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Humane Research and Therapy

American Humane Association, working with policymakers, thought leaders, scientists and the public, wishes to build enduring solutions for the most pressing challenges facing children and animals. To build a robust solutions-based platform, they launched two institutes: Children’s Innovation Institute and Animal Welfare Research Institute. They have also developed a partnership with Pfizer Animal Health to conduct a study that analyzes the impact of animal assisted therapy. American Humane Association also works closely with many legislators to create and influence policies that protect children and animals.

Our Impact

  • We are international leaders in the science of animal welfare, child protection and well-being, and the power of the human-animal bond.
  • We are policy innovators with an unrivaled track record of securing legislative victories, shaping demonstrable shifts in cultural attitudes, and ending cruelty and abuse of children and animals.
  • We are working toward building a world of humane communities, a goal attainable by many groups working together in association with each other.

Our Programs

Canines and Childhood Cancer Study

Zoetis and The Pfizer Foundation have awarded several grants to American Humane Association to launch an innovative research study — the Canines and Childhood Cancer (CCC) research project — to investigate the impacts of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) on pediatric oncology patients and their families.

Pets in the Classroom Study

The Pet Care Trust has awarded a grant to American Humane Association to conduct research on Phase I of the two-phase "Pets in the Classroom" study, which seeks to quantify the educational value of classroom pets for schoolchildren. The researchers concluded in the first phase that having a pet in the classroom has real educational, leadership, and character-building value and can teach children important values like compassion, empathy, respect, and responsibility for other living things.

Canines, Kids and Autism Study

A core part of American Humane Association’s 137-year-old mission is the study of the human-animal bond. The study, is the organization’s second study involving dogs and children. The association is also involved in a full clinical trial of the Canines and Childhood Cancer study in partnership with Zoetis, which is investigating the biological and psychosocial effects of therapy dogs on pediatric cancer patients.

Humane Scholars

Through the Humane Scholars Program, selected veterinary students develop and disseminate solutions-driven science that has a direct impact on the health and welfare of companion animals. Students participate in 8-12-week scientific research projects and are matched with leading academic and scientific faculty mentors who will oversee their research, providing a unique opportunity to contribute to scientific research benefiting animals.

Pet Smart - Keeping Pets (Dogs and Cats) in Homes: A Three-Phase Retention Study

About Animal Welfare Research Institute

American Humane Association launched the Animal Welfare Research Institute under the direction of world-renowned Chief Veterinary Advisor Dr. Patricia Olson. Institute-funded scientists are working to fill the yawning gaps in our knowledge about the causes and potential treatment of illnesses like cancer and other life-threatening diseases in cats, dogs, horses and wildlife. They are examining issues of food safety and quality, and the relation to conditions like obesity. And they are looking at other cross-cutting trends such as the apparent increase in asthma among animals and the effect of environmental toxins like endocrine disruptors across a range of health issues. The Institute supports research programs and protocols that mirror those used to investigate human illnesses – starting with the dictum that subjects should never face harm from the studies in which they participate.

About Children's Innovation Institute

American Humane Association’s Children’s Innovation Institute will operate and fund innovative, collaborative and strategic science and training programs that aim to advance the welfare, wellness and well-being of children. The Institute will identify the issues that most greatly affect children’s welfare and work to fill gaps in existing research of those issues. The Institute will bring together Interdisciplinary teams of researchers to look at how to optimize children’s services in the United States and around the world.