History and Mission

The Center for Applied Ethology and Human-Animal Interaction was established in 1982 at Purdue University to study these relationships and to communicate its findings to scientists and the public. In 1997, the name was changed to Center for the Human-Animal Bond to reflect the relationship that exists between people and the animals that share this earth.

The Human-Animal Bond is the dynamic relationship between people and animals in that each influences the psychological and physiological state of the other. Human-animal interaction has profound physiological consequences. People, in the contact with animals experience a decrease in blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and a general feeling of well being. By observing the behavior of animals, children learn to be more nurturing and perhaps better parents to their own children. The therapeutic value of animals for socially isolated individuals in nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, and prisons has been documented. People in the presence of animals are often perceived to be more happy and healthy.

Wild, zoo, farm, and companion animals are an integral component of our culture and socioeconomic environment. Animal welfare, or the humane care of animals, is a societal responsibility. However, there is little information available that relates animal health and welfare to such factors as genetics, stress, environment, and husbandry practices. A better understanding of the determinants of animal well being is needed to optimize the comfort, health, performance, and sometimes survivability of all animal species.

The Center is committed to expanding our knowledge of the interrelationships between people, animals, and their environment. The Center is concerned with all aspects of human-animal interaction and welfare including companion, farmed domestic species, and wildlife. An emphasis is placed on humane ethics in managing our living resources.

The major objective of the Center is to foster interdisciplinary activities in the University by serving as a focal point for the exchange of ideas and development of new information related to animal-human interactions and animal welfare.