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The Human-Animal Studies Report
June 2021

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the Animals & Society Institute's Human-Animal Studies Report. 

As the number of Calls for Papers this month shows, people are feeling optimistic about the future, and looking forward to a productive remainder of 2021. As we come out of our pandemic shells (at least parts of the global north) and begin to imagine our lives going forward, it is clear the pandemic has caused changes that will last. Working remotely and meeting virtually, for instance, appear a positive outcomes that will continue.

That doesn’t mean the past year hasn’t been a difficult one, for both humans and companion animals. As this month’s Animals and COVID analysis discusses, companion animals both helped and stressed their guardians during this past year, and the converse appears true of the dogs we share lives with. As the pandemic draws to an end, experts agree it’s time to start helping companion dogs adjust to the post-pandemic world.

I hope you and those you care about continue to weather the changes brought about by the pandemic, and that you all stay healthy and safe.


Editor’s note: The HAS e-newsletter is organized as follows: Jobs, grants, and calls are ordered chronologically by deadline dates, with the earliest first, and will continue to be posted until the deadlines expire. Books and articles include, where possible, links to access them directly from this email. Because publication reference styles vary by source, they might not always be consistent or pretty, but they will get you there. To read more about the topics discussed, click the bold hyperlinks for source material and additional information.

Please send your comments, suggestions, and submissions to:, and if possible include a URL link to your project or announcement.

Animals and COVID-19

Interspecies Pandemic Mental Health—Helping Companion Dogs Return to “Normal” 

Most reading this who share their lives with companion animals would agree they provided solace over the past challenging year of social disruption. I know that the friendship, camaraderie, and sense of purpose our rescue German Shepherds brought to our home seemed to have bracketed a sense of normalcy within the otherwise dramatically abnormal—and stressful—situation the COVID-19 pandemic produced. After the loss of our beloved Boris early in the pandemic, we also recently brought a new member into our family, Sasha, a lovely, playful three-year-old German Shepherd who is fitting into our interspecies family wonderfully as she learns that people can be trusted.

We weren’t the only ones to welcome new companion animals into our homes during the pandemic. June 2020 piece pointed out that many people suddenly forced to stay at home during quarantines and layoffs adopted or fostered dogs and cats at what appeared to be a record pace, and animals shelters around the country were having difficulty keeping up with the demand. An analysis of Google AdWords searches in August 2020 found up to a 55 percent increase in adoption-related search terms in cities across the USA. And the same source reported survey results that found 94 percent said that their companion animals had been a source of emotional support throughout this stressful period. And studies querying companion animal caretakers consistently report findings like those highlighted in the Psychology Today blog by Dana Dorfman, The Health Benefits of Pet Love: Evidence Supports the Contention that Pets Affect Our Overall Health. That review noted that, for instance, one poll found nine out of 10 respondents concluded companion animals were helping to lower their stress.

But is it truly that simple? While one large-scale survey in the UK conducted by Elena Ratschen and Emily Shoesmith, et al. found “the vast majority of animal owners perceived their animals to help them cope with the pandemic context and reported that they constituted an important source of emotional support,” they also reported that “concerns and worries relating to caring adequately for animals at this time, when access to, for example, veterinary care, animal feed and adequate outdoor exercise spaces was limited, were also frequently reported.” That is, while respondents perceived their companion animals provided them with positive pandemic mental health relief, concerns for companion animal care also caused stress. 

Given the effects of the pandemic upon human mental health, it would be surprising if companion dogs were not also impacted. According to Dr Teresa Tyler, a Canine Behaviourist with a PhD in Anthrozoology from Exeter and Director of TheDoGenius, reports of behavioral issues in adolescent dogs have increased. “Puppies acquired during ‘lockdown periods’ have not had the comprehensive socialization required during those critical early weeks. Young dogs are frequently being seen struggling to even walk a few paces from their front doors and are afraid of new people and places. These types of problems are also being reported more in countries that had very strict COVID-19 restrictions, such as Spain and Italy, where dogs had little opportunity to leave the home environment.” 

Tyler’s insights are borne out by research. One study that looked at the effects of the initial confinement period on Spanish pet owners, their pet cats and dogs, and the relationship between them, found that dogs (as well as cats) demonstrated signs of behavioral change consistent with stress during lockdown. Dogs who had pre-existing behavioral problems were the most affected. Problematic behaviors that increased included aggression, vocalization, fear of loud or sudden noises, and problems being left alone at home. 

