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Research on Human-Animal Bond

1. Australian Directory of Human Animal Interaction Programs

Research confirms what most of us instinctively know to be true: the presence of animals in people’s lives has a significant positive influence on the social, emotional and physical well-being of people.
Human Animal Interaction
Our companion animals can ease loneliness and calm the emotions; they can make us laugh an make us feel needed; and they can soothe us in times of illness or hardship. Many of our companion animals have been trained to provide mobility & independence for those in need. There is a very strong bond between humans and animals.

This relationship between humans and animals is referred to as Human-Animal Interaction (HAI).

2. Anthrozoology is the Study of  Relationships between Humans & Animals
Anthrozoology is unique in that it studies the role of animals in the lives of humans, and vice versa. It has been called many other things, including “human animal interaction”, and the “human animal bond”
Anthrozoology comes from the Greek anthropos meaning human and zoon meaning animal.
Research has applications in a growing number of areas including:
  • Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pets as Therapy
  • Animal assisted education
  • Humane education
  • The Biophilia Hypothesis – which suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems
  • Understanding the universal human practice of pet keeping

“No-one who looks at the evidence can doubt that animals in hand improve the quality of modern human life…” The Biophilia Hypothesis, S.R.Kellert & E.O.Wilson

The Anthrozoology Research Group (ARG) is affiliated with the Animal Welfare Science Centre and the Department of Psychology at Monash University. 

ARC focus particularly on companion animals. Australia has one of the highest rates of companion animal ownership in the world. 2/3 of the population live with one or more animals. For many of us our relationships with animals are extremely important. 

  • When interspecies relationships work well, they provide terrific health and well-being benefits for both humans and animals.  
  • When they fail, however, animals can suffer terribly and so can humans. 

ARC uses a multidisciplinary approach to try to understand what makes our relationships with companion animals succeed or fail. Why do this?

  1. ARC is committed to improving human health. People who have good relationships with animals are healthier and happier and animals can also be used to improve the lives of disadvantaged people. 
  2. ARC is committed to improving animal welfare. Companion animals who have good relationships with their caregivers generally have much better welfare than those who don’t. 
  3. Arc is concerned about the health of our planet. They believe that by promoting good relationships between people and the natural world, represented in this case by companion animals, ARC can foster a stronger sense of respect and responsibility for the wider environment.

4. Research Centres & Professional Associations


Monash University, 
Psychology Department 
Anthrozoology Research Group

University of Western Australia, 
School of Social and Cultural Studies 
Anthropology and Sociology 
Animals & Society Study Group

The University of Queensland, Australia 
Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics (CAWE)

The University of Queensland, Australia
The Centre for Companion Animal Health

University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (Aotearoa) 
Human-Animal Studies in the College of Arts


University of Minnesota, 

Center to Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine – Cornell Companions

Tufts University, 
School of Veterinary Medicine 

University of Davis, 
School of Veterinary Medicine 

Purdue University 
School of Veterinary Medicine 

University of Pennsylvania 
School of Veterinary Medicine 

Tuskuegee University 
School of Veterinary Medicine 

Virginia Commonwealth University 
School of Medicine 

Colorado State University 

Washington State University 
College of Veterinary Medicine 

Washington State University 

Washington State University
College of Veterinary Medicine On-Line Eductation

University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, 
Department of Comparative Medicine 

Michigan State University 
College of Nursing 

University of Missouri
College of Veterinary Medicine

United Kingdom

University of Cambridge – Animal Welfare and Anthrozoology Group

Queen’s University Belfast – School of Psychology

University of Wales Lampeter – MA in Anthrozoology


International Organisations



Western Illinois University
Sociology and Anthropology Faculty

University of Southampton
School of Psychology
Anthrozoology Course
University of Denver
Graduate School of Social Work

Arizona State University
School of Social Work
Animal-Human Connections course

Harcum College, Bryn Mawr, PA

Camden County College, Blackwood, NJ

Certificate Program

Masters Program
International Program

United Kingdom

Liverpool Hope University College
Psychology at Hope