Virtual Lecture for Autism Awareness Month: New Research Supporting Shelter Cat Adoption for Children with Autism and their Families | HABRI

Virtual Lecture for Autism Awareness Month: New Research Supporting Shelter Cat Adoption for Children with Autism and their Families

IDEXX Human-Animal Bond Lecture Series Brings the Science of the Human-Animal Bond to Veterinarians and Pet Owners

Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2021) — The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and IDEXX today hosted a virtual lecture during Autism Awareness Month, focusing on new research demonstrating the impact of shelter cat adoption on the social skills and anxiety levels in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

This lecture titled, “The Impact of Shelter Cat Adoption in Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder”, features Dr. Gretchen Carlisle, Research Scientist, Research Center for Human Animal Interaction (ReCHAI), University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, discussing her HABRI-funded publication, “Exploratory study of cat adoption in families of children with autism: Impact on children’s social skills and anxiety”, which found that found introduction of a shelter cat into the home may have a positive impact on children with ASD and their parents.

Results from Dr. Carlisle’s project were published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing in December 2020. This was the first randomized controlled trial of adoption of a temperament-screened shelter cat by families of children with ASD. This exploratory study found that introduction of a cat into the home may have a positive impact on children with ASD, including greater Empathy and less Separation Anxiety for children with ASD, along with fewer problem behaviors including Externalizing, Bullying and Hyperactivity/Inattention. The children and their parents reported close bonds with their new cats almost immediately after adoption, and despite the cat caretaking responsibility, these bonds did not decrease over time.

“These research results show that children with autism and their families can benefit from the calmer, quieter demeanor of a pet cat,” said Steven Feldman, President of HABRI. “HABRI and IDEXX hope that together, we can help raise awareness of the health benefits of pet cats and help more cats find loving homes.”

Professionals who viewed this session live are eligible to receive RACE-approved Continuing Education (CE) credit through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The lecture, along with the others in the series will remain available on-demand at http://www.habri.org/HAB-Lectures.

About HABRI

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/.

About IDEXX

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/.

Contact

Jamie Baxter

jamie@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

###

Press Releases
Newly Published Study Shows Young Children with Pet Dogs Fare Better Than Those Without

Results of a just-published study led by researchers at The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute and funded by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) demonstrate that young children from dog-owning households are less likely to experience difficulties with their emotions and social interactions compared to children in households without a pet dog. The study was published in the journal Pediatric Research. “Our research found that having a family dog in the household was positively associated with young children’s social-emotional development,” said Dr. Hayley Christian, Associate Professor at The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute and Principal Investigator of the study. “Our research also supports spending time walking and playing with the dog for added benefits, and we hope these results will help parents, children and pets remain active at home during this time of physical distancing.” “Findings of this study demonstrate that, starting from a young age, the human-animal bond can play an important role in a child’s social and emotional development,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “HABRI is proud to support this important research, which will encourage more families to consider the benefits of dog ownership and more dog-owning families to spend quality time with their beloved pets.” The team of researchers at The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute, led by Dr. Christian, collected survey data from 1,646 households, taking into account children’s age, biological sex, sleep habits, screen time and parents’ education levels. Findings indicate that dog ownership is associated with improvements in wellbeing and social-emotional development in children. Specifically, in comparison to children in non-dog-owning households, children from dog-owning households were 23 percent less likely to have difficulties with their emotions and social interactions...

Press Releases
New Research Looks at Impact of Service Dogs on Medication Regimens for Veterans with PTSD

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today the online publication of a study titled, “The Effect of a PTSD Service Dog on Military Veterans’ Medication Regimens: A Cross-Sectional Pilot Study”, in the journal Anthrozoos. Findings of the study, conducted by researchers at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Purdue University College of Pharmacy, found no significant differences between post-9/11 U.S. veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who were provided with a psychiatric service dog and veterans on a waitlist to receive a service dog in terms of number and type of medications reported. However, veterans with a service dog were more likely to report that their doctor had decreased dosage or removed medications, as compared to veterans on the waitlist to acquire a service dog. “Our previous research has found that PTSD service dogs can improve specific areas of functioning and symptomology for military veterans. This new research builds on these findings by exploring how PTSD service dogs impact veterans’ medication use,” said study co-author Dr. Kerri Rodriguez, Postdoctoral Researcher at Colorado State University. “These results indicate that PTSD service dogs played a positive supporting role. Veterans kept up with their medication regimens, indicating that the presence of the service dog was not associated with any lapse in standard treatment. While having a PTSD service dog may not completely alleviate veterans’ needs for sleep, pain, or anxiety medications, there were reported decreases in dosage levels, shedding additional light on the potential value of these service dogs as a complimentary intervention.” The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of PTSD service dogs on medication use among a population of military veterans with PTSD. Fifty-two veterans living with a PTSD service dog and 44 veterans on a waitlist to receive a service dog were recruited from a database...

HABRI