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Facts About ASI

As Mahatma Gandhi is often quoted as having said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” In fact, animals are everywhere—in our homes, in our children’s storybooks, on farms, in our national parks, and on many dinner plates. Yet we often do not think about the countless roles animals and humans play in each other’s lives. At the Animals and Society Institute we believe there is much to be learned about human-animal relationships and work to be done to make communities safer and more compassionate for all. That is the work we do.

Founded in 1983, ASI improves and expands knowledge about human-animal relationships. We’re different from organizations that focus only on either animal welfare or human welfare. Our focus is the relationship between animals and people. We translate research on human-animal interaction into practice and equip people who want to understand and improve human-animal relationships with the knowledge and tools they need to get results.

We are the only one-stop resource that offers information, tools and hands-on assistance to people working on the full spectrum of human-animal relationships—everything from treating people who abuse animals to studying animals in literature to doing animal-assisted therapy. We are the leader in translating research on human-animal interaction into practice and promoting evidence-based approaches that get results. In fact, we’re raising the bar in the field of human-animal interaction by supporting and promoting program evaluation, disseminating findings, and identifying best practices based on data.

Here are just a few highlights of our work:

  • We have provided more than 70 workshops on AniCare, our treatment model for people who have abused animals, to over 1,100 participants in 24 states and territories.
  • We cosponsor an annual fellowship program for Human-Animal Studies (HAS) scholars. We have offered this unique opportunity to more than 60 scholars who have become leaders in the field.
  • We cosponsor the International Development Program Award, helping universities outside of the U.S. to build HAS programs that would not exist without our support.
  • ASI’s two journals, Society & Animals (S&A) and the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, (JAAWS), offer in-depth articles that examine society’s complex relationship with animals.
  • ASI has compiled a list of more than 350 courses and degree programs worldwide in HAS.

Under the leadership of our new Executive Director, Dr. Maya Gupta, ASI will build on our success to date by refining existing programs and developing new ones. In the coming year, we will be:

  • Revamping our website, making it easier for scholars, students, professionals from a range of disciplines, and members of the public who care about animals to find relevant resources
  • Making the scholarly resources ASI has long created, such as S&A and JAAWS, more accessible to a lay audience who can use their findings to improve the welfare of animals
  • Disseminating and promoting best practices related to prevention and treatment of animal abuse
  • Developing a database of evidence-based programs that focus on the continuum of human-animal interaction
  • Supporting the growth of HAS programs in non-U.S., and non-Western, colleges and universities

Please consider supporting our efforts to provide essential resources to those working to understand and improve relationships between animals and people.