Does the human-animal bond play a role in health & wellbeing?

The Humanimal Trust are delighted to announce a new, long-term research partnership with Pets as Therapy dog handlers Lyndsey Uglow and Karen Ramsay with their therapy dogs Leo, Jessie, Totty, Hattie and Archie at Southampton Children’s Hospital, University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust.

We discuss every day about the bond between humans and animals. Usually, we are referring to the physiological and biological connections of disease that impacts all species, but what about the emotional bond we share? And what role does this play in health and well-being?

Lyndsey and Karen and their therapy dogs will be working over an initial period of 12 months with The Humanimal Trust, undertaking dedicated research into Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI)


Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) has many modalities incorporating Animal Assisted Activity, Animal Assisted Education, Animal Assisted Play Therapy and Animal Assisted Therapy. The latter is goal-directed intervention in which an animal that meets specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process delivered by a volunteer handler and dog team with specialised expertise and in partnership with the patients’ medical team.

This research has the potential to shape the future of the use of AAI in the NHS. We are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Lyndsey Uglow and her team. Lyndsey holds the Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy, Activities and Learning from the Institute for Human Animal Connection at the University of Denver. She has been volunteering at Southampton Children’s Hospital for five years with her dogs and has extensive experience with paediatric patients and therapy dogs. Having studied the field at this advanced level, we look forward to sharing her knowledge, insight and experience to explore the possibilities of this interesting area of emotional commonality between humans and animals.

Our starting point is the impact of dogs with children, but the same principles could over time be mirrored into other departments and into veterinary healthcare – do animals recover better in a veterinary hospital or with their human family? Do family visits aid animal recovery?

For more details of this exciting new project, visit our dedicated Animal Assisted Intervention Project section



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