Article

Homelessness and Companion Animals: More than Just a Pet?

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Purpose Research identifies the value of animal companionship for people of various ages and with physical and mental health diagnoses. However, there is limited research into the value of animal companionship for the homeless population. Method This exploratory study aimed to investigate the value that homeless people find in animal companionship; the extent to which homelessness impacts on the ability to have animal companions; and interventions that health professionals can implement to reduce barriers to animal companionship. Twenty-six people were interviewed during Homeless Health Outreach Team outreach. Descriptive analysis of the responses to the semi-structured interviews was carried out. Findings Results indicated that the majority of participants had given up a pet, and wanted a pet but could not due to their homelessness. The impact of giving up a companion animal was significant. Difficulties associated with pet ownership focused mostly on the living environment and the cost. There were several benefits to having companion animals. Participants viewed that having a pet made a difference to their lives in that it provided friendship and responsibility and contributed to emotional wellbeing. Conclusion It is suggested that occupational therapists need to be aware of the impact that pet ownership has on the lives of homeless people and to explore ways in which they can assist with this.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Owning and caring for pets may increase barriers to service utilization for homeless persons because most healthcare facilities, public transportation, and shelter and other housing services do not permit pets [13,[15][16][17][18]. A study of 51 homeless persons in the United Kingdom found that dog-owning homeless respondents were less likely to use medical care facilities than those without dogs [19]. ...
... While legitimate health and safety reasons may prevent pets from being allowed in healthcare and shelter/housing services, such barriers may also result in homeless persons choosing their pet over receiving services, particularly as homeless persons usually have no secure location in which to leave a pet even for a short period of time. Pets may take priority over service utilization, as many homeless pet owners assert that their pets are important sources of emotional support, including friendship, companionship, ''unconditional acceptance,'' comfort, reduced loneliness, decreased social isolation, and love [14][15][16][17][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]. In a qualitative study of 105 adult homeless persons in the San Francisco area, more than half of dog owners said their pet was their sole source of companionship and love [16]. ...
... In a qualitative study of 105 adult homeless persons in the San Francisco area, more than half of dog owners said their pet was their sole source of companionship and love [16]. Homeless pet owners report that their pets serve as protectors [16,17,[19][20][21]23], motivators [20], and provide a sense of responsibility [20]. Homeless persons also state that others treat them better [16] or are more likely to talk to them because of their pets, with pets acting as ''social facilitators'' [14][15][16][17]. ...
Article
Full-text available
As many as 25 % of homeless persons have pets. To our knowledge, pet ownership has not been studied quantitatively with homeless youth. This study examined pet ownership among 398 homeless youth utilizing two Los Angeles drop-in centers. Twenty-three percent of homeless youth had a pet. The majority of pet owners reported that their pets kept them company and made them feel loved; nearly half reported that their pets made it more difficult to stay in a shelter. Pet owners reported fewer symptoms of depression and loneliness than their non-pet owning peers. Pet ownership was associated with decreased utilization of housing and job-finding services, and decreased likelihood of currently staying in a shelter. These findings elucidate many of the positive benefits of pet ownership for homeless youth, but importantly highlight that pet ownership may negatively impact housing options. Housing and other services must be sensitive to the needs of homeless youth with pets.
... This has been shown not to be the case, as most people who are close to their animals are generally sociable, loving and able to build relationships with other people (Walsh 2009). In fact, those with dogs and who walk them have been found to have increased social contact (Slatter et al 2012). ...
... Most animal owners consider their companion animals as part of the family, or as friends who are often included in festivities or celebrations and may be given gifts (Walsh 2009). Animals can provide routine and meaning to individuals' lives (Slatter et al 2012) and, for those with mental health problems, the structuring of time and activities that having an animal or animals bring can be extremely helpful; therefore animals can provide a consistent and reliable scaffold to support daily life. ...
... Animals can provide comfort and companionship for those who are socially isolated or who are going through significant life events. The study of homelessness in the UK by Slatter et al (2012) found that companion animals provided important solace for those who were socially isolated and, as Walsh (2009) recorded, they can help individuals through difficult life events and transitions and also provide routine, a reason to get up in the morning and a structure to the day. Slatter et al (2012) observed that the sense of responsibility for an animal gave homeless individuals motivation, purpose and distraction from the difficulties they were experiencing. ...
... Although participants talked about animal loss, in some studies it was difficult to ascertain whether loss was associated with animal death or separation, as the type of loss was not discussed (see Frommer and Arluke 1999). Length of animal ownership and time since loss were not discernible in the majority of studies (Frommer and Arluke 1999;Risley-Curtiss et al. 2006;Gilbert 2008;Langfield and James 2009;Bunkers 2010;Slatter, Lloyd and King 2012). Only four studies directly reported time since loss (Adams, Bonnett and Meek 1999;Furman 2005;Chur-Hansen et al. 2011;Lyons 2013), of which three also reported length of ownership (Adams, Bonnett and Meek 1999;Furman 2005;Lyons 2013). ...
... The remaining study (Kwong and Bartholomew 2011) only reported length of relationship. Some studies drew on specific populations; the homeless (Slatter, Lloyd and King 2012), women of color (Risley-Curtiss et al. 2006), and disabled individuals who use an assistance animal (Kwong and Bartholomew 2011). Population, length of ownership, type of loss, and time since loss may have a bearing on the nature of the human-animal relationship, and the way in which animal loss is experienced by the individual. ...
... Population, length of ownership, type of loss, and time since loss may have a bearing on the nature of the human-animal relationship, and the way in which animal loss is experienced by the individual. The professionally preferred term "companion animal" was used in nine studies (Adams, Bonnett and Meek 1999;Frommer and Arluke 1999;Furman 2005;Risley-Curtiss et al. 2006;Bunkers 2010;Chur-Hansen et al. 2011;Kwong and Bartholomew 2011;Slatter, Lloyd and King 2012;Lyons 2013) and was often used interchangeably with the term "pet." Cats and dogs were more commonly described as companion animals, while birds, hamsters, rabbits, horses, and fish were described as pets. ...
Article
The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate qualitative studies of the lived experience of companion-animal loss and grief. Six electronic databases (PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus, Ovid MEDLINE, ProQuest, Scopus, and Web of Science) were searched for English language, peer-reviewed articles from 1970 to July 2015. Only primary empirical studies using a qualitative method with textual data describing a direct ongoing relationship with, and subsequent loss of, a companion animal were included. A narrative synthesis was conducted on 11 eligible studies using inductive open coding techniques. Analysis revealed that pets were often labeled as family, and strong emotional connections between animals and humans were reported in some studies, whereas in other studies findings were inconsistent. Loss experience was predominantly with prototypical animals (cats, dogs); two studies involved other animals (horse, fish). Grief was described in five studies, with participants’ experience ranging from low to overwhelming. Prolonged grief was associated with self-disenfranchisement, whereas subjective healing was associated with remembrance, in which the animal remained as a memory in a “new” normal. Clinical implications are discussed.
... Psychological health and purpose Studies in this scoping review examined four aspects of psychological health and purpose: (1) motivation and responsibility, (2) protection and safety, (3) mental health problems, and (4) vulnerability to future problems. Eight qualitative studies discussed how pets were perceived to positively impact the motivation and responsibility of their owners (Bender et al., 2007;Howe & Easterbrook, 2018;Irvine, 2013a;Labrecque & Walsh, 2011;Lem, Coe, Haley, Stone, & O'Grady, 2013;Rew, 2000;Slatter, Lloyd, & King, 2012;Thompson et al., 2006). Motivation was discussed in different contexts, including to: continue surviving on the streets (Bender et al., 2007;Irvine, 2013a;Rew, 2000), obtain housing (Lem et al., 2013), take care of oneself (Labrecque & Walsh, 2011;Thompson et al., 2006), and seek treatment (Irvine, 2013a). ...
... The primary reason for not engaging in these behaviors was fear of loss or separation from pets. Several studies found that people experiencing homelessness described positive feelings of responsibility due to the dependency of pets (Howe & Easterbrook, 2018;Labrecque & Walsh, 2011;Lem et al., 2013;Slatter et al., 2012), which could yield a sense of meaning for pet owners (Irvine et al., 2012) but also worry stemming from pets' wellbeing (Lem et al., 2013). ...
... Protection and safety among pet owners experiencing homelessness were examined in eight studies (Bender et al., 2007;Donley & Wright, 2012;Kidd & Kidd, 1994;Labrecque & Walsh, 2011;Rew, 2000;Rhoades et al., 2015;Slatter et al., 2012;Thompson et al., 2016). Among 332 homeless youth who owned Kidd & Kidd 1994 Mixed-methods Homeless adults (N = 105) U.S. *The term "people" is used when an age range was not specified. ...
