2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

The Effect of Pet Ownership on Overall Health of Low-Income Families and the Role of Animal Welfare Clinics.
Lauren M. Ross
Dr. Elaine McDuff, Faculty Mentor

Pets can have an incredibly positive impact on the physical, social, and emotional health of their owners, as well as providing economic benefits. While these payoffs are already significant, those living in poverty often reap even greater rewards. Pets relieve stress and depression. They decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation and provide physical health benefits that may reduce healthcare costs for families, relieving some of the stress associated with economic difficulties. While interning at the Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), an animal welfare clinic in South Africa, I witnessed the incredible importance of pets to many impoverished families and individuals coming through the clinic daily. I also gained some insight regarding the negative side of animal welfare clinics from the clinicians and veterinarians. While the negative impacts are notable, overall I believe the PDSA provides quality care and improves the lives of both pets and their owners.

Keywords: Pets, Poverty, Physical health, Social health, Emotional health, Animal welfare clinic, People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, South Africa

Topic(s):Democracy and Human Rights in South Africa

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 101-3
Location: VH 1324
Time: 8:20

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