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$300,000 Available for Human-Animal Bond Research

Posted: May 3, 2013, 5:05 p.m. EDT

How the presence of animals helps people with autism, cancer or one of five other conditions will be the subject of research sponsored by Morris Animal Foundation and the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI).

The organizations are accepting preliminary proposals through June 28 before awarding up to 10 research grants totaling $300,000.

 Human Animal Bond
HABRI focuses on uncovering scientific, medical, and economic evidence of the benefits of the human-animal bond.
"This is a great opportunity for students, researchers and various industry professionals,” said Bob Vetere, president of HABRI.

Besides autism and cancer, the medical conditions selected for research into the human-animal bond include heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and childhood allergies and immunity.

The seven conditions "to date have seen the most promising scientific evidence in terms of the positive impacts of the bond but could still benefit from a greater understanding,” Vetere said.

The research will investigate the health benefits and therapeutic outcomes arising from pet ownership or animal-assisted therapy, both among people and animals.

The preliminary proposals will be evaluated by an independent review board. Full proposals will be requested from selected applicants.

Morris Animal Foundation, based in Denver, will review and oversee the research awards on behalf of HABRI.

HABRI is a coalition of companies, organizations and individuals. It was founded by Petco, Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health) and the American Pet Products Association, which Vetere serves as president.

Application details are available at MorrisAnimalFoundation.org.

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