Article
Full-text available
Between 5 and 25% of people experiencing homelessness have pets. Pet ownership can have a range of impacts in the lives of people experiencing homelessness, which may mitigate or further complicate the many adversities they face. However, there is a need to better understand the benefits and challenges associated with pet ownership to determine how this group can be best supported. Accordingly, a scoping review was conducted using PubMed, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar to address the question: What are the effects of pet ownership on people experiencing homelessness? All of the 18 reviewed studies used either qualitative or cross-sectional research designs. Three domains have been principally examined in relation to pet ownership and homelessness: (1) psychological health and purpose; (2) social support and connection; and (3) access to housing, employment, and service use. Physical health, violence, and crime were less frequently studied. Although the findings offer further support that there are both benefits and liabilities to pet ownership for people experiencing homelessness, there is a critical need for more rigorous research, including longitudinal and intervention studies. Recommendations for developing more pet-friendly services and using a strengths-based approach that considers animal companionship when working with people experiencing housing instability are also discussed.
... This has been shown not to be the case, as most people who are close to their animals are generally sociable, loving and able to build relationships with other people (Walsh 2009). In fact, those with dogs and who walk them have been found to have increased social contact (Slatter et al 2012). ...
... Most animal owners consider their companion animals as part of the family, or as friends who are often included in festivities or celebrations and may be given gifts (Walsh 2009). Animals can provide routine and meaning to individuals' lives (Slatter et al 2012) and, for those with mental health problems, the structuring of time and activities that having an animal or animals bring can be extremely helpful; therefore animals can provide a consistent and reliable scaffold to support daily life. ...
... Animals can provide comfort and companionship for those who are socially isolated or who are going through significant life events. The study of homelessness in the UK by Slatter et al (2012) found that companion animals provided important solace for those who were socially isolated and, as Walsh (2009) recorded, they can help individuals through difficult life events and transitions and also provide routine, a reason to get up in the morning and a structure to the day. Slatter et al (2012) observed that the sense of responsibility for an animal gave homeless individuals motivation, purpose and distraction from the difficulties they were experiencing. ...
Article
Animals feature in many service users’ lives and can be significant factors in their wellbeing and recovery, but relationships with animals can also increase risks and mental health issues. Animals and the effect they have on people’s mental health are poorly researched and understood or taken into account in clinical practice. In the UK, mental health service providers, teams and individual workers, especially care co-ordinators, should recognise the significance of animals to their clients and the emotional bond between them. Conversations, assessments and care plans with service users should include information about their animals, because it could prove useful in diagnosis and management. Understanding and assistance by the mental health worker in coping with the welfare of a client’s animal(s), and also the possible stresses and risks, can benefit the therapeutic relationship. Staff should be familiar with the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and know how to contact animal welfare organisations.
... Eight of the 15 included studies used qualitative design (Brewbaker 2012;Howe and Easterbrook 2018;Irvine 2013;Irvine et al. 2012;Labrecque and Walsh 2011;Lem et al. 2013;Rew 2000;Slatter et al. 2012) while the remaining seven studies were quantitative cross-sectional studies (Cronley et al. 2009;Garde 2003;Kidd and Kidd 1994;Lem et al. 2016;Rhoades et al. 2015;Singer et al. 1995;Taylor et al. 2004). ...
... Participants reported that pet ownership improved resilience (Howe and Easterbrook 2018) with some studies observing a reduction in suicidal thoughts (Irvine 2013;Rew 2000). Benefits to mental health were thought to derive from their pets prompting them to socialise with others (Irvine 2013), acting as substitutes for others they had lost in their lives (Howe and Easterbrook 2018) and increasing the person's self-awareness of emotional regulation (Slatter et al. 2012). ...
... The review identified the importance of physical protection for the homeless provided by dogs, which improved their safety when sleeping in compromised environments (Brewbaker 2012;Garde 2003;Labrecque and Walsh 2011;Slatter et al. 2012). This created a further sense of reciprocity in the relationship (Slatter et al. 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Research indicates a strong bond between those who are homeless and their companion animals. This relationship provides a number of benefits to the homeless person as well as to the animal, including safety, responsibility and improved emotional and mental health. However, the relationship can also add challenges, including decreased access to accommodation, decreased effort to find shelter as a consequence, and emotional vulnerability relating to fear of losing their companion pet. This integrative review examined the benefits and challenges of companion animals for the homeless to determine the consistency of findings to aid better service delivery to the homeless population.
... Caring for and being responsible for a pet helps people change these internalised stories about themselves. Being seen with a dog tends also to discourage passers--by from yelling abuse and can also encourage them to change their stories about homelessness as well (194,195). Rew (85) interviewed 42 homeless young people, all of whom reported deep feelings of loneliness. Thirteen of the young people reported that in coping with this loneliness, their pets provided unconditional love, reduced loneliness, and improved their health. ...
... Thirteen of the young people reported that in coping with this loneliness, their pets provided unconditional love, reduced loneliness, and improved their health. They also provide companionship and friendship (195). In fact, there is evidence of the strong attachment bond formed between people experiencing homelessness and their pets. ...
... When these bonds are severed, people experiencing homelessness report significant grief. In an Australian study, Slatter et al. (195) interviewed 26 homeless people in Australia's Gold Coast about their experiences of pet ownership, either current or past. Many of their participants spoke of their grief, loneliness and declining mental health on losing an animal when they became homeless, not being able to keep their pets in shelters, or through not being able to meet council regulations. ...
... Owning and caring for an animal companion can improve well-being and buffer from social isolation while interacting with others (Irvine et al., 2012;Nolen, 2015;Rhoades et al., 2015). Just as positive interactions with dogs can enhance social bonding (Allen et al., 2007;Odendaal, 2000), having a pet while homeless can improve social support, make it easier to make friends, and increase socialization (Irvine et al., 2012;Rhoades et al., 2015;Slatter et al., 2012). Despite health and wellbeing benefits (Allen et al., 2007;Cleary et al., 2019Cleary et al., , 2020Friedmann & Krause-Parello, 2018;Irvine et al., 2012;Labrecque & Walsh, 2011;Odendaal, 2000;Rhoades et al., 2015;Scanlon, Hobson-West, et al., 2020;Slatter et al., 2012;Yang et al., 2020), owning and caring for a pet while homeless can be a source of stigma stemming from the public's negative perception that "if they cannot take care of themselves, how can they take care of a pet?" Having a pet restricts access to vital services, including subsidized housing, temporary homeless shelters, public transportation, employment opportunities, and other medical and support services in the community, since most have pet restrictions (Aliment et al., 2016;Donley & Wright, 2012;Gelberg et al., 2004;Irvine et al., 2012;Labrecque & Walsh, 2011;Lem et al., 2013;Nolen, 2015;Rhoades et al., 2015;Singer et al., 1995;Taylor et al., 2004;Thompson et al., 2006). ...
... Just as positive interactions with dogs can enhance social bonding (Allen et al., 2007;Odendaal, 2000), having a pet while homeless can improve social support, make it easier to make friends, and increase socialization (Irvine et al., 2012;Rhoades et al., 2015;Slatter et al., 2012). Despite health and wellbeing benefits (Allen et al., 2007;Cleary et al., 2019Cleary et al., , 2020Friedmann & Krause-Parello, 2018;Irvine et al., 2012;Labrecque & Walsh, 2011;Odendaal, 2000;Rhoades et al., 2015;Scanlon, Hobson-West, et al., 2020;Slatter et al., 2012;Yang et al., 2020), owning and caring for a pet while homeless can be a source of stigma stemming from the public's negative perception that "if they cannot take care of themselves, how can they take care of a pet?" Having a pet restricts access to vital services, including subsidized housing, temporary homeless shelters, public transportation, employment opportunities, and other medical and support services in the community, since most have pet restrictions (Aliment et al., 2016;Donley & Wright, 2012;Gelberg et al., 2004;Irvine et al., 2012;Labrecque & Walsh, 2011;Lem et al., 2013;Nolen, 2015;Rhoades et al., 2015;Singer et al., 1995;Taylor et al., 2004;Thompson et al., 2006). Challenges finding a place that accepts pets can lead to the difficult decision of choosing between relinquishing a pet or experiencing homelessness (Irvine et al., 2012;Lem et al., 2013;Singer et al., 1995). ...