While the causes of these behaviors might be varied, a lack of socialization, particularly for “pandemic puppies” acquired during lockdown, plays a role. According to Jenna Kiddie, the head of canine behaviour at the U.K. Dogs Trust, “Puppies haven’t been getting the same mental stimulation they would have done. They haven’t been exposed to visitors to the home in the same way or been around other dogs. So we’re very worried about how they’re going to respond. Because they will probably respond with fear, and one way a dog can cope with fear is to use aggression.” Because of this, dog bites are on the rise by a threefold increase after the start of the first lockdown according to a study by John Tulloch, a vet and epidemiologist at the University of Liverpool. 

As the pandemic draws to an end, experts agree it’s time to start helping housebound dogs adjust to the post-pandemic world. This help includes both (re)socialization and learning how to be alone as guardians possibly return to work. In addition to pandemic puppies, older dogs who were initially well socialized also have become fearful of humans and other dogs due to the isolation the coronavirus brought about. Tips gleaned from the above articles to help acclimate dogs to others include having people over and in the house, where dogs might not have seen other humans for a while. If the dog is particularly fearful, Jenna Kiddie at the Dogs Trust suggests getting them used to visitors to the house again by teaching them to associate a door-knock or bell-ring with a treat in its bed, so that it automatically heads for bed rather than the door. Play dates with other dogs and people can help with socialization as well.

Regarding separation anxiety, Tyler notes that overall dogs seem to be adapting relatively well to their human families returning to work, with exceptions where the dogs had pre-existing problems being left alone. If you are going back to the office even months from now, New York City dog trainer Shelby Semel suggests slowly giving dogs increasing alone time starting now. Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil, a veterinary behaviorist and clinical assistant professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, points out that this should not cause us undue stress. “Even though they haven’t wanted to be left alone all day, an awful lot of dogs don’t want to be with us 24/7.” 

Through the last year, people and their companion dogs have brought each other both support and stress. As we all acclimate to our new, broader social worlds again, it’s now up to us to help ease them back into the society we share.

Rescue of Pets. The Role of Veterinarians in the Human-Animal-Environment Relationship at the Time of the Coronavirus, Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research, 3(1), 91-102. doi:

Armbruster, K. (2016). Challenges and Rewards of Human–Canine RelationshipsSociety & Animals, 24(2), 205-207.

Bekoff, Marc, 2020. Do Pets Really Unconditionally Love and Unwind Us? Pets are choosy about who they love and don't always reduce stress. Psychology Today blog.

Herzog, Hal, 2020. Do Pets Improve Mental Health During COVID Lockdowns? The surprising impact of pets on mental health during lockdowns. Psychology Today blog.

Herzog, Hal, 2019. The Sad Truth About Pet Ownership and Depression: What a review of 30 studies reveals about the impact of pets on depression. Psychology Today blog.

Reevy, G. M., & Delgado, M. M. (2015). Are emotionally attached companion animal caregivers conscientious and neurotic? Factors that affect the human–companion animal relationshipJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 18(3), 239-258.


NOTE: The “Animals and COVID-19” section of this Report is copyright © 2021, the Animals & Society Institute. All rights reserved. This material may be reproduced for personal use or by not-for-profit organizations with proper credits and the web site link For other uses, no portion of this publication may be reproduced or distributed, in print or through any electronic means, without the written permission of the Animals & Society Institute. Contact


All of us at ASI send a hearty Thank You to all who contribute to our Spring Matching Gift Campaign! A generous donor pledged to match all donations up to $10,000 and our campaign brought in $10,677. That means we can double our crucial research-driven efforts aimed at fostering humane policy and practice throughout human-animal communities. 

The recording is now available for viewing of ASI Board President Ken Shapiro’s concluding session on “Human-Animal Studies: Developments, Problematics, Trajectories” from the June 1-3 Human-Animal Studies Israel (HASI) conference “Human-Animal Relations: Opportunities and Challenges in Changing Realities.” Ken’s session focused on the challenges inherent in studying animals and their relationship with us, the location of the field of Human-Animal Studies within the institutional structure of universities, and its relation to animal advocacy and policies.  Find recordings of all of the fabulous conference sessions here.


Second Call: As a continuation and expansion of our coverage “Animals and COVID-19” in the HAS Report, the Animals & Society Institute-managed Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS)—the leading peer-reviewed academic journal on the science of animal welfare—has issued a Call for Papers for a Special Issue dealing with original research related to "Human-Animal Relationships and Welfare in the Anthropocene: Pandemics, Climate Change, and Other Disasters." See information below in the Calls for Papers: Journals and Book Chapters section.

