Animals in the service of health and mental health
There is a long history of human-animal interactions as a source of health and mental well-being. As our recognition of the ways in which human-animal interactions may be quantified grows, so too must research improve this understanding of potential health benefits, particularly for vulnerable individuals. Older and younger persons, as well as those with physical or mental health concerns, have integrated animals into their care. This also coincides with increased consideration of the role of shelter animals in fulfilling such roles. These issues will be discussed in the context of both international and local studies.