Numerous studies have been done on the positive effect that pets have on their owners and their owners’ health. Pfizer Animal Health has chosen to take these studies further by funding research that study how pets can improve the well-being of children diagnosed with cancer.
Pfizer Animal Health, a founding partner in the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation and the Pfizer Foundation, have donated $282,000 to fund research as part of a new partnership with the American Humane Association to study the effect of animal-assisted therapy on pediatric oncology patients, their parents, caregivers, siblings and other family members.
Over the next three years, AHA and Pfizer plan to work with 150 children from five hospitals or clinical settings in the U.S. that treat children with cancer. Researchers will examine medical, behavioral and mental health benefits of animal therapy.
“Anyone who has ever seen a child turn to his or her pet for solace during a difficult time knows that a beneficial interaction is taking place there,” said Robin Ganzert, Ph. D., president and CEO of AHA. “Our goal is to fully understand, from a scientific perspective, what is happening in these interactions. The question we are looking to answer is: In what ways can animal-assisted therapy improve the health and well-being of children- and their families – in their fight against cancer?”