COVID-19 and human-animal bonds: A researcher-practitioner partnership committed to ensuring animal welfare, enhancing human well-being, and building human-animal resilience
Project OverviewThe COVID-19 pandemic has had a far-reaching effect on both human and non-human communities. The severe socioeconomic outcomes and public health protocols have been dramatically influencing pet guardians’ accessibility to veterinary medical and behavioral services, which may result in conceivable relinquishment and other unfavorable human-animal interactions, jeopardizing animal welfare, human well-being, and human-animal resilience capacity. Collaborating with the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS, the partner organization), this coast-to-coast researcher-practitioner interdisciplinary partnership has identified the following three essential reasons during the Covid-19 outbreak that a nuanced understanding of pet guardians’ actions concerning veterinary medical and behavioral interventions is urgently needed: (1) the theoretical drive: the systematic examination of the pet guardians’ behaviors contributes to the current empirical research in human-animal welfare, promoting the VHS’s theoretical foundation supported by the One Welfare outlook; (2) the practical necessities: the complete identification of the pet guardians’ challenges provides evidence-based strategies to improve VHS and community-based veterinary service and animal protection agencies’ service delivery models and emergency response plans; and (3) the policy/decision-making initiatives: this pandemic provides a vital opportunity for VHS and other animal protection agencies to improve policy initiatives for redressing unhealthy human-animal bonds and rebuilding their respective resilience capacities.
Study DesignCase-control Study
Project KeywordsCOVID-19; Researcher-practitioner partnership; One Welfare; Human and animal bonds; Human-animal welfare; Human-animal resilience; Practice and policy interventions, Veterinary medical and behavioural services; Animal protection; General public education
Department or Unit: School of Social Work
Organization: Dalhousie University
- Name: AmyMorrisTitle: DirectorOrganization: Vancouver Humane Society
CONVERGE is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation, Program on Humans, Disasters, and the Built Environment (Award #1841338). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.