Category Archives: Human-Animal Bond



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

Loneliness – Operation Meet the Street – BBC

ad3456fa20b2fd91c2b1311bc78d5c2a_1This week, the BBC have been airing a new series looking at loneliness in Britain.  James Martin takes celebrities back to a street they grew up on to see who lives there now and help set up a local social network in a campaign designed to tackle the issue of loneliness in the UK.

You can watch the episodes on BBC iPlayer.  Tomorrow’s episode will be touching on how animals can help combat loneliness for some people.  You can watch it at 9.15am tomorrow morning (Thursday 18th December) and the final episode is on Friday at the same time in the morning.

Watch Operation Meet the Street on BBC iPlayer

More information about the benefits of the human-animal bond can be found on the SCAS website.  We’ve prepared a special page to signpost you to some of the most relevant parts of our website HERE.

ICAC Kobe 4th International Conference – July 2015


The first International Conference on Animal Care (ICAC) Kobe was started in 2009, 15 years after the 1995 Kobe Earthquake (Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake) caused tragic human and animal suffering.  Commemorating 20 years since the Kobe Earthquake, the 4th International Conference on All Creatures Care in KOBE 2015 will be held in July 2015. This conference aims to improve the welfare of animals all over the world by showing that our responsibilities extend far and wide within and beyond our society.

The ICAC KOBE 2015 programme includes a keynote, symposium, and reception, as well as a presentation by professionals and poster displays by graduate students.

The professional presentations (oral sessions) have four themes, including:

Food Safety/Zoonosis,
One Plan Approach ~Integrated Way to Live in Coexistence with Wild Animals~,
Education/Human-animal Relations,

ICAC are still accepting applications for the professional presentations and the poster displays.

ICAC KOBE 2015 Official Website

Oral Session Application Guideline

Poster Session Application Guideline

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.

Emotions of pets – can you read them?

_MG_1656Dr Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers, Professor of Anthrozoology at The Open University in the Netherlands, together with Professor Martens from the Maastricht University, is carrying out research into the emotions of pet animals and if pet ‘owners’ can recognize them.

If you would like to help with this research, you are invited to fill in the following questionnaire:

Pets for Life

Are you aware of our Pets for Life campaign?

BC_1232304Approximately one quarter of all people over retirement age own pets but SCAS research revealed that the majority of care homes and sheltered housing complexes in the UK do not have pet policies resulting in many older people having to part with their pets.

There are many situations where people of all ages find themselves facing difficulties and challenges when wishing to keep their pets with them in their homes. This can be as a result of a change in accommodation, a change in housing policies or other reasons beyond the control of the people and animals involved.

Find out more about our previous work with the Pets for Life campaign and get involved by joining one of our two new networking groups:

The Pets for Life Open Group is for people to discuss issues, share experiences or ask questions relating to the issues surrounding housing, homes, people and their pets. Everyone can join this group – so if you have been affected by housing and pet issues please do join the group and get involved.

The Pets for Life Working Group is for professionals and associates in the field to collaborate and work together with SCAS towards making positive change for people and their pets in relation to the issues people are facing with housing and pets.  If you would like to volunteer to help in this area and you have some relevant skills/background/knowledge to offer, please do request to join this group.

ISAZ abstract submissions deadline is nearing

Abstract deadline Jan 31 for the 23rd Annual Conference of the
International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) is approaching.

The meeting will be held July 19-21, 2014 – Vienna, Austria

Animals and Humans Together: Integration in Society.

The International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) invites submission of
both oral (15 minutes total) and poster abstracts for its 23rd Annual
Conference which will be held in Vienna, Austria on July 19-21, 2014. The
conference will focus on the role of human-animal interactions (HAI) in
society, including a range of empirical evidence for the effects of HAI on
human, animals and society. We also encourage the submission of free
papers on all other relevant topics in the field of HAI.

Research abstracts include:
1. A list of authors, institutional affiliations, and email address for
2. An introduction to the study and its objectives;
3. Methodology – including a description of the participants (both human
and animal), such as number (n), type, age, gender, and species, and a
description of the study design, data collection, and data analysis; 4.
Main results, including statistical test, significance levels and test
5. Conclusions and implications for the field. Only abstracts reporting
results will be eligible for oral presentation.

Critical review abstracts include
1. A list of authors, institutional affiliations, and email address for
2. An introduction to the objectives of the review;
3. Key literature references that have been reviewed or re-evaluated; 4.
Main findings, and
5. Principal conclusions and implications for the field.

Abstracts must be in English (UK or US spelling is both fine, please be
consistent), concise, informative and no longer than 4000 characters,
including references

All abstracts need to be submitted via the online submission system at Abstracts for oral presentations that are
not selected may be eligible for a posters. A sample abstract is provided
for reference at the abstract submission section.

Please indicate in the online submission system whether you want to
participate in the ISAZ Best Student Presentation/Poster Award.
Deadline for abstract submission: January 31st 2014.

Further information is available at the ISAZ website and on Facebook:

Job Vacancy – Mars Petcare – Research Manager – Human-Animal Interaction

Mars Petscare have a job vacancy that may be of interest to you.

Research Manager – Human-Animal Interaction (HAI)

£45,000 – £54,000 + 2 bonus opportunities, car bonus, healthcare and pension

Waltham, Melton Mowbray, Leics.

As Research Manager HAI reporting to our Head of Research, your brief will be to lead a global research and communications programme which underpins a strategic pillar of our Global Petcare Vision:  to strengthen the human-animal bond and make the world a better place for pets.  You’ll play a critical role in delivering this through high-quality scientific research in collaboration with key academics and opinion formers, as well as public-private partnerships.  That’ll involve the development and execution of a five-year strategy to improve the quality of our HAI research continuously in alignment with business priorities.  So you’ll need to:

  • monitor the latest developments within this field
  • create internal and external expertise networks
  • act as the authoritative source of information and advice on HAI for our global business.

With at least a PhD in an Ethological, Psychological, Veterinary or Health-related science discipline, you already have a proven track record within biological/veterinary scientific research, ideally involving close collaboration with NGOs/government bodies.  Your hearty appetite for constantly acquiring new scientific knowledge will complement your skills in networking and setting strategic research goals and measures.  With a clear passion for high-quality HAI research and its application, you’re readily be able to build and leverage professional networks.  Your attributes will also include:

  • the gravitas to represent Waltham within scientific and professional communities and across Mars Petcare
  • a strong drive for results

And of course, you’ll have that passion for pets.

More information about this post here:

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.