The following article in the ASI-managed hournal, Society & Animals, has been made available open access for a limited time:

This article acknowledges the void in international law around the general protection of all nonhuman animals and suggests that the framework currently set out in inter- national law requires development. It will be argued that the idea of protecting certain vulnerable animals within international law be adopted and the definition of “vulnerability” be viewed in a less anthropocentric way to include groups of animals who experience vulnerability in different ways, such as companion animals who are victims of violence in the home. It will be suggested that due to the nature of domestic violence and its effects on numerous victims (women, children, and companion animals), inter- national domestic violence law must be developed to include all possible victims of domestic violence in the home who include both children and companion animals.

This month’s LINK-Letter from the National Resource Center on The Link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence covers: The largest national survey of domestic violence survivors in crisis confirms how co-living with pets breaks their barriers to safety and healing; the National Children’s Alliance calls for greater collaboration over animal abuse issues; grant funding is available for research on pets in abusive relationships, and more.

HAS Funding and Opportunities

The ASPCA is seeking a Director of Research to join their Strategy & Research team. This is a remote (work-from-home) position that requires an individual with a strong research background and experience/interest relevant to the position’s focus on research collaborating with departments within the Policy, Response & Engagement division of the ASPCA, specifically those focusing on 1) public policy and 2) equine welfare. Find out more HERENo deadline given.

The ASPCA is accepting applications for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 internships in Applied Animal Welfare Research. Enrollment in an academic degree or certificate program - Graduate or advanced undergraduate (junior/senior year) level preferred. The positions are remote, for 10-20 hours per week (negotiable), and will require at least some availability during typical working hours (M-F, 9am - 5pm). Find out more HERE. No deadline given.

A researcher is needed with expertise in qualitative research for a prominent position in a study regarding elders and the Human-Animal Bond in South America. (Travel is not required.) The study is financed by an international NGO dedicated to the protection of vulnerable groups and has official backing by local authorities as well as approval by an ethics committee. The researcher would join a small multidisciplinary research team in a prominent position and would lead the data analysis and the collaborative work for publication of results.  Interested parties should contact:, Coordinator for Profesionales por la Prevención de Abusos No deadline is given but the researcher must be available to begin active collaboration before the end of June 2021. 

VetVine®—an accredited veterinary continuing education provider and host of pet loss support services—is seeking pet-related grief counseling and support facilitators with expertise / experience in pet-related grief counseling and support to serve as facilitators of real-time virtual support sessions. VetVine® Virtual Pet Loss Support Groups are a place where individuals grieving the loss of a pet can convene and connect with others who have experienced the loss of a beloved animal. These are virtual sessions conducted via Zoom. Apply HERENo deadline given.

Podcasts, Webinars, Lectures, and Courses

This section includes both upcoming live events, and past events that were recorded.

The Interspecies Internet has made its curated session from the recent Human-Animal Studies Israel (HASI) conference. The session “Interspecies Internet: An idea, now a global initiative. An introduction to the project, status and aspirations,” features Con SlobodchikoffFounder and President of Zoolingua, & Professor of Biology Emeritus, Northern Arizona University: Decoding Animal Languages; Irene Pepperberg, Associate, Harvard University: Interspecies Communication between Humans and Grey Parrots; and David Sulzer, Professor of neuroscience and musician/composer, Departments Psychiatry, Neurology, Pharmacology, School of the Arts, Columbia University: Science and the arts.

New HAS Books and Monographs

Following are some recent books published of interest to the field of Human-Animal Studies.

Anne Benvenuti, 2021. Kindred Spirits: One Animal Family (Animal Voices / Animal Worlds Ser.). University of Georgia Press.

Natalie Khazaal & Núria Almiron (Eds.), 2021. Like an Animal: Critical Animal Studies Approaches to Borders, Displacement, and Othering. Brill.

Damien W. Riggs, Shoshana Rosenberg, Heather Fraser & Nik Taylor. 2021Queer Entanglements: Intersections of Gender, Sexuality, and Animal Companionship. Cambridge University Press.

Mieke Roscher, André Krebber and Brett Mizelle, 2021. Handbook of Historical Animal Studies. De Gruyter Oldenbourg.

Ketil Skogen, Olve Krange, and Helene Figari, 2021. Wolf Conflicts: A Sociological Study. Berghahn.

New HAS Articles and Book Chapters

Following are some recent research articles and book chapters published in the field of Human-Animal Studies.

