Canisius ISHAR

Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations


Pet Therapy:
Who Benefits and What Are the Risks?


Stephen Zawistowski, PhD
Executive Vice President of the ASPCA

February 18, 2010

Dr. Zawistowski is a world-renowned expert on mankind’s relationships with animals.  He is often in the news advancing sound reasoning and ethical behavior wherever animal welfare issues are at stake.  He authored the ground-breaking text Companion Animals and Society, and is co-founder of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.

Dr. Zawistowski lead a discussion of the ways people use animals to assist in therapeutic treatments of humans (e.g., pet-assisted therapy, service animals for handicapped, etc.).  His presentation included lessons learned from past experiences and an overview of the ethical challenges inherent in this type of human-animal interactions.