The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is partnering with Mars' Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in England to look for studies on how interactions between children and animals affect typical development and health, and whether they have therapeutic and public-health benefits, according to The New York Times .
The Waltham Centre is conducting its own research on human-pet interaction, according to Catherine E. Woteki, global director of scientific affairs for Mars Inc.
"We are a petfood company and pet care company," Dr. Woteki said in the article, "and we're interested in seeing that that relationship stays a strong one."
New shelter data casts doubt on whether the pet population and pet ownership are truly growing.
While the pandemic caused unprecedented suffering worldwide in 2020, the disruptions to dogs, cats and other pets adoption numbers may normalize in 2021.