Virginia Tech Vet College to Host Human-Animal Bond Symposium

The symposium, to be held March 6, is open to all professionals and community members interested in the human-animal bond.

Therapy animals with Virginia Tech Helping PAWS (Pet-Assisted Wellness Service) demonstrate the importance of the human-animal bond with regular visits to the library and other parts of the community. Therapy dogs from the group will be a part of the symposium.

Virginia Tech

The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech will be sponsoring a human-animal bond symposium on March 6 at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.

The event, “The Animal Human Experience: Exploring the Bond,” aims to bring together experts from multidisciplinary fields to explore the benefits and challenges of human-animal interactions, services and therapies.

Marie Suthers, DVM, professor of anthrozoology at Carroll College in Helena, Mont., will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Suthers served as the founding director of the veterinary college’s Center for Human-Animal Relationships between 1999 and 2006.

“Dr. Suthers has more than 25 years of experience in veterinary practice, academic and community education and the study of human-animal interaction,” said Bess Peirce, DVM, the current director of the center and symposium organizer. “She is a well-known national and international speaker on the relationship between people and animals, including the impact of human-animal interaction of specific human populations and the well-being of animals employed in therapeutic interventions for humans.”

Symposium speakers will cover a range of topics, such as the link between animal abuse and abuse of vulnerable human populations and equine-assisted psychotherapy.

A panel discussion on an integrated approach to animal-assisted therapy on campus will also take place.

The event is open to all professionals and community members interested in the human-animal bond. Registration must be completed by Feb. 27. Continuing education hours are provided as part of the registration package.

For details, visit the website.

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