Last updated April 25, 2017
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Human-Animal Interactions

Human–Animal Interactions

A Social Work Guide

Janet Hoy-Gerlach and Scott Wehman

ISBN: 978-0-87101-517-4. 2017. Item #5174. 192 pages.

Paperback $38.99   ePub $31.19

Animals—whether as household companions, therapy animals comforting those in need, or highly trained service dogs supporting people with disabilities—occupy important positions in the lives of many individuals and their larger communities. Despite increasing recognition of the relevance of human–animal interaction (HAI) to social work practice, the topic remains largely ignored by many educational and training programs. As a result, the significant roles that animals can play in human interventions are often overlooked.

In Human–Animal Interactions: A Social Work Guide, Janet Hoy-Gerlach and Scott Wehman provide a comprehensive examination of HAI and its applicability to helping professions. The book begins with a detailed overview of HAI, analyzing its history; extensive biological, physiological, and social benefits; and associated risks and ethical concerns. Relational aspects of HAI are also considered, including the role of companion animals in family systems, the loss of companion animals, and the various contexts in which social workers may have to confront and address violence toward animals. The varying therapeutic roles of animals and related practice guidelines are delineated and discussed. The book concludes with an exploration of HAI specialization areas within social work practice, including veterinary social work, practice within humane societies, and other emerging areas.

Human–Animal Interactions: A Social Work Guide is a unique, meticulously researched resource for students, academics, and practitioners. Supplemented with current legal guidelines and recommendations for further reading, this book will help social workers and other helping professionals improve the welfare of humans and animals alike. One-third of the book sale royalties will go to the Toledo Area Humane Society, which provides MSW internships and innovative human–animal support programming.