... Around 90% of homeless pet owners surveyed (n = 31) reported emotional support as the primary role filled by their pet(s), including all who were unemployed due to a medical disability. Pets are known to provide companionship, make people feel safe and loved (Labrecque & Walsh, 2011;Nolen, 2015;Rew, 2000;Slatter et al., 2012), and help reduce stress (Fitzgerald, 2007;Friedmann et al., 2011;Slatter et al., 2012). This is not surprising since experiencing homelessness involves estrangement from a support network. ...
Article
Nearly 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness every year; between 5% and 25% own companion animals. Animal ownership can serve as a social determinant of health when it prevents accessing important public services like transportation, housing, medical and social services. In this study, we examine the relationship between homelessness, pet ownership, and public service utilization. A cross-sectional survey was administered at six homelessness services locations in Columbus, Ohio, 2018. We compared service utilization between homeless pet owners (n = 24) and non-pet owners (n = 33) using regression analyses. Pets provided emotional support to owners (n = 28;90%), yet prevented obtaining housing assistance (n = 10;32%). Housing concerns were the main reason for pet relinquishment (14/20;70%); 65% (20/31) who owned a pet prior to becoming homeless gave it up. Pet owners stayed six fewer nights per month in homeless shelters (β = −6.15; 95% CI: −12.0, −0.27); and were 84% less likely to be living alone (OR = 0.16, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.51) than non-pet owners. Our research highlights challenges that homeless pet owners face when accessing public services. Given the reported benefits of animal companionship, policies should be examined to consider social determinants and facilitate access and utilization of programs aimed to serve homeless populations.
... Caring for and being responsible for a pet helps homeless people change these internalized stories about themselves. Being seen with a dog also tends to discourage passers-by from yelling abuse [140,141]. Rew [142] interviewed 42 homeless young people, all of whom reported deep feelings of loneliness. Thirteen of the young people reported that in coping with this loneliness, their pets provided unconditional love, reduced loneliness, and improved their health. ...
... Thirteen of the young people reported that in coping with this loneliness, their pets provided unconditional love, reduced loneliness, and improved their health. They also provided companionship and friendship [141]. In fact, Taylor et al. [143] found that the attachment bond was stronger between homeless people and their pets than for those who have secure housing [144]. ...
... When the bond between person and pet is severed, people experiencing homelessness report significant grief. In an Australian study, Slatter et al. [141] interviewed 26 homeless people living in Australia's Gold Coast about their experiences of pet ownership. Many spoke of grief, loneliness and declining mental health on losing an animal when they became homeless, not being able to keep their pets in shelters, or through not being able to meet council regulations. ...
Article
Full-text available
Increased vulnerability to natural disasters has been associated with particular groups in the community. This includes those who are considered de facto vulnerable (children, older people, those with disabilities etc.) and those who own pets (not to mention pets themselves). The potential for reconfiguring pet ownership from a risk factor to a protective factor for natural disaster survival has been recently proposed. But how might this resilience-building proposition apply to vulnerable members of the community who own pets or other animals? This article addresses this important question by synthesizing information about what makes particular groups vulnerable, the challenges to increasing their resilience and how animals figure in their lives. Despite different vulnerabilities, animals were found to be important to the disaster resilience of seven vulnerable groups in Australia. Animal attachment and animal-related activities and networks are identified as underexplored devices for disseminating or 'piggybacking' disaster-related information and engaging vulnerable people in resilience building behaviors (in addition to including animals in disaster planning initiatives in general). Animals may provide the kind of innovative approach required to overcome the challenges in accessing and engaging vulnerable groups. As the survival of humans and animals are so often intertwined, the benefits of increasing the resilience of vulnerable communities through animal attachment is twofold: human and animal lives can be saved together.
... This is also true for people experiencing homelessness who have pets [31,32]. Studies have shown that people experiencing homelessness report that their pets provide a sense of responsibility and are a reason to live, reduce substance use, and seek healthcare [33][34][35][36][37][38]. Moreover, pets are viewed as a stable source of social support and companionship, which is often absent in the lives of people experiencing homelessness [23,28,33,35,36,38]. ...
... Studies have shown that people experiencing homelessness report that their pets provide a sense of responsibility and are a reason to live, reduce substance use, and seek healthcare [33][34][35][36][37][38]. Moreover, pets are viewed as a stable source of social support and companionship, which is often absent in the lives of people experiencing homelessness [23,28,33,35,36,38]. Relatedly, pets can provide an opportunity to give and receive unconditional love, an experience that may be otherwise difficult to have while living precariously without a home [28,33,34,37]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Approximately one in 10 people experiencing homelessness have pets. Despite the psychosocial benefits derived from pet ownership, systemic and structural barriers can prevent this group from meeting their basic needs and exiting homelessness. A multilevel framework is proposed for improving the health and well‐being of pet owners experiencing homelessness. Informed by a One Health approach, the framework identifies interventions at the policy, public, and direct service delivery levels. Policy interventions are proposed to increase the supply of pet‐ friendly emergency shelters, access to market rental housing and veterinary medicine, and the use of a Housing First approach. At the public level, educational interventions are needed to improve knowledge and reduce stigma about the relationship between homelessness and pet ownership. Direct service providers can support pet owners experiencing homelessness by recognizing their strengths, connecting them to community services, being aware of the risks associated with pet loss, providing harm reduction strategies, documenting animals as emotional support animals, and engaging in advocacy. By targeting policies and service approaches that exacerbate the hardships faced by pet owners experiencing homelessness, the framework is a set of deliberate actions to better support a group that is often overlooked or unaccommodated in efforts to end homelessness.
... Some people who are homeless do sacrifice their pet for access to services but later describe the experience as evoking guilt (Slatter et al., 2012), being painful and traumatic, and leading to negative consequences for themselves and their children (Labrecque & Walsh, 2011). Many people who are homeless may avoid this pain and trauma and opt to forego access to some services to reap the psychological benefits their pets offer them. ...
... Given the importance that engagement plays in successfully resettling individuals who are homeless, this is particularly concerning (Bassuk, Elstad, Jassil, Kenney, Olivet, 2010). This builds on previous research by demonstrating that pet ownership is associated with less service use not only because of real restrictions (e.g., Slatter, Lloyd, & King, 2012), but also because of the (not always accurate) perception that services are not available to homeless pet owners. ...
Article
Full-text available
The authors sought to understand why many homeless people own pets despite the associated costs. Thematic analyses of interviews with seven homeless pet owners indicated that interviewees perceived—not always accurately—that their pets limited their mobility and access to services. However, this was seen as a worthwhile cost for the companionship and sense of responsibility their pets provided, which increased resilience and enabled a reduction in substance abuse. Pet ownership also rendered interviewees psychologically vulnerable as the loss of a pet was highly traumatic and ignited coping mechanisms. The authors discuss the implications for homeless support services in the United Kingdom.
... 14 ust. 4 ustawy o ochronie lokator?w rozszerza katalog podmiot?w, uprawnionych do lokalu socjalnego. Ustawodawca wskaza#, i( s$d nie mo(e orzec o braku uprawnienia do otrzymania lokalu socjalnego wobec: kobiety w ci$(y; ma#oletniego, niepe#nosprawnego w rozumieniu przepis?w ustawy z dnia 29 listopada 1990 roku o pomocy spo#ecznej 45 lub ubezw#asnowolnionego oraz sprawuj$cego nad tak$ osob$ opiek' i wsp?lnie z ni$ zamieszka#$; ob#o(nie chorych; emeryt?w i rencist?w spe#niaj$cych kryteria do otrzymania %wiadczenia z pomocy spo#ecznej; osoby posiadaj$cej status bezrobotnego; osoby spe#niaj$cej przes#anki okre%lone przez rad' gminy w drodze uchwa#y, chyba (e osoby te mog$ zamieszkiwa& w innym lokalu ni( dotychczas u(ywany 46 . ...
... Uchwa#a przewiduje wyj$tki r?wnie( odno%nie do kryterium dochodowego. Minimum dochodowe zwi'ksza si' a( o 40% w stosunku do os?b, kt?re mieszkaj$ w zreprywatyzowanych budynkach i a( o 70%, je%li jednocze%nie ich jedynym "r?d#em dochodu jest emerytura, %wiadczenie przedemerytalne, %wiadczenie z tytu#u ca#kowitej niezdolno%ci do pracy oraz do samodzielnej egzystencji lub renta rodzinna 46 . ...
... 5 Health accessibility can be especially problematic for this population because they are more likely to forego their own needs to care for their pet(s). 2,5,[7][8][9][10] For example, compared to the general homeless population, homeless petowners are less likely to access shelter, health care and social services because they cannot do so with their pets. 2,5,8,11 Homeless pet-owners typically share an incredibly strong bond with their pets. ...
