The Human-Animal Bond
Until one has loved an animal, a part of
one's soul remains unawakened.
The human-animal bond is evident when a person and a non-human animal form a strong relationship that has positive psychological and physiological effects on the person and the animal. It’s undeniable that humans and animals have the capacity for creating these strong bonds, and if you’re lucky, you may have experienced this type of bond with an animal in your own life. Science has shown not only that bonding with an animal can decrease a person’s blood pressure and increase one’s heart health, but also that forming a healthy friendship with an animal provides profound emotional and mental benefits.
For youth who have not had the opportunity to experience the amazing connection that one can have with animals, we provide learning activities that will introduce them to the concept of the human-animal bond. This may help them when they meet animals of friends or family, and may inspire them to bring an animal into their life when it is the right time for them.
In our featured download, we provide a simple but impactful activity through which students learn what the human-animal bond is, and then make a collage to represent how people and animal companions can benefit from sharing their lives together.
Finding Your Match
After filling out a questionnaire about their lifestyles and the qualities they are looking for in their ideal companion animal, students will consider what animal they think would be a good match for them to adopt. Students also learn that making a good match means that they can provide what the animal needs as well.
Students learn that heroes come in all shapes and sizes, because being a hero is not about the way you look, but about what you do. Youth will be inspired by the stories of animals whose courage and compassion enabled them to help others.
Ages 7 and up
Lost and Found Cat
This moving true story demonstrates how strong the human-animal bond is by describing the experience of a refugee family who flees their country and takes their cat with them. When they arrive in Greece, the cat becomes lost, and volunteers do all that they can to reunite the family with their beloved cat.
Ages 7 and up
Harley Saves the Day
The bond between Anthony and his dog Harley is undeniable, but the neighbors are uncomfortable because of the way Harley looks. When an unexpected incident occurs, Harley saves the day, and everyone realizes that they are better for having Harley as a member of their community.
Ages 9 and up
Step Right Up
William “Doc” Key, a freed slave, has a deep interest in working with horses. His first colt, Jim, is born sickly. He nurses Jim back to health and they form a beautiful friendship. Doc teaches Jim incredible tricks. They travel the country, showing off Jim’s amazing talent, and spreading a message of kindness toward animals.
Did you realize that the benefits of having an animal in your life go way beyond the companionship you feel? There are documented benefits of pet ownership and ongoing studies looking at these important relationships. The human-animal bond is a real thing, and something that is bettering the lives of animal lovers everywhere. >> READ MORE
There is a growing global trend to consider pets as part of the family. In fact, millions of people around the world love their pets, enjoying their companionship, going for walks, playing, and even talking to them. And there is evidence suggesting that attachment to pets is good for human health and even helps build community. >> READ MORE
Learn more about zooeyia and the benefits of the human-animal bond to share with youth when teaching them about these important concepts.
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Copyright 2023 by HEART - Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers