AS301 Understanding the Human-Animal Bond

Course Description

This course provides an interdisciplinary examination of the human animal relationship. Topics include relationships with pets, psychological and physiological benefits of companion animals, concern for animal rights and animal welfare, the role of animals in children's lives and in schools, and demographic differences in people's relationships with animals. 3 credits

Course Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the historical and philosophical foundations of human-animal relationships.
  • Differentiate various theoretical orientations explaining the human-animal bond.
  • Formulate ethical and welfare issues surrounding human- animal relationships.

Course Topics

(Subject to Change)

  • History of the human-animal relationship
  • Health and psycho-social benefits of the human-animal bond
  • Cross-cultural and religious perspectives
  • Chronological perspectives: children and the elderly
  • Animal assisted interventions
  • Pet loss, animal abuse, animal violence
  • Humane education and popular culture

Course Materials

(Subject to Change)

  • Fine, A. H. (2006). Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy. San Diego: Elsevier Press
  • Anderson, E. (2008). The Powerful Bond Between People and Pets: Our Boundless Connections to Companion Animals. Westport, Ct: Praeger Press.