... 2,5,[7][8][9][10] For example, compared to the general homeless population, homeless petowners are less likely to access shelter, health care and social services because they cannot do so with their pets. 2,5,8,11 Homeless pet-owners typically share an incredibly strong bond with their pets. 11,12 This bond can be a potent motivator of healthrelated behaviour change. ...
... However, the growing number of studies addressing health-related aspects of pet ownership suggests an increasing sense of importance being placed on the human-animal bond (Siegel, Angulo, Detels, Wesch, & Mullen, 1999;Walsh, 2009;Webel & Higgins, 2012). Much of the current research on the role of companion animals in the lives of people with serious or chronic illnesses and disabilities focuses mainly on animal-assisted therapeutic programs and animals as a means of comfort or spiritual support (Castelli, Hart, & Zagloff, 2001;McCormack, Holder, Wetsel, & Cawthon, 2001;Siegel et al., 1999;Skeath, Fine, & Berger, 2010), the psychosocial aspects of human-animal bonds in general (Graf, 1999;Kreitler, Oppenheim, & Segev-Shoham, 2004;McConnell, Brown, Shoda, Stayton, & Martin, 2011;Ormerod, 2011;Walsh, 2009), and the role of pets among homeless people or people in supported housing (Hunt & Stein, 2007;Slatter, Lloyd, & King, 2012). These findings indicate the growing recognition of animal contributions to human well-being such as psychosocial supports and coping throughout the life course. ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Companion animals play important roles in the lives of people managing the many symptoms associated with a chronic illness such as HIV. This study explored meaningful examples of pets, particularly dogs, and their place in support networks among women living with AIDS/HIV. Method: Data were collected via focus group, as part of a larger Photovoice project. Qualitative analysis discovered three key related themes. Results: Emerging themes included pet as spiritual custodian, pet as unconditional source of support, and pet providing a sense of purpose. Discussion: The comments these participants made about their dogs allowed us to explore culturally embedded notions about animal companionship; the ability to know when one is sick, frightened, emotionally upset, or facing a spiritual crisis. The women.
... The psychological recovery of homeless people may also be compounded by the loss of pets (Thompson et al. 2014). Studies show that people who are homeless are strongly attached to their animals, and their loss is a source of profound grief (Irvine 2003, Slatter, Lloyd & King 2012. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research in the US suggests that people experiencing homelessness are more at risk during natural disasters because they have limited access to the economic, social and community resources needed for preparation, evacuation and full recovery. Although this vulnerability is recognised in Australian disaster management documents, little is currently known about the unique vulnerabilities of people experiencing homelessness, nor about specific, targeted interventions that can increase their resilience to natural disasters. This paper provides a literature review of research into the vulnerability of homeless people. The review identifies important issues to consider when planning responses to disasters and highlights suggestions for how greater disaster resilience support can be offered. The review also outlines some gaps in knowledge about homelessness, vulnerability and resilience that may impede effective disaster management for this group. - See more at: https://ajem.infoservices.com.au/items/AJEM-29-03-11#sthash.Ji4V8WUW.dpuf
... Activity-based programs within community organizations should also be developed in partnership with potential service users (Rae, 2013). Other important contextual elements of occupation-based practices that this research suggests practitioners need to remain cognizant of are the provision of quality child care (e.g., Amos, Gaunt-Richardson, McKie, & Barlow, 1999), importance of pet ownership for many individuals experiencing homelessness (Slatter, Lloyd, & King, 2012), value of outreach and case management (e.g., Marval & Townsend, 2013), and occupational impact of navigating and accessing services (Marshall, Roy, Panter, & Phillips, 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Persons experiencing or at risk of homelessness have occupational needs that are seldom addressed in the Canadian system of care. The lack of documented evidence on occupational therapy practices in this field hinders the development of the profession. Purpose: This article identifies current and potential practices that aim to enable or support the occupations of persons experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Method: A scoping review was conducted, including evidence from both occupational therapy and non-occupational therapy sources. Findings: One hundred and seventy-eight papers were selected in the areas of occupational performance skills training, enrichment of occupational repertoire, employment/education, physical rehabilitation services, child/family services, community building, occupational transition from homeless to housed, literacy, and disaster relief. Implications: Occupational therapists can build environments and create opportunities that facilitate occupational engagement of individuals experiencing homelessness. Gaps in knowledge include the evaluation of occupational therapy practices, the Canadian context of family homelessness, and the cultural safety of occupational therapy interventions.
... IPV has consistently been documented as a pathway to homelessness for women (Baker, Billhart, Warren, Rollins, & Glass, 2010), and the shelter system plays a vital role in ensuring that women leaving abusive relationships have accessible and safe housing. There are numerous barriers for maintaining enduring connections to one's pet upon becoming homeless, including the inability to take pets on public transportation or into homeless shelters, as well as the need to leave pets unattended while searching for employment or housing (Slatter, Lloyd, & King, 2012). As research has established the salience of pets as a source of resilience not only for those in abusive relationships but also for women facing the disruption of housing instability and homelessness (Labrecque & Walsh, 2011), ensuring that domestic violence shelters are equipped to preserve families with their pets during these points of transition is critical. ...
Article
The connection between intimate partner violence (IPV) and abuse against animals is becoming well-documented. Women consistently report that their pets have been threatened or harmed by their abuser, and many women delay leaving abusive relationships out of concern for their pets. Shelters are often faced with limited resources, and it can be difficult to see how their mandate to assist women fleeing IPV also includes assistance to their companion animals. Through surveys with staff from 17 IPV shelters in Canada, the current study captures a snapshot of the shelter policies and practices regarding companion animals. The study explores staff’s own relationships with pets and exposure to animal abuse, as well as how these experiences relate to support for pet safekeeping programs, perceived barriers, and perceived benefits for the programs. Policy implications for IPV service agencies include asking clients about concerns about pet safety, clear communication of agency policies regarding services available for pet safekeeping, and starting a conversation at the agency level on how to establish a pet safekeeping program in order to better meet the needs of women seeking refuge from IPV.
... Informuje o zagrożeniach, pozwala na spokojniejszy sen i poczucie bezpieczeństwa. Pojawiła się także wypowiedź, że "posiadanie zwierzęcia jest trochę jak posiadanie dziecka" 46 . Wymaga więc odpowiedzialności i czyni opiekuna kimś ważnym. ...
... (Kim & White, 2013a) Unfortunately, clients with animals are faced with a particularly difficult challenge in finding shelter and housing opportunities. In the current no-pets-allowed culture of homeless services, highly attached animal guardians are known to refuse or be refused access to a myriad of services in order to stay with their animals, including housing and shelter (Cronley et al., 2009;Donley & Wright, 2012;Singer et al., 1995;Slatter, Lloyd, & King, 2012). It is also well documented that the no-pets-allowed rule is a barrier to those seeking shelter as a result of domestic violence, leading people affected by intimate partner and family violence to delay decisions to leave for fear of leaving their animals behind with the abuser Strand & Faver, 2005). ...
... The physical and mental health benefits of pet ownership are well established, including improvement in emotional wellbeing, increased productivity and participation in the community, decreased feelings of loneliness, and increased social interactions. 1,2,3 These mental health benefits may be even greater for people challenged by housing insecurity and homelessness. 4,5 The goals of our studentrun free mobile veterinary clinic are to foster the human-animal bond by providing excellent veterinary care for pets owned by individuals that would otherwise not be able to afford these services, to provide clinical and interprofessional opportunities for the students of Midwestern University (MWU), including education in the One Health initiative, and to expose future veterinarians to the challenges associated with providing veterinary care to underserved populations. ...
Article
For many individuals who are housing insecure or homeless, dealing with the emotional toll of these stressors is made more bearable by the companionship of a pet. However, access to veterinary care is limited for these and other underserved populations. To ensure veterinary care is made available for all pets, the Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine’s mobile veterinary clinic provides free veterinary services. Additional goals of our student-run free mobile veterinary clinic are to provide clinical and interprofessional opportunities for students, including education in the One Health initiative, and to expose students to the challenges associated with providing veterinary care to underserved populations. This article describes the clinic operations, impact, and future directions of the Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine’s mobile veterinary clinic.
