Human-Animal Interactions and Animal Facilitated Activities

There are many programs that incorporate non-human animals for the betterment of human health, well-being or education. Faculty and students at the Center for Animals and Public Policy have an interest in studying these programs to determine their impacts and effectiveness. Ethical questions also arise whenever an animal assistance program is evaluated. We must consider what weight is given to the welfare of the animals used in such programs and how the animals' interests are balanced with the benefits provided to the human participants.

Examples of projects have included:

  • Evaluation of a Reading Assistance Dog (READ) Program in a local library
  • Evaluation of the impact of dogs on children's fear of dental visits
  • Using canine patients with cardiovascular disease to facilitate interactions with and education of children with congenital cardiac disease

A list of student projects in this research area can be found on the Human-Animal Interactions and Assistance Animals Student Projects page.