Human-Animal Interaction Resources

Books & References

HAI Books Montage

The Social Neuroscience of Human-Animal Interaction


Details & synopsis

Edited by: Lisa S. Freund, Sandra McCune, Layla Esposito, Nancy R. Gee, Peggy McCardle
ISBN: 978-1-4338-2176-9
Published By: American Psychological Association Books
Publication Date: 15/02/16

Back cover Synopsis: In this wide-ranging and fascinating volume, an international and cross-disciplinary group of authors seek to understand human-animal interaction (HAI) by applying research in the neurobiology and genetics that underlie human social functioning. Chapters examine HAI from evolutionary and developmental perspectives, and weigh the implications of HAI research for animal welfare. Clinical applications include animal-assisted therapies for people with disabilities, acute or chronic health conditions, and social or emotional difficultieIntended for researchers in social neuroscience and HAI as well as clinicians, teachers and animal-rights activists, and anyone interested in how and why animals affect us the way they do.  

Link to purchase on publisher’s website:

Animals in Our Lives: Human-Animal Interaction in Family, Community & Therapeutic Settings


Details & synopsis

Edited by: Peggy McCardle, Sandra McCune, James A Griffin, Layla Esposito, Lisa S Freund.
ISBN: 978-1-59857-157-8
Published By: Brookes Publishing Co
Publication Date: 2011

Back cover synopsis: What do we know about the benefits of human-animal interaction (HAI)— and what future research needs to be done to ensure high-quality, evidence-based practices? Find out in this book, an essential research volume for anyone interested in the impact of animal therapies and interactions on child health and development. Gathering contributions from the leading experts in the HAI field, this landmark volume explores the current evidence on

•    how children with disabilities can benefit from animal therapies
•    how animals can strengthen empathy, trust, relationships, and other hallmarks of social competence
•    why animal-assisted intervention is valuable for children with mental health issues and physical illnesses
•    how animals in classrooms can enhance a wide range of developmental skills
•    which key factors help ensure ethical HAI practices
•    how to reduce risks associated with child– animal interactions
•    why pet ownership can benefit both a child and the whole family

Whether used as a text or as a reference for researchers and decision makers (or as a source of information for pet owners and parents), this book will help readers take the first important steps toward ethical, evidence-based HAI practices that really improve child outcomes.

Link to purchase on publisher’s website:

The Health Benefits of Dog Walking for People and Pets: Evidence and case studies


Details & synopsis

Edited by: Rebecca A Johnson, Alan M. Beck, Sandra McCune
ISBN: 978-1-55753-582-5
Published By: Purdue University Press
Publication Date: 25/10/2011

Back cover Synopsis: Obesity is at epidemic levels worldwide. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that by 2018 the cost of treating weight-related illnesses will double to almost $350 billion a year.  A 2010 report by the U.S. Surgeon General estimates that two-thirds of American adults and almost one in three children are now overweight or obese. Similar statistics emphasize the staggering problem in other industrialized countries.
This volume originated in a special 2009 symposium funded in part by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) and sponsorship from Mars-Waltham© on how human-animal interaction may help fight obesity across the lifespan. It provides systematic presentation of the scientific evidence for this powerful expression of the benefits of the human-animal bond.
The volume will be especially valuable as a sourcebook of evidence-based studies for public health professionals treating overweight humans and veterinarians treating obese dogs.

Link to purchase on publisher’s website:

Link to view full document free online:

How Animals Affect Us: Examining the Influence of Human–Animal Interaction on Child Development and Human Health


Details & Synopsis

Edited by: Peggy McCardle, PhD, MPH; Sandra McCune, PhD; James A. Griffin, PhD; and Valerie Maholmes, PhD, CAS
ISBN: 978-1-4338-0865-4
Published By: American Psychological Association
Publication Date: October 2010

Back cover Synopsis:
How Animals Affect Us launches a new field of inquiry by presenting robust scientific research to deepen an understanding of the impact of human-animal interaction. Separating evidence from anecdotes, the authors begin to form a solid evidence base for practice in the therapeutic use of animals - from guide dogs and assistance animals to the inclusion of animals during psychotherapy. With its interdisciplinary approach, this book will appeal to a wide range of researchers and practitioners interested in the health impact of human-animal interaction.

Link to purchase on publisher’s website:

WALTHAM pocket book of human-animal interactions


Details and synopsis

Edited by:
James Serpell, Sandra McCune
Published by: Beyond Design Solutions Ltd
Publication date: 2012

The WALTHAM Pocket Book of Human-Animal Interactions, edited Dr Sandra McCune, Head of HAI research, WALTHAM and Dr James Serpell from the University of Pennsylvania, US aims to provide a valuable introduction to human-animal interactions for everyone interested in pets, from people sharing their lives with pets to those working within the pet care and related industries.

File Size of PDF 24,426 KB


Guide to the Benefits of Pet Ownership for Healthy, Active Aging

This infographic, put together by Caring People Inc., supported by Mars Petcare, WALTHAM™ and The Gerontological Society of America, offers a comprehensive overview of how pets can support healthy ageing and includes helpful tips on how to make pet ownership in later life successful, both for carer and animal.


Compendium of HAI Resources


In the PDF below you will find a regularly-updated compendium of key resources for the field of Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) research. This downloadable document contains a global listing of HAI research and professional organisations; established HAI research centres; potential sources of research funding; select animal behavioural resources; recently-published books; and sources of general information in the field.


WALTHAM™, Mars Petcare Launch Partnership with Gerontological Society of America


With the goal of advancing research into the role of animals in lives of older adults, WALTHAM™, Mars Petcare, has formed an innovative partnership with the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).
To launch this partnership, in April 2016, WALTHAM sponsored a workshop, Advancing Research on Human- Animal Interaction in Human Aging, which was convened by GSA in Washington, DC. In attendance were invited experts from the fields of HAI and aging, who were tasked with the goal of beginning to develop a roadmap for advancing research in this area. The GSA has published an Executive Summary of the meeting, which is available along with a Press Release (see below).

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