Animal-Assisted Interventions and Community Programs

Aviva Vincent, Augusta O’reilly, Blair McKissock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


This chapter explores the relationship between animal-assisted interventions (AAI) and veterinary social work. AAI has historical roots in aligned helping professions, such as nursing and psychology; social work has embraced the challenges associated with preparing students and professionals to engage in this work, including its ethical, educational, and practical dimensions. AAI rests on a strong theoretical foundation, drawing from the biophilia hypothesis, attachment theory, and the biopsychosocial framework. The inclusion of animals in the therapeutic process decreases treatment resistance, increases social rapport, and helps promote favorable treatment outcomes. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future opportunities. An appendix provides a listing of resources for continued learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Comprehensive Guide to Interdisciplinary Veterinary Social Work
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9783031103308
ISBN (Print)9783031103292
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal-assisted interventions
  • Attachment theory
  • Biophilia hypothesis
  • Biopsychosocial theory
  • Therapeutic collaborator bill of rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Veterinary


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