The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) has announced funding for four new research grants focused on the effects of human-animal interaction on human health, including social skills outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder; the physical and developmental health of children living with family pets; and the mental health and well-being of seniors living alone. These four grant projects raise HABRI’s total research funding to more than US$2 million.
“The companies and organizations that make HABRI’s research program possible deserve the credit for hitting the US$2 million dollar milestone,” said Bob Vetere, HABRI president and chair of the board of trustees, in a press release. “With their support, HABRI is building a strong pipeline of high-quality research projects that are showing how pet ownership is essential for human health and wellness.”
Since HABRI’s founding in 2010, HABRI has funded 21 competitive research projects from institutions across the globe, and has supported the creation of a comprehensive online library of human-animal interaction research, bringing its research funding to more than US$2 million.
HABRI supports 2017 research projects
In 2017, HABRI awarded a total of approximately US$200,000 to the following four research projects, identified by the expert HABRI Scientific Advisory Board out of a total of 48 proposals received:
- Heidi Ewen, PhD (University of Georgia Research Foundation): Healthy Aging: Human Companionship Through Fostering Felines
- Gretchen Carlisle, PhD (University of Missouri): Shelter Cat Adoption in Families of Children with Autism: Impact On Children’s Social Skills and Anxiety as Well as Cat Stress
- Alexandra Protopopova, PhD (Texas Tech University): Integration of AAI and Applied Behavior Analysis to Improve Academic Performance in Children with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability
- Hayley Christian, PhD (The University of Western Australia): The Health and Developmental Benefits of Companion Animals for Young Children: Advancing The Evidence Base
“These projects are exciting, including HABRI’s first two cat studies, and we look forward to seeing the results,” said Vetere. “Each year, HABRI receives an increasing number of research proposals, which is why we need even more support from within and outside the pet care community. Together, we will deliver the scientific research needed to strengthen the role of pets in the lives of children, families and the communities where they live.”
Other organizations supporting research on human-animal bonds
PFI joins a broad array of organizations and individuals that help HABRI fund innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; maintain the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; and inform the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society.