Big Issue article on John Chadwick Pet Policy

The Big Issue just published a wonderful article by Dee Bonnet who, with the support of SCAS, has worked with Maidstone Borough Council to develop the John Chadwick Pet Policy. The tragic loss of John Chadwick really hits home why #Petinhousing is such an important issue and remains one of SCAS’s priorities. John’s friend Dee Bonnet channelled her grief into ensuring other vulnerable individuals never experienced the heart-breaking dilemma of choosing between their beloved companions and a roof over their head. Maidstone Borough Council developed the #TheJohnChadwickPetPolicy and we hope other councils will soon adopt similar policies. Dee Bonnet set up a petition that you can sign to show your support. We hope other councils will soon adopt similar policies.

Read the article here:

Third African Conference on Human-animal Interactions 1-3 August: Building Compassion – the role of HAI in fostering empathy towards humans and animals

Report from SCAS Chair Dr. Elizabeth Ormerod.

SCAS member Dr Sunday Agbonika, whom I am proud to mentor, is a bond-centred veterinarian working in Nigeria. Sunday organises virtual conferences on AAI, HAI, animal welfare and behaviour. His work is reaching hundreds of colleagues throughout the world, especially in regions where understanding of HAI is less well developed. His AAI programme, DogaLov, helps children with developmental difficulties, including autism.

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SCAS leads successful workshop on pets in housing at the ISAZ 2023 conference

SCAS members Elizabeth Ormerod & Sandra McCune led a fully booked workshop at the recent ISAZ conference in Edinburgh, Pets in Housing: Global Challenges and Solutions, which focused on the lack of access to pet-friendly housing for people who have companion animals. The workshop was part of a project led by an international Steering Group focused on Pets in Housing issues. Renters with pets often experience hardships securing a home. Despite scientific evidence of pet ownership benefits, and that landlords report people do more property damage than pets, renters with pets face intense challenges. Rental housing experiences of tenants with pets from a global perspective is understudied.

Dr. Elizabeth Ormerod, ISAZ Conference 2023

The workshop presented an overview of the nature, scale and complexity of this issue which can have tragic consequences for the owner and companion animal along with a summary of the potential benefits of keeping people and pets together. Holly Dalby, an MSc student at University of Stirling working with the Steering Group, presented her gap analysis of what scientific work has been done in this area and gathered further information on research gaps from delegates. The rest of the workshop focused on building skills and sharing resources to advocate for better access to pet-friendly housing.

The lack of pet friendly housing seriously impacts people and their companion animals, disproportionately affecting lower income households. Particular difficulties are experienced by seniors moving to supported living and by young people seeking rental accommodation. The wider community issues include extreme pressures on animal rescue organisations and staff due to soaring numbers of relinquished animals concurrent with fewer adoptees being available due to pets in housing restrictions.  Denying people the opportunity for a bond relationship has negative health consequences, sometimes tragically causing suicide. Pet keeping restrictions also diminish social capital effects. These combined effects increase costs to society through poorer health outcomes and higher rates of crime. 

Delegates were invited to make a commitment on the day by completing a postcard designed for the workshop which they were reminded of a month later and offered support to mobilise their actions to keep people and pets together. If you would like more information contact SCAS at

Recognition for the John Chadwick Pet Policy

Dee Bonett and Maidstone Borough Council have won a much-deserved award for their partnership driving new pet-friendly housing policy following the tragic suicide of John Chadwick. The John Chadwick Pet Policy ensures that those with pets who have become homeless are supported in Emergency Accommodation until suitable permanent accommodation can be found – for both the homeless person and their pet. SCAS is proud to have supported Dee as she worked with Maidstone Borough Council to develop this new policy together.

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Up-coming conferences

The Annual SCAS Conference: Are pets really good for us? The role of pets in mental and physical health. Online, 17 September 2023. Click here for details.

July 22-23, 2023Horses & Humans Research Foundation (HHRF) 2023 Conference
Centenary University, NJ, US
Aug 1-3, 20233rd Annual Human-Animal Interactions in Africa conference 2023
Register here.
Sept 12-14, 2023Anthrozoology as International Practice (AIP): A student conference in Human-Animal Studies. Register here.Online
Sept 17, 2023The Annual SCAS Conference: Are pets really good for us? The role of pets in mental and physical health. #SCAS2023
Oct 10-11, 2023IV One Welfare World Conference
Burgos, Spain

Call for Posters to be presented at the 2023 SCAS Conference ‘Are Pets really Good for Us? The role of pets in mental and physical health’

Call for Posters to be presented at the 2023 SCAS Conference, ‘Are Pets really Good For Us? The role of pets in mental and physical health on Sunday 17 September 2023 (Online).

Abstracts are now being accepted for posters related to the subject of the role of pets in mental and physical health. Please submit abstracts to by 30 June 2023 and type ‘SCAS2023 Poster’ in the email subject line. All abstracts must be submitted in English, the official language of the conference.

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