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Updated to reflect evolving changes in our knowledge and discourse regarding the subject. Citations and references added to reflect an expanded literature; terminology relating to animals altered to reflect more accurate understanding of animals.

Updated on 1 October 2013. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 20 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A growing body of research attests to the negative and positive relationships that humans have with other animals. Operating from the profession's ecological perspective, which requires one to look at people in social and natural environments, social work researchers, educators, and practitioners must join other disciplines in incorporating human–other animal relationships into their work. This entry presents information on three specific areas that will help maximize the profession's ability to help clients: other animals as family, animal abuse, and the positive impact of relationships with animals.

Keywords: animal abuse, animal-assisted therapy, animal cruelty, animals and family violence, human–animal bond, animal-assisted interventions, pet therapy

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