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The Link, One Health, and Social Capital: A New Strategy for Empathy Education and Social Work

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For 150 years, animal welfare and veterinary advocates have promoted a doctrine that animal welfare will be enhanced by teaching children kindness to animals and responsible animal husbandry practices. However, these efforts have been stymied by societal and professional perceptions that "animal" causes are less worthy than "human" services. Ten significant challenges have made it difficult, if not impossible, to gain access to educators' curricula and social work training. In a society that continues to place humans' interests above animals', it is time to try a new approach that focuses on the human benefits of animal welfare. In particular, a five-part plan that emphasizes The Link between animal abuse and human violence, the physiological and mental health benefits of animal companionship, and the potential of pets to improve social capital and community well-being may hold keys to getting human-animal bond messaging more widely accepted in schools, universities, and professional training programs.


Angel Tobey

Purdue University

Date April 2013
Publisher University of Tennessee
Conference Title International Veterinary Social Work Summit
Format Workshop/Slides
Size/Length 1 hour
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal abuse
  2. Animal health and hygiene
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Companion pet attachment
  5. Human-animal bond
  6. human-animal contact
  7. Social Work
  8. Violence