Understanding the Attachment Dimension of Human-animal Bond within A Homeless Population: A One-Health Initiative in the Student Health Outreach for Wellness (SHOW) Clinic

Hongwei Yang, Amber Howarth, Steven R. Hansen, Liz Harrell, Craig D. Thatcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In response to a gap in veterinary care for low-income, under-served populations, the Student Health Outreach for Wellness (SHOW) Clinic in Phoenix, AZ took a One-Health initiative to establish a pilot veterinary care program to serve the veterinary needs of the local homeless pet owners receiving human medical care at the clinic. The study examines the pilot program through the lens of the human-animal bond (HAB) and focuses specifically on the attachment dimension of the bond as measured by the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale (LAPS). Data was collected from the homeless pet owners, and Rasch modeling was used to investigate the importance of various factors of the owner attachment to pet as described in LAPS items. The results demonstrate the perceptions of the homeless pet owners of ownership. The findings also provide psychometric evidence for revising the LAPS to better serve future research on human-animal relationships. Limitations and possible extensions of the research as related to the HAB and owner attachment to pets are discussed and enhancements proposed for the pilot program to better serve the local homeless people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-371
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Human-animal bond
  • Rasch analysis
  • homeless
  • one-health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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