Category Archives: Animal-Assisted Interventions

Get Involved: New Research Group

Call for expressions of interest to join a research group in Early Childhood Educational Anthrozoology (based at Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)

The research group has a particular focus on developing connections between researchers who are looking at the ways in which;

  • young children’s animals-related learning is scaffolded by early education professionals and in education settings
  • child-animal relationships are supported/managed in different early education contexts
  • adults develop young children’s thinking about anthrozoology

and how;

  • practice varies in different contexts
  • teaching and learning is connected to local and global initiatives

Within the research group, a journal is being developed – the Journal of Early Childhood Educational Anthrozoology – which members are encouraged submit to.

If you would like to join the ECEA research group, please email in the first instance, with a brief synopsis of your research background and your interests as they relate to the focus of the research group.

Please share this information with others who might be interested in the group. There is a new page on Facebook ‘Early Childhood Educational Anthrozoology – ECEA – research group’

Get Involved: Help with AAT research

Masters student Kerry Townsend invites practitioners who deliver animal-assisted therapy (AAT) sessions to complete a brief (10-15 minute) online questionnaire.

This is a student research project, undertaken as an element of the MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) degree at Sheffield Hallam University.

The study aims to survey the skills and activities worked on by people who practise AAT across the UK. The researcher is particularly interested in stroke rehabilitation, however it is not necessary for you to have prior knowledge or experience in stroke rehabilitation or occupational therapy to complete the questionnaire. Participation is entirely voluntary.

You will be contributing to research that hopes to inform the evidence base for AAT. The study is sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University and has been reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Committee.

Please complete the questionnaire by 13th of September 2015 (date has been extended).

Questionnaire link:
Any questions please contact Kerry Townsend,



The WALTHAM® Human–Animal Interaction (HAI) Research Programme is pleased to announce the availability of £340,000 (approximately 524,000 USD) in 2015 to fund high quality research into the impact of companion animals on human cognition or academic outcomes.

Although animals are often included in educational settings for a variety of purposes, there is little empirical research documenting the efficacy of such practices. In the absence of an assessment system for these activities there are significant gaps in our understanding of the potential impact of animals on measures of academic success. Fundamental research is required to provide an evidence base to inform practice and guide educators and administrators on when, and under what circumstances, animal presence or animal ownership may be pedagogically valuable.

Specific areas of research eligible for funding under this call include but are not limited to the following categories:

  • Reading/literacy
  • Academic learning outcomes
  • Aspects of cognition (executive function, memory, learning, categorization, language etc.)
  • Stress/anxiety reduction
  • Classroom behaviours impacting academic success
  • Physical activity and cognition/learning
  • Typical and/or special populations (e.g. ADHD, autism spectrum, etc.)


Letter of Intent: Prior to submitting a formal application, investigators are required to submit a Letter of Intent to Dr. Nancy Gee (nancy. by June 1, 2015.

Application: The application deadline is June 31, 2015.

Further details and the application can be downloaded from the WALTHAM

Job vacancy at Dogs for the Disabled

Dogs for the Disabled is seeking a full time AAI Services Development Adviser on a two year fixed term contract to lead the focused development of the charity’s Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) services.

Specifically, the post will develop and implement detailed business plans, create the required staffing structures and ensure commercial opportunities within the charity’s wider operation are optimised.

Further information and a full job description is available from the Dogs for the Disabled website.

If you have any queries regarding this vacancy or want to discuss the role further, please e-mail Peter Gorbing, Chief Executive on

Free webinar – Stroke and PAT project with Sallie Bollans

LogoAnnouncing another free webinar from SCAS, this time presenting the Stroke and PAT project with Sallie Bollans from Stoke Rehab Dogs.

The webinar will take place on 15th September 2014 at 1pm (BST).  If you would like to attend the live webinar please register here: REGISTER TO ATTEND WEBINAR.

The Stroke and PAT scheme is a
collaborative partnership between Ruth Winston Centre and the national charity Pets As Therapy.

It offers stroke survivors the opportunity to incorporate a companion animal into their stroke rehabilitation treatment programme.  Pets As Therapy works in partnership with the lead professional Sallie Bollans of Stroke Rehab Dogs, to provide suitable volunteer PAT dog teams.

This free 45 minute webinar will offer an over-view of the project and the work that they do.  Useful for anyone interested in how AAI can be used in an occupational therapy setting, those associated with stroke rehabilitation or an interest in these areas generally.

Recordings of previous webinars are available for viewing from our webinar series pages.

Caring Canines FREE webinar from SCAS

“Introducing Caring Canines” is a free webinar taking place on July 10th 2014 @ 1pm BST.

Caring Canines is a non-profit voluntary group working in the community around Bournemouth and Poole helping people of all ages and abilities to understand dogs and be confident in their company.  Sue and Julie from Caring Canines, who received a Queens Award for their work will be joining us to talk about their work and to answer questions.

Check out the Caring Canines website for more information about their work and visit our webinar page to book your place on this free webinar.

PAWS (Parents Autism Workshop Support) – Free webinar from SCAS

If you have an interest in the human-animal bond and how pets can help children with autism then this free webinar from SCAS will be of interest to you.

The PAWS project from Dogs for the Disabled brings together the parents and carers of children with autism to share experiences and to explore the helping potential that a pet dog might have within their family.


The free 45 minute webinar will take place on 17th June 2014 at 1pm BST.  For more details and to register to attend this and other related webinars please visit our AAI webinar series webpage.

Caring Canines receive British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List!

Many congratulations to Sue and Julie from Caring Canines, who have both been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List.

The citation includes the phrase “for services to dog assisted therapy…..”

Sue and Julie said that they have accepted the awards in the name of Caring Canines and hope that it will go a long way towards promoting the positive effects that therapy dogs can have on people.  They both went on to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of the group.

Open for applications – Introduction to Animal-Assisted Interventions

We are happy to announce that the “Introduction to Animal-Assisted Interventions” course is now open for applications for our January 2014 intake.

The course is delivered online over 13 weeks with full tutor support.

Full details of the course, the technical requirements and how to apply can be found HERE.

Places are limited so please do get your application in sooner rather than later.  We will be announcing two further intake dates for later in 2014 soon.



People and Animals – Exploring approaches to mutual health and wellbeing

iStock_000010073664_ExtraSmallA networking event, hosted by Hereford Community Farm and Dogs for the Disabled will be held on Friday 15th November at Hereford Community Farm in Herefordshire.

SCAS will be presenting the Animal-Assisted Interventions Code of Practice as part of the day-long programme that will also include presentations and workshops from:

  • Developing AAI work at Dogs for the Disabled – by Helen McCain
  • Animal Assisted Intervention International – Peter Gorbing, Dogs for the Disabled
  • Equine Assisted Psychotherapy – by David Tidmarsh, Equine Assisted Solutions
  • Animals and practitioners – by Jane Fossey, Associate Director or Psychological Services Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Working with small animals  – Julie Milsom, Hereford Community Farm
  • Working with dogs – Katie Bristow-Wade, Team Leader of the PAWS project at Dogs for the Disabled
  • Working with horses  – David Tidmarsh

There is also a networking dinner in the evening.

Price to attend the day is £40 per person and an additional £15 per person to attend the dinner.

For full programme, details and booking arrangements please contact Katie Bristow-Wade via email or phone Katie on 07841 517543.

Numbers are limited so prompt booking is recommended.