... For someone who has lost a home, a companion animal can provide an important sense of emotional support, responsibility, and constant companionship (Bender, Thompson, McManus, Lantry, & Flynn, 2007;Irvine, 2013a;Irvine, Kahl, & Smith, 2012;Labrecque & Walsh, 2011;Rew, 2000;Rew & Horner, 2003;Slatter, Lloyd, & King, 2012). This is consistent with recent research that has extended the idea of adult attachment theory to pets. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study is the first to examine Bloomington, IN’s subpopulation of people experiencing homelessness with animals. To understand this subpopulation’s basic demographics, social service needs, and existing resources, eight families were recruited for the study from a service fair offering free veterinary care, pet supplies, and grooming to companion animals of people experiencing homelessness. The event was intended to be an isolated kick-off for a pilot year of capacity building programming in partnership with local homeless service providers. This article presents information which was collected from the first service fair through semi-structured interviews and the administration of the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale. The data from this study reveal participants’ high attachment to their animals and a need for more pet-friendly overnight shelters. Other themes that emerge include homeless animal guardians’ restricted access to day-time services, a struggle to find temperature controlled places to sleep in extreme weather, and an absence of documentation supporting emotional support animal claims. Bloomington’s homeless advocates, direct service professionals, and program developers can ground efforts to assist people experiencing homelessness with companion animals using findings from this study.
... Recent studies estimate that between 6% and 24% of people experiencing homelessness have a companion animal, primarily a dog or cat (Cronley et al., 2009;Irvine et al., 2012;Rhoades et al., 2015). Although many people experiencing homelessness describe their pets as valuable sources of companionship, support, and love (Irvine, 2013;Slatter et al., 2012), structural barriers to support services, including "no pets allowed" policies, often constrain homeless people's access to shelter and other much-needed resources (Lindgren et al., 2019). Particularly for youth enduring homelessness who may be wary of utilizing services for fear of judgment, companion animals can serve as safe, affirming sources of support (Maharaj, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Experiences of homelessness are challenging for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ+) young people. LGBTQ+ young adults without stable housing endure mental health struggles stemming from multiple structural disadvantages. In navigating stressors, LGBTQ+ young people may develop bonds with companion animals, or pets. Demonstrating the diverse ways LGBTQ+ young adults manage mental health challenges while homeless, we qualitatively analyzed the narratives of 17 LGBTQ+ young adults (18–25) surrounding their pet relationships. Participants emphasized the positive power of pets in their lives to help offset stressors. These findings illustrate how marginalized young people manage their mental health through informal resources. Incorporating companion animals could potentially enhance services for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing marginalization.
... The roles of pets as companions and company or counters to loneliness are emerging as particularly important for some of the most vulnerable populations. They include people with chronic mental health conditions (Brooks et al., 2018;Brooks, Rushton, Walker, Lovell, & Rogers, 2016), physical diseases (Brooks, 2015;Brooks et al., 2013), and those who are homeless (Slatter, Lloyd, & King, 2012;Taylor, Williams, & Gray 2004). Pets may also provide company in situations where social connections are reduced due to health conditions. ...
Article
An unanticipated finding during research on the role that pets play in the health of older adults was that pets had protected some from suicide. Given that older people are more vulnerable to fatal first attempts, understanding protective factors in this population is vital. Twelve older adults interviewed about the role of pets on their health spoke overtly of suicide (n = 2), obliquely referred to suicidal ideation (n = 5), or reported high levels of distress and/or depression (n = 5). These participants were aged 60 to 83 years; five were male and seven were female. Interview transcripts were analyzed using a qualitative descriptive thematic approach in order to understand how they (collectively) identified pets as protecting them from suicide. Concepts of function, presence, known-ness, and reciprocity emerged as factors protective against suicide. These factors may counter those already identified as underpinning suicidal behavior: perceived burdensomeness and social alienation. For some older people, relationships with nonhuman others may be protective against suicide. Systemic responses that incorporate human–animal relationship awareness need to be explored to promote and protect some humans while also considering the impact on pets.
... Having a companion animal or interacting with more domesticated urban nature such as gardens can offer a proxy to nature in such settings. Companion animal guardianship is associated with reduced feelings of loneliness, increased survival rates from certain diseases and improved quality of life, whereas encounters with wildlife can induce a deep sense of wellbeing, leading to transcendental experiences and psychological health benefits [27,[29][30][31]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research that examines lived experience and how emerging adults seek to create wellbeing in their daily lives through nature is limited. This paper addresses this gap by providing unique insights into how emerging adults perceive and experience nature as a beneficial resource for their wellbeing. Data were collected using photo-elicitation interviews, where 18 emerging adults took photographs that represented their views on and experiences of wellbeing, and during the follow-up interviews discussed the meaning of their photographs. Without a priori mention, 14 participants identified contact with various elements of nature as important resources in supporting their wellbeing. It is the results of these 14 interviews that are discussed in this paper with a focus on (i) the elements of nature which these emerging adults identify as important resources for their wellbeing, (ii) experiences and the perceived pathways between these elements of nature and wellbeing. Thematic analysis revealed four distinct perceived pathways connecting nature to wellbeing, including symbiotic nurturing, building social glue, maintaining a positive outlook, and centreing yourself. Four elements of nature facilitated these pathways: domesticated fauna, domesticated flora, wild fauna and wild surrounding nature. The findings help build understanding of how emerging adults perceive elements of nature as resources for wellbeing and can inform the development of nature-oriented interventions.
... (Irvine et al. (2012)) Understanding pet ownership may also be critical for engaging homeless individuals in services, because many would not accept housing if it meant giving up their pet. (Kidd and Kidd (1994)), (Slatter et al. (2012)) This study utilized data collected as part of the Los Angeles County (LAC) annual homeless count to address these gaps in knowledge. LAC accounts for close to 20% of the overall U.S. unsheltered homeless population, with 3 of 4 LAC homeless individuals living unsheltered. ...
Article
Objectives To examine pet ownership among unsheltered homeless adults. Methods Surveys collected as part of the Los Angeles County (LAC) annual homeless count across three years were analyzed. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, participants completed 4,808, 4,815, and 4,259 eligible surveys, respectively. Weighted averages were used to be representative of LAC’s unsheltered population. Results Estimates of pet ownership among unsheltered homeless adults were 12% in 2017 and 2019, and 9% in 2018. Among pet owners in 2017, 48% (n = 1,362) reported being turned away from shelter because of pet policies. Conclusions Pet ownership represents a major obstacle to accessing shelter among unsheltered homeless adults. Policy Implications : More pet-friendly policies are needed to effectively serve many unsheltered homeless adults. Summary Box • What is the current understanding of this subject? Little is known about the unsheltered homeless population including rates of pet ownership. • What does this report add to the literature? This study is the first to provide estimates of pet ownership in a large sample of unsheltered adults. • What are the implications for public health practice? The findings from this study suggest that pet ownership represents a major obstacle to accessing shelter and suggests that more pet-friendly policies are needed to effectively engage the large unsheltered population.
... Student feedback from veterinary service-learning literature exclusively suggests that the service-learning experiences result in increased proficiency in history-taking and management of medical records, communication skills, and significant improvements in performing physical examinations, administering vaccines, and surgical skills. 15,17,23,33,34 The post-clinic responses from students' participating in our study are congruent with these findings and our hypotheses. ...
Article
To promote accessible veterinary care in the community and to help students refine their communication skills, the University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) partnered with the Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS), a human services organization, to develop the UCVM-CUPS Pet Health Clinics. These clinics are a service-learning experience where third-year students provide services to those facing barriers to veterinary care in Calgary, Alberta. The clinics are offered at CUPS for 6 weeks at 1 day per week. Each student participates in one 4-hour lab; running two 90-minute appointments. In this mixed-methods article, the question was asked: How does a communication-based veterinary service learning program impact students' perception and knowledge of their skills and their perceived role in community outreach to underserved populations and their animals? All thirdyear veterinary students (N = 30) participated in the 2018 UCVM-CUPS Pet Health Clinics. Students completed a demographics survey, and a pre- and post-clinic questionnaire. Statistical analysis was used to compare pre- and post-clinic responses, and to determine relationships between questionnaire responses and the demographics survey data. Students were significantly more in agreement with statements that demonstrated confidence in their medical knowledge, technical abilities, and communication skills after participating in the program. There was significantly more disagreement to continue volunteering after graduation, but many planned on providing community outreach. Overall, students felt a strong sense of social responsibility and were motivated to help underserved populations. The findings suggest that communication-based, service-learning experiences are related to greater social awareness and enhance students' clinical skills including communication.
... Participants felt further identity devaluation and shame in association with their inability to feed their pets. Consistent with findings from studies of homeless pet owners (Kidd and Kidd 1994;Rew 2000;Thompson et al. 2006;Slatter, Lloyd, and King 2012;Irvine 2013), pets provided vital emotional support for our study participants. Not only did pets offer participants unconditional acceptance and love, but being able to provide for pets also allowed participants to resist against their stigmatized social identities and demonstrate proof of their social worth. ...
