Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
HAI and AAI are exciting fields and you probably have a lot of questions. We have put together questions that we are frequently asked about research, practice or the work of IAHAIO. We hope the answers below are helpful.
There is a growing body of HAI/AAI research, some peer-reviewed, others not, which can be accessed via the internet. Some organisations provide a summary of research articles and publish articles in their own, often peer-reviewed journals. Possible options to explore include:
List of resources and research articles
HABRI Central (www.habricentral.org)
Society & Animals (www.animalsandsociety.org)
Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/)
People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice (PAIJ) www.iahaio.org)
Society & Animals Journal (https://www.animalsandsociety.org/human-animal-studies/society-and-animals-journal/)
IAHAIO does not offer any funding for projects. Other organisations offer grants or sponsorships for research from time to time. For example, check out https://www.waltham.com/grants-awards/waltham-foundation/ and also https://habri.org/funding-opportunities.
IAHAIO does not offer internships. We suggest that you contact an IAHAIO member organisation in your area to see if they may offer internships. You can also visit Animals & Society Institute (www.animalsandsociety.org) which lists student internships from time to time.
Other options to look at are:
IAHAIO does not offer any graduate or PhD programmes in AAT. We suggest you take a look at ISAAT and/or ESAAT for a list of accredited education and training programmes in this field.
Yes, it is possible to have a career in AAI, but it takes hard work, dedication, training and support/supervision. In some countries, AAI takes a more professionalised approach, where people are employed and are paid to deliver AAI. In other countries, there are few job opportunities and many programmes are led by volunteers who don’t receive payment, but may have their expenses paid (eg travelling expenses).
People from different backgrounds (eg animal welfare, psychology and other health professions, veterinary care, animal behaviour) are involved in the delivery of AAI, usually part of a team which sometimes includes volunteers. There are also different roles within the delivery team (eg the animal handler, the volunteer, the occupational therapist) who bring different specialisms but who work as a team. We suggest that anyone wanting to establish a career in AAI has a strong foundation in one of the above disciplines, having received training in that area, but who then goes on to continuing, specialist education in AAI. It’s very important to consider the quality and credibility of training courses (check out ISAAT and ESAAT for a list of accredited courses) and to consult with the experts in the field you have limited knowledge of.
Human and animal health, safety, welfare and well-being are crucial in any AAI programme and should be prioritised by those practising in the field. Ongoing support and supervision for AAI practitioners is also essential. The IAHAIO White Paper is a useful document.
IAHAIO does not endorse any specific training courses. We suggest that you contact the International Society for Animal Assisted Therapy (ISAAT) or the European Society for Animal Assisted Therapy (ESAAT). ISAAT provides a list of members who offer training courses that meet their high standards and are accredited by them. Both organisations also offer guidelines on standards for training courses which is useful when considering training programmes in your area.
IAHAIO offers online modules in different aspects of the human-animal bond and AAI. The course is entitled ‘Modules in Anthrozoology’ and is run in association with the Open University of the Netherlands. Further details are available here.
There are a growing number of organisations that are looking for volunteers to participate in their animal therapy programmes. Please take a look at our member organisations in your area and contact them directly to see if they have any voluntary opportunities. We recommend that volunteers are receive training and induction and are well supported when delivering animal assisted interventions as part of a team.
Volunteer positions arise from time to time. Please check out our ‘Support Us’ pages or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your details, outlining the type of voluntary work you are seeking.
It is very easy to sign up for our regular newsletter. If you click on ‘Subscribe’ at the top of the Home page, or ‘Sign up for our newsletter’ also on the Home page, you will be asked to provide an email address. You will then be included on the mailing list for the newsletter.
You can unsubscribe at any time. Just click the ‘Unsubscribe’ button at the end of the newsletter.
No, only organisations can apply for IAHAIO membership. You may want to check out the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ), which individual researchers can join.
You will need to complete our Membership Application form here. This will then be considered by the IAHAIO Board and you will be notified of their decision within a few weeks. Sometimes we may ask you for further information. You can apply for Full or Affiliate membership, depending on the scope of your organisation’s activities. If your application is approved, you will need to pay your annual subscription and will have access to IAHAIO’s newsletter and online forum for members.
Please contact email@example.com and we will send you a link to reset your password, or you can click on ‘Forgot your password’ to re-set it.
You can only gain access to the members’ area if your organisation is a paid-up member of IAHAIO. To gain access, you will need to click on a link and set up an account. This link is available from firstname.lastname@example.org This will give you access to the member online forum.
This can be paid online. You will receive an invoice from IAHAIO with details contained in the email about how to pay. Fees are due at the time of joining and every January thereafter. If you haven’t received an invoice, please email email@example.com
IAHAIO is not able to provide recommendations at local level. We strongly suggest that you find an IAHAIO member organisation near to you and contact them with your request.
A good starting point is to visit Assistance Dogs International website (www.assistancedogsinternational.org) which holds a list of accredited organisations that train assistance dogs and offer assistance dog services to the public.
Please visit our ‘Best Practice’ section of our website, which lists our Declarations and our White Paper. These represent the views and recommendations of IAHAIO and its member organisations