Human-Animal Bond and Animals in Therapy

The impact of animals on our lives transcends the eons of our existence. Today it is common to show affection and love for the animals with which we communicate. A growing body of research currently documents the significance of the human- animal bond (H-AB) in child development, elderly care, mental illness, physical impairment, dementia, abuse and trauma recovery, as well as the rehabilitation of those in prisons. One can also not overlook the enormous value of canine assisted therapy for our wounded warriors. 1,2

National and interna-tional conferences first
brought attention to the
H-AB in the 1970s and
1980s, along with media coverage of community animal-assisted programs such as a dog obedience club giving an obedience demonstration at a residential facility for teenagers with delinquent behavior and school or hospice pet visitation. Others highlighted included therapy such as therapeutic horsemanship, and service dog training programs. The Delta Society encouraged research in this area, with the majority of funding coming from companies within the pet industry. Now H-AB has its focus on the importance of human- animal interactions to human health and well-being. Click here to read the entire article.