to a wider pool...
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...