A Special Issue of the Romance language journal, Romance Notes, covers animals in the early modern Hispanic world.

Andreucci, F., & Florio, D. (2021). Introduction: ‘Animals in Emergency’ due to SARS-CoV-2, Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research, 3(1), 1-4. doi:

Anne Aronsson, Fynn Holm, Melissa Kaul (Eds), 2020. Finding Agency in NonhumansRelations Beyond Anthrocentrism, 8(20).

Foreman-Worsley, Rachel; Finka, Lauren R.; Ward, Samantha J.; Farnworth, Mark J. 2021. "Indoors or Outdoors? An International Exploration of Owner Demographics and Decision Making Associated with Lifestyle of Pet Cats," Animals, 11, no. 2: 253. OPEN ACCESS.

Shruti Ragavan, 2021. Between field and home: notes from the balcony. Cultural Geographies

Calls for Papers: Journals and Chapters

Second call: ASI has a call out for a Special Issue of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS) dealing with original research related to "Human-Animal Relationships and Welfare in the Anthropocene: Pandemics, Climate Change, and Other Disasters." We seek research that investigates the causes, impacts, and connections between, on the one hand, animal welfare and human-animal relationships, and on the other hand, pandemics (including COVID-19), climate change, and other disasters. Submissions are welcome that address any of the various nodes, junctures and crossings that exist between these various factors. Detailed CFP and submission information, HEREThe deadline for abstract submission is June 30, 2021.

A call is out for articles for a special issue of the Journal of Ecotourism, on the topic of posthumanism and ecotourism. The call seeks original posthumanist theoretical, methodological, conceptual, and empirical manuscripts that consider how we may equitably foreground nonhumans’ (flora and fauna) rights, welfare, and agency in (eco)tourism. The deadline for abstracts is June 30, 2021.

People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice has issued a call for articles on “The Impact of COVID-19 on Human-Animal Interactions in Families, Communities and Organizations.” The call is open until June 30, 2021, but articles can be submitted at any time and will be published incrementally. Submit here.

A special issue for the journal, Philosophies, "Critical Thinking and Animal Ethics" has a call out for submissions. The goal of this issue is to encourage reflection on the status of different types of arguments and persuasive attempts about ethics and animals. Abstracts could be sent either via the special issue website or to guest editors via email, Nathan NobisThe deadline for submitting abstracts is July 1, 2021. The deadline for final manuscript submissions is November 1, 2021.

A call is out from the Nesir Journal of Literary Studies for papers on Animal Studies in LiteratureAugust 1, 2021 deadline.

A call is out for articles in a special issue of Social Sciences, dealing with "Human-Animal Interactions and Issues in Criminal Justice: Toward a Humane Criminology." Guest editors Kimberly Spanjol, Cathryn Lavery, and Heath Grant, seek broad contributions of original research of application and theory of human–animal interactions in Criminal Justice. This includes issues that impact companion, wild, and farmed animals. The deadline for manuscript submissions is August 31, 2021.

A Call for Papers is out for a Special issue of the Journal of Social Psychology, “The Social Psychology of Vegetarianism and Meat Restriction: Implications of Conceptualizing Dietary Habit as a Social Identity.”  Authors who have questions about this special issue, including questions about the appropriateness of a specific submission are encouraged to contact John Nezlek ( When asking questions about a specific submission, please provide an abstract or summary of the paper. Papers are due September 1, 2021.

You are invited to contribute a scholarly essay on the topic “Communication in Defense of Nonhuman Animals During an Extinction and Climate Crisis,” to the 2022 special issue we are editing for the open-access international journal Journalism and Media. (The Article Processing Charge (APC) for open access publication in this Special Issue will be waived, which means that you have the privilege to publish your paper free of charge in an open access scholarly journal. The submission deadline is October 31, 2021.

Guest editor Kendra Coulter has a call out for a Special Issue of Animals covering “Frontiers of Animal Protection.” This Special Issue will assemble high-quality social science research that considers the social, legal, political, and employment dimensions of animal protection. Despite its importance for protecting diverse kinds of animals from human harm and the complementary benefits for vulnerable people and public safety, the animal protection landscape remains underexamined. Deadline for manuscript submissions: March 31, 2022. 

A call is out for contributions to an edited volume, Life and the Construction of Reality, with an element addressing such questions as: What evidence do we have that animals literally construct reality? What can it mean for human-animal relations, if both humans and other animals are able to construct reality? What methodological opportunities and limitations exist in understanding non-human reality construction? For more information, contact:
Submissions accepted through September 30, 2021.