Article
In this study, we explore the interconnections between structural violence and food insecurity in the lives of formerly homeless young adults living in permanent supportive housing. Using photovoice, participants identified several forms of structural violence that constrain their ability to access adequate and healthy food, including: insufficient funding through government assistance programs to cover monthly food costs; the lack of affordable, healthy food vendors in proximity to the permanent supportive housing building; and corporate policies at restaurants and grocery stores that prohibit the donation of edible food to employees or to people experiencing homelessness. Participants also reported several strategies for adapting to food insecurity, including rationing, creative combinations of food, and scavenging. Our data suggest that participants’ experiences of food insecurity contributed to feelings of stigma and shame, especially when they were unable to adequately feed themselves or their pets. Implications for programs and policies that address food insecurity for this population are discussed.
Article
California has the highest proportion of unhoused individuals in the country, and up to 25% of unhoused individuals own pets, providing substantial benefits but unique challenges including access to housing, transportation and unfounded grounds for social stigmatization. Unhoused individuals and pets may also be at risk for diseases due to impaired access to sanitation facilities. The purpose of this cross‐sectional survey was to evaluate differences in perceived benefits, challenges and public perceptions among pet owners of varying housing security and the prevalence of diseases among their pets. Questionnaires were administered to housed and unhoused pet owners and pet blood screened for rickettsiosis, bartonellosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, borreliosis, West Nile fever and heartworm. Among 147 canine and 16 feline blood samples, seropositivity of ectoparasitic diseases did not vary by housing status. Among 45 housed and 56 unhoused owners, unhoused owners were significantly more likely to report protective benefits, challenges obtaining housing, finding a flea on their pet, using bottled water for their pet and their pet sleeping in their bed. Housed owners were significantly more likely to report companionship and entertainment benefits, challenges with pet sitting and consistently administering parasite preventatives. Similar (96–98%) percentages stated they would not give up their pet for better housing and 31% of housed pet owners believed that people should not own pets if they do not have secure housing. Social stigma against unhoused pet owners is present within the community, requiring education to change public perception and guide policy regarding housing for pet owners experiencing homelessness.
Article
Full-text available
PICO question Among homeless individuals, does owning a pet improve their mental health? Clinical bottom line Category of research question Qualitative assessment The number and type of study designs reviewed Fifteen (eight qualitative assessments, two cross-sectional quantitative studies, three qualitative/cross-sectional studies, and two scoping/systematic reviews) Strength of evidence Moderate Outcomes reported Homeless individuals who own pets reported improvement in their mental health status by having fewer symptoms of depression, reduced feelings of loneliness, reduced stress, increased feelings of happiness, and decreased intentions of suicide, all as a result of owning a pet. However, homeless individuals who own pets may suffer a decrease in mental health due to the loss or anticipated loss of their pet Conclusion It is concluded among qualitative and cross-sectional studies that there are clearly multiple benefits to mental health associated with pet ownership among homeless individuals. However, the lack of quantitative, longitudinal, and/or experimental studies in this topic prevents a causative relationship from being established and caution should be exercised when interpreting the results as pet ownership causing an improvement in mental health How to apply this evidence in practice The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources. Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.
Article
The relationship between the homeless and their animals is treated as marginal, as an issue of little social importance. The most probable cause are “common sense” approaches that focus on the more urgent challenges that need to be addressed to increase the well-being of the homeless such as providing health care, financial support and employment. Contrary to these needs, relations with animals appear as a kind of a whim that creates problems and is not crucial. Indeed, in the social sciences in general, the value of human and animal companionship, as an important source of positive emotions, is being increasingly analysed. The role of animals in human societies increases as social consciousness changes. The role of animals in the lives of socially marginalized people is still being questioned. In this work I identify the emotional significance of the relationship with animals for the homeless people.
Chapter
While a small body of literature emerged in the early 1990s acknowledging the human-animal bond in circumstances of homelessness, the scholarly understanding of this social phenomenon has grown at a slow pace.1 Seemingly disparate groupings of literature that can be subsumed under an overarching theme of inter-species homelessness make up this body, including sub-themes of homelessness due to domestic violence, chronic/street homelessness, homeless youth, and homelessness as a result of natural disasters. The authors have prepared an up-to-date literature review in order to bring together diverse but related information research and findings for the National Museum of Animals & Society’s (NMAS) fall 2013 exhibition My Dog is My Home: The Experience of Human-Animal Homelessness.
Article
This study uses qualitative methodology to explore the research question: ‘What role can animal-assisted interventions play in anti-oppressive social work practice?’ A review of relevant literature has shown that, while animal-assisted interventions (AAI) have been demonstrated over time to have many benefits for service users, these types of interventions remain neglected by social work scholarship, and the relationship between AAI and anti-oppressive practice (AOP) has yet to be explored through research. This study supports findings that AAI practitioners have found their approaches to be congruent with an AOP approach to social work practice. Data which support this finding are presented and three themes are considered: theoretical congruencies, barriers and benefits, and novelty. Following this study, it is recommended that AOP practitioners consider using AAI in their practice, and it is suggested that social service organisations need to consider relationships between humans and other animals in developing policies.
Chapter
Companion animal ownership by those who are homeless or vulnerably housed has been criticized as inappropriate, for if someone cannot care for themselves, they must certainly not be able to care for an animal. However, our understanding of this unique human–animal relationship is growing, and we are furthering our knowledge of both the benefits and liabilities which animal companions confer upon their human guardians who are marginalized by community and society. Among street-involved and homeless youth, the need for the benefits of animal companionship is even more pronounced. Street-involved youth often come from experiences of abuse, trauma, and neglect into the street where further victimization is almost inevitable. Companion animals help youth not only to mitigate the stresses of street life, but they also offer youth the opportunity to experience the compassionate side of humanity in a way that no human has ever shown them. In this chapter, we will explore how animal companions are a form of social capital for street-involved youth, learn how human–animal attachment impacts the lives of youth, and apply the One Health model to wholly understand these unique human–animal relationships. To do this, this chapter will draw on my experience, observations, and reflections as a veterinarian working with homeless and vulnerable pet owners for over a decade with Community Veterinary Outreach, my graduate research with street-involved youth who own pets, as well as existing and emerging literature on homeless and street-involved youth, and human–animal interaction.
Article
Background: Entrepreneurship has undergone significant transformations in the past decade due to crowd-based models of innovation and the increasing popularity of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding provides an alternative to the way entrepreneurs traditionally raise start-up and operational funds for a venture. Moreover, with crowdfunding platforms, citizens and communities are increasingly able to engage in entrepreneurial work not only for profit but also to address social and civic problems. Problem: Given the expanding boundaries of entrepreneurship, it is increasingly important for professional and technical communication teachers to prepare students to be ethical entrepreneurs and embody a widening array of rhetorical skills. Our teaching case addresses the question of how we might incorporate new and emerging forms of entrepreneurship, such as crowdfunding, into the professional and technical communication classroom in ways that foreground the social, civic, and ethical dimensions of that work. Situating the case: To address this question, we first situate our teaching case in relevant literature from professional and technical communication and social entrepreneurship, and then compare it with similar cases of crowdfunding being used for educational purposes. How the case was studied: We describe what we observed before, during, and after teaching a project structured thematically around civic crowdfunding. We had two sources of data: (1) a collection of teaching materials, including syllabi, day-to-day lesson plans, project prompts, in-class activities, correspondence between instructors, and informal teaching logs used to record impromptu reflections throughout the course of the semester; and (2) the civic crowdfunding project materials produced by students. About the case: Two distinct but related problems have motivated the development of this teaching case: (1) the context of 21st-century entrepreneurship has rapidly changed as a result of new approaches, including crowdfunding; (2) this shift has also led to an increased emphasis on civic and social matters of concern, which have increasingly become more important in contemporary business models. Ultimately, we seek to understand how entrepreneurial writing projects can meld commercial and financial motivations with civic exigencies, direct participation, and stakeholder engagement. As such, this civic crowdfunding sequence takes place over two phases: (1) students conducted primary and secondary research on a local problem or exigency and used this as evidence for a white paper and a project proposal; (2) students developed a feasible solution to this problem which then formed the basis for crowdfunding campaign materials, including a Kickstarter page, campaign video, and branding materials. Results: Our results focus on two projects that clearly foreground a social and civic mission; we point to these two projects not as perfect examples, but rather as illustrative cases of how students engaged crowdfunding as a form of civic entrepreneurship. Conclusions: Our teaching case has demonstrated the need to prepare students not only to pitch venture ideas for a small audience of investors, but also to consider how to identify and frame problems, construct stories about these problems as pressing matters of concern and, ultimately, develop ethical relationships with stakeholders and increasingly diverse investors.