A Special Issue of the journal Animals, "Wildlife Conservation and Ethics" is open for submission. The deadline for submission of manuscripts is  September 30, 2021, but it can be eventually extended on request.

A Special Issue of the journal Religions is out on the topic “Religions, Animals, and X,” where “X” be other critical categories connected with social movements like coloniality, gender and sexuality, queerness, or race; topical areas of broad social concern like anti-Black racism, anti-immigrant racism, climate change, factory farming, hunting, and pandemics; new areas of religion scholarship like affect, disability, ecology, migration, monsters, plants, and science fiction; critical terms in religious studies like belief, body, grief, life, mourning, person, sacrifice, and scripture. Direct questions to Katherine Mershon, kmershon@wcu.eduThe deadline for manuscript submissions is November 15, 2021. 

Call for papers: Special issue of the APA Human-Animals Interaction Bulletin (HAIB) is focusing on animal hospice/ palliative care, euthanasia, and grief/loss related to companion animals. Direct inquiries to the guest editor: Phyllis Erdman: perdman@wsu.eduPaper submissions are due January 13, 2022.

Calls for Papers: Conferences
and Workshops

Vanessa Wijngaarden and Veronica Policarpo are convening the panel “Interspecies Communication with Non-human Agents as a Global Heritage” (Session 32), at the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), which will be held online November 9-13, 2021. All info about the conference can be found hereThe deadline for submission of paper proposals is June 30, 2021.

A call for papers is now open for the Anthropology and Conservation conference, to take place online October 25-29, 2021. Several of the panel topics might appeal to human-animal studies scholars. The deadline is July 2, 2021.

Paper proposals are currently invited for a panel “Conservation beyond species: ethnographic explorations” at the coming RAI Anthropology and Conservation digital conference, 25-29 October 2021. The deadline for paper proposals is July 2, 2021.

The Centre for Privacy Studies (University of Copenhagen) and the Kent Animal Humanities Network (University of Kent, UK) are planning an online workshop in November 2021, ANIMAL / PRIVACY: Historical and Conceptual Approaches, exploring the intersections between Privacy Studies and Animal Studies. Proposals (250-300 words) for a 20-minutes paper to contribute to the workshop are due July 31, 2021.

The ASPCA, in partnership with the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement (AAWA), requests abstracts for the online ASPCA-AAWA Research Forum to be held Wednesday, November 3, 2021. The Research Forum will explore the results of new research studies relating to community and shelter animal welfare. The event will be free for all participants. Submissions are due August 1, 2021.
The 2021 annual conference of the North East Popular Culture Association (NEPCA) will be virtual, taking place Oct. 21 – 23 (EDT, Thursday evening, Friday late afternoon, Saturday morning). Proposals for the Animal and Culture area are invited. Abstracts are due August 1, 2021. 

A call is out for abstracts for the international conference, “Humans and animals: paradoxes of mutual relationships,” St Petersburg (Russia), November 29-3, 2021. The organizers are proceeding with planning for an in-person and online conference at the same time. The interdisciplinary conference would like to involve scholars of various disciplines (genetics, archaeozoology, zoology, archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, ethnography, anthropology, linguistics, folklore, ethnomusicology, etc.), creating a platform for the exchange of practical and theoretical approaches to the problematics in order to achieve a new interdisciplinary perspective on studying human-animal relationships. The official languages of the conferences will be English and Russian. For English submissions contact: humansanimals@ismeo.euSubmittal deadline is August 10, 2021.

Upcoming Conferences

Registration is now open for the (virtual) 7th biennial conference of the European Association for Critical Animal StudiesJune 24-25, 2021. You can view the program here. This conference is free but attendees are encouraging delegates to donate to two sanctuaries listed on the registration page. 

Hosted by the Coastal Connections seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, a panel discussion on Coastal Animals will take place June 24, 2-3.30 pm UK time.

The registration page is open for the virtual Animal Advocacy Conference produced by the University of Kent, UK, “Insights from the Social Sciences, June 30-July 2, 2021Find info and register here.  

As you can see, there is a tremendous amount of activity and progress going on today in the field of Human-Animal Studies, and we always invite your input and participation.

Your donation to the Animals & Society Institute will enable us to continue to expand the field in many more ways and work in conjunction with others around the world who share these goals.

Thank you for supporting our Human-Animal Studies efforts!

Gala Argent, PhD
Human-Animal Studies Program Director