Article
This research used an online quantitative survey to investigate variables related to grief following pet loss. These included type of relationship, animal species, amount of time since death, cause of death, attachment, and social support. We also examined emotions hypothesized to be associated with pet loss: grief, guilt, and loneliness. Female and male participants over the age of 18 years (n = 85) who had lost a companion animal within the previous six months completed the survey. We divided the cohort into three groups rep- resenting high, middle, and low levels of grief. Individuals in the high grief group experienced the highest level of guilt and loneliness when compared with those with low and medium levels of grief. Grief was also related to the way in which participants described their pets. Those who classified their pet as their “child” or “best friend” reported significantly higher levels of grief in comparison with those who considered their pets to be “good companions.” Furthermore, a high level of pet attachment was associated with higher grief. Other variables related to level of grief included age, which was inversely related to grief, guilt, and loneliness, and the presence of supportive others ameliorated guilt and loneliness. Species of animal was related to guilt and grief, with rabbit owners exhibiting significantly less guilt and grief than dog and cat owners. The type of death was not associated with grief, guilt, or loneliness scores. The major- ity of respondents felt supported following their loss, although some did not feel understood and expressed a lack of social recognition for their loss.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Connections and Companionship II is a sequel to a 2016 report which looked at the relationship between adolescents and their pets. It includes data from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey and from a 2020 survey specifically about youth’s relationship with their pet.
Article
Purpose Do pets provide benefits or risks for low-income individuals in regards to food security? Method Surveys of food security were administered to 392 low-income adults utilizing food pantries. Data collection included a self-administered questionnaire about demographics, food security, health and well-being, and for those with pets, animal attachment, commitment and animal information. Qualitative interviews were conducted with fifteen pet-owning individuals who completed the questionnaire and agreed to be contacted and interviewed over the phone about food security and their pets. Results Bivariate analyzes suggested that those with pets were more food secure and logistic regression found pet ownership associated with greater food security. The interviews suggest that pets assisted in creating a routine, and motivation for obtaining food. Discussion It is critical that social workers realize the importance of pets in the lives of humans and include them in psychosocial assessments and as motivators for health interventions.
Article
Full-text available
There is little agreement in the recent academic literature about how the concept of homelessness should be defined. This is more than just a theoretical problem, because it becomes difficult to urge governments to meet the needs of homeless people, if the parameters of the homeless population are unclear. This paper reviews ‘conservative’, ‘radical’ and ‘conventional’ perspectives on homelessness in modern society, and it argues that it is possible to adjudicate between them. The paper proposes a socially constructed definition of homelessness based on the notion of minimum community standards. It argues that this culturally relative position provides a theoretically meaningful framework for understanding homelessness in the 1990s.
Article
Full-text available
The authors discuss the components of consensual qualitative research (CQR) using open-ended questions to gather data, using words to describe phenomena, studying a few cases intensively, recognizing the importance of context, using an inductive analytic process, using a team and making decisions by consensus, using auditors, and verifying results by systematically checking against the raw data. The three steps for conducting CQR are developing and coding domains, constructing core ideas, and developing categories to describe consistencies across cases (cross analysis). Criteria for evaluating CQR are trustworthiness of the method, coherence of the results, representativeness of the results to the sample, testimonial validity, applicability of the results, and replicability across samples. Finally, the authors discuss implications for research, practice, and training.
Article
Full-text available
The importance of human-animal bonds has been documented throughout history, across cultures, and in recent research. However, attachments with companion animals have been undervalued and even pathologized in the field of mental health. This article briefly surveys the evolution of human-animal bonds, reviews research on their health and mental health benefits, and examines their profound relational significance across the life course. Finally, the emerging field of animal-assisted interventions is described, noting applications in hospital and eldercare settings, and in innovative school, prison, farm, and community programs. The aim of this overview paper is to stimulate more attention to these vital bonds in systems-oriented theory, practice, and research. A companion paper in this issue focuses on the role of pets and relational dynamics in family systems and family therapy (Walsh, 2009a).
Article
Full-text available
Dog ownership may be an effective tailored intervention among adults for promoting physical activity. This study examined the relationship between walking, physical activity levels, and potential psychological mediators between people who owned dogs and those who did not own dogs in the Capital Region District of Greater Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Data were collected in September 2004; analyses were conducted in January 2005. A random sample of men (n=177) and women (n=174) aged 20 to 80 years participated. Questionnaires were mailed out in 2004 to collect information about demographics, dog ownership, leisure-time walking, physical activity levels, and theory of planned behavior (TPB) constructs. The analyses revealed that dog owners spent more time in mild and moderate physical activities and walked an average of 300 minutes per week compared to non-dog owners who walked an average of 168 minutes per week. A mediator analysis suggests that dog obligation acts as a mediator between dog ownership and physical activity. Moreover, the theory of planned behavior constructs of intention and perceived behavioral control explained 13% of the variance in walking behavior with an additional 11% variance in walking behavior being explained by dog obligation. Regarding intention to walk, the TPB explained 46% of the variance in intention to walk with dog obligation adding an additional 1% variance. In this group of Canadians, those who owned a dog participated in more mild to moderate physical activity than those who did not. Acquiring a dog should be explored as an intervention to get people more physically active.
Article
Animal-assisted therapy is offered in a wide variety of settings. The literature contains few studies investigating animal-assisted therapy from an occupational therapy perspective. More information is needed to describe the use of animals as a therapeutic modality in occupational therapy. Three qualitative case studies were analysed to describe the perceptions of clients and therapists regarding animal-assisted therapy. This analysis was synthesised with an extensive literature review to produce a perspective of animal-assisted therapy for occupational therapy. Animal-assisted therapy could be a beneficial modality for occupational therapy. The Lifestyle Performance Model provides a useful framework for analysis and interpretation of the positive outcomes of animal-assisted therapy in an occupational therapy context.
Article
It is known that pet dogs can act as catalysts for human social interactions, and it has been suggested that this may enhance feelings of well-being. Two studies were carried out to establish the robustness of this effect. In Study 1, a highly trained dog was used to ensure that the dog itself did not solicit attention from passers-by, and data were collected across a range of normal daily activities in which a dog could be included, not confined to conventional dog walking areas as in previous studies. Being accompanied by a dog increased the frequency of social interactions, especially interactions with strangers. In Study 2, also using a trained dog, a different (male) participant observer was dressed either smartly or scruffily. Although there were significantly more interactions when he was smartly dressed, the greatest effect was between the Dog present and No Dog conditions irrespective of the handler's dress. It is concluded that the social catalysis effect is very robust, which opens the way for investigating possible consequences of the effect for wellbeing and health.
Article
Background: The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of a companion dog on the depression and anxiety levels of residents in a long-term care facility. Methods: A total of 16 residents (eight men and eight women) were randomly assigned to a control group (n = 8) and an Animal Assisted Activity (AAA) group (n = 8) that met once a week for 6 weeks. All residents in the AAA group were either in wheelchairs or walking with crutches. The Beck Depression Inventory and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) were used pre- and post-intervention. Results: For both the total group and control group no significant differences were found on depression and anxiety pre and post mean scores. However, for the AAA group, significant differences were found between pre and post BDI mean scores while the BAI mean score differences were non-significant. Conclusion: The results of this small study confirm the results of other studies that AAA visits can make a difference to the depression levels of residents in long-term care facilities.
Article
We determined the proportion of pet owners and non-pet owners with serious mental illness, compared their characteristics and their motivations for owning or not owning a pet, and examined the relationship between pet ownership and engagement in meaningful activity and three dimensions of community integration. Three Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams reported on the pet ownership of all service recipients (N = 204). Of these recipients, 60 completed a survey. Nonparametric tests were selected for data analysis. Of 204 ACT clients, 38 (18.6%) were pet owners. Twenty-tour (63.2%) of 38 responding non-pet owners desired to live with a pet. There were significant differences between groups on diagnosis, gender, a global measure of function, meaningful activity, and psychological integration. The key finding supports the hypothesis that pet owners with serious mental illness living in the community demonstrate higher social community integration. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Article
This cross-sectional study examined whether partnering with service dogs influenced psychosocial well-being and community participation of adult individuals using wheelchairs or scooters. One hundred and fifty-two people were recruited and group-matched, resulting in 76 participants with and 76 without service dogs. Standardized scale scores for affect, depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and loneliness were used to operationally define psychosocial well-being. Community participation was assessed with the 'Social Integration' domain of the Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique. Psychosocial characteristics did not differ significantly between those partnered with and without service dogs overall. However, of participants with progressive conditions, those with service dogs demonstrated significantly higher positive affect scores than comparison group participants. Among those with clinical depression, service dog partners scored significantly higher in positive affect. Finally, regardless of whether individuals had service dogs, fewer depressive symptoms and being female or married were predictors of greater community participation. Select individuals may experience psychosocial benefits from partnering with service dogs. However, it is unclear if these benefits might also be derived from companion dogs. Further research is needed to substantiate the findings of this study.
Article
Loneliness and negative health outcomes associated with being homeless and living on the streets. Qualitative data from 32 homeless youth, ages 16 to 23 years, who participated in focus groups, and a subsample of 10 youth, ages 15 to 23 years, who participated in individual interviews, were analyzed using manifest and content analysis, techniques. Homeless adolescents who live on the streets or in "squats" described feelings of loneliness that they say "go with the territory." Three themes emerged from the data: how lonely subjects felt, circumstances that provoked feelings of loneliness, and ways of coping with loneliness. Thirteen identified their pets as companions that provided unconditional love, reduced feelings of loneliness, and improved their health status. Vulnerable adolescents who are homeless often recognize the therapeutic value of pets. Interventions that enhance this coping strategy need to be developed and tested.
Article
This qualitative study examined the experience of pet ownership in the everyday lives of seven men with human immuno-deficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Interviews and field observations were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. The findings demonstrate that the experience of pet ownership is both typical of any pet owner and yet profoundly impacted by the illness of the owners. The results of this preliminary study indicate pet ownership can be a highly valued occupation for some, and thus has implications for occupational therapy intervention.
Article
This exploratory study investigated how clients of a large urban veterinary center viewed the role of their pet in the famil and how they compared this role to that of humans. In Phase 1, randomly selected clients (N = 201) completed a questionnaire containing scales delineating family relationships and pet attachment. Being either a man or a college graduate was associated with lesser feelings of psychological kinship and intimacy, both with pets and people. Neither living with a partner norhaving a child affected the strength of pet relationships. In Phase 2, 16 participants from Phase I completed a social network instrument and answered questions about family roles and boundaries. Thirteen of the 16 respondents said that there were circumstances in which they would give a scarce drug to their pet in preference to a person outside the family.
Article
One of the most frequently given reasons for relinquishing a companion animal to an animal shelter is that the person or family is moving. Telephone interviews conducted with 57 caregivers who relinquished animal companions to a shelter in the midwestern United States covered details of the move, characteristics both of the caregivers and the animals, and efforts to avoid relinquishment. A human-nonhuman animal bonding scale also was administered. Although some participants had additional reasons for relinquishment, the majority had given up their pets solely because they were moving. Most had relatively low income, were moving for employment reasons, and were renting their homes. Landlord restrictions were an important factor in relinquishment. High scores on the bonding scale and spontaneous expressions of discomfort and sorrow suggest that external pressures overrode attachment to the animal and the pain of relinquishment.
Article
This paper reviews literature published on the psychophysiological effects of long-term human-animal interaction (i.e., pet ownership, pet adoption). A literature search was conducted using PsycInfo and Medline databases. Although the available evidence is far from being consistent, it can be concluded that, in some cases, long-term relationships with animals may moderate baseline physiological variables, particularly blood pressure. Results proved more coherent in studies where animals were adopted by owners as part of the procedure. This paper examines existing hypotheses seeking to account for these effects and the supporting evidence. Two major hypotheses have been suggested to explain the psychophysiological effects of long-term interaction, namely (1) stress-buffering effects of noncritical social support provided by pets; and (2) classical conditioning of relaxation. These mechanisms may partially account for the long-term health outcomes observed in a number of human-animal interaction studies.
Living well together: how companion animals can help strengthen social fabric. Perth: Centre for the Built Environment and Health (School of Population Health)
  • L Wood
Wood L (2009) Living well together: how companion animals can help strengthen social fabric. Perth: Centre for the Built Environment and Health (School of Population Health), University of Western Australia, and Petcare Information and Advisory Service Pty Ltd.
Understanding contemporary homelessness: issues of definition and meaning Investing in our future: British Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • C Chamberlain
  • D Mackenzie
  • T Gibson
  • Johnstone
Chamberlain C, MacKenzie D (1992) Understanding contemporary homelessness: issues of definition and meaning. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 27(4), 274-97. Cited in: C Gibson, T Johnstone (2010) Investing in our future: British Journal of Occupational Therapy August 2012 75(8) Jessica Slatter, Chris Lloyd and Robert King
The meaning of companion animals: qualitative analysis of the life histories of elderly cat and dog owners Companion animals and us Pet ownership as a meaningful community occupation for people with serious mental illness
  • Mj Enders-Slegers
Enders-Slegers MJ (2000) The meaning of companion animals: qualitative analysis of the life histories of elderly cat and dog owners. In: AL Podberscek, ES Paul, JA Serpell, eds. Companion animals and us. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 237-56. Cited in: U Zimalag, T Krupa (2009) Pet ownership as a meaningful community occupation for people with serious mental illness. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63(2), 126-37.
Children and homelessness: literature review. Melbourne Citymission, Research and Social Policy Unit. Melbourne: Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory
  • D Keys
Keys D (2009) Children and homelessness: literature review. Melbourne Citymission, Research and Social Policy Unit. Melbourne: Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory.
Homeless -non English speaking background women and children who are vctims of domestic violence. Discussion paper. Sydney: Immigrant Women's Speakout Association NSW
  • S Lee
Lee S (2008) Homeless -non English speaking background women and children who are vctims of domestic violence. Discussion paper. Sydney: Immigrant Women's Speakout Association NSW.
The power of pets: the benefits of companion animal ownership Available at
Australian Companion Animal Council (2009) The power of pets: the benefits of companion animal ownership. Available at: http://www.acac.org.au/ pdf/PowerOfPets_2009_19.pdf Accessed 09.04.11.
The benefits of companion animals for human mental and physical health. 2009 RSPCA Australia Scientific Seminar: Animals and Human Health. Brisbane: Centre for Companion Animal Health
  • O Haire
O'Haire M (2009) The benefits of companion animals for human mental and physical health. 2009 RSPCA Australia Scientific Seminar: Animals and Human Health. Brisbane: Centre for Companion Animal Health, School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, 9.
The meaning of companion animals: qualitative analysis of the life histories of elderly cat and dog owners
  • Jessica Slatter
  • Chris Lloyd
  • Robert King Enders-Slegers
Jessica Slatter, Chris Lloyd and Robert King Enders-Slegers MJ (2000) The meaning of companion animals: qualitative analysis of the life histories of elderly cat and dog owners. In: AL Podberscek, ES Paul, JA Serpell, eds. Companion animals and us. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 237-56. Cited in: U Zimalag, T Krupa (2009) Pet ownership as a meaningful community occupation for people with serious mental illness. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63(2), 126-37.
RSPCA Australia Scientific Seminar: Animals and Human Health. Brisbane: Centre for Companion Animal Health
  • M O'haire
O'Haire M (2009) The benefits of companion animals for human mental and physical health. 2009 RSPCA Australia Scientific Seminar: Animals and Human Health. Brisbane: Centre for Companion Animal Health, School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, 9.
No home, no kids: the vicious cycle of homelessness and out-of-home care placements, for families in Central Victoria. Bendigo: St Luke's Anglicare. Cited in: D Noble-Carr (2006) The experiences and effects of family homelessness for children. Literature review
  • C Talbot
Talbot C (2003) Social exclusion and homelessness: everyone's responsibility [online]. Adelaide: Uniting Care Wesley. Available at: http://www.ucwadel.org.au/publications/resources/Social_ Exclusion_Homelessness_Oct2003.pdf Accessed 2005. Cited in: St Luke's Anglicare (2005) No home, no kids: the vicious cycle of homelessness and out-of-home care placements, for families in Central Victoria. Bendigo: St Luke's Anglicare. Cited in: D Noble-Carr (2006) The experiences and effects of family homelessness for children. Literature review. Canberra: Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University.
Pet ownership as a meaningful community occupation for people with serious mental illness
  • U Zimalag
  • T Krupa
Zimalag U, Krupa T (2009) Pet ownership as a meaningful community occupation for people with serious mental illness. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63(2), 126-37.