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University of denver boulder

Graduate School of Social Work

Institute for Human-Animal Connection

The Institute for Human-Animal Connection intentionally elevates the value of the living world and the interrelationship and health of people, other animals and the environment. This is accomplished through natural and social science-informed education, applied knowledge, research and advocacy, with an ethical regard for all species.

New Partnership for Humane Education!

IHAC’s Director of Humane Education and coordinator of the Raising Compassionate Kids: Humane Education & Interventions for Early Learners, Dr. Sarah Bexell, has partnered with the Show Your Soft Side Campaign to support their humane education efforts.

Show Your Soft Side is a public service campaign aimed at changing the mindset of young people who all-too-often view animal cruelty as a sign of “toughness” or “manhood.” The campaign recruits athletes and celebrities who want to use their influence to help spread the message that compassion towards animals is a sign of strength.

Check out more about our partnership HERE!

InTerconnected Webinar Archive

Check out all the webinars that were a part of this special series on the human-animal bond and its impact on public health and well-being over the past year here!

NEW! CAnine-assisted intervention specialist certificate

The Canine-Assisted Intervention Specialist (CAIS) Certificate is a professional development program specifically designed for animal-assisted intervention professionals seeking to improve their knowledge of and skill with canines. The program is competency-based and integrates a wide variety of current best practices from experts around the globe. CAIS utilizes a hybrid educational model: an interactive weekend in Denver, CO, three online courses, and fieldwork with multiple canines in your city.

  • IHAC hosted our second annual Research Symposium on May 20, 2018 featuring student poster presentations and keynote by Amanda Arrington, Director of Humane Society of the United States’ Pets for Life Program: “Promoting Social Justice by Breaking Down Barriers to Animal Care Resources”. Congratulations and thank you to all of our AASW students for working with IHAC on another exciting year of research!
  • IHAC hosted our third bi-ennial practitioners conference Animals on the Mind 3.0 Extraordinary connections: Extraordinary Connections: Illuminating neurodiversity in human-animal relationships on May 3-4, 2018 at the University of Denver. A huge thanks to all our attendees, speakers and sponsors for making this event a success!
  • IHAC was a proud partner of the Human-Animal Interaction Conference, Building Connections: Children, Animals and Healthy Families at Green Chimneys in Brewster, New York on April 28-29, 2017

    IHAC hosted Martha C. Nussbuam on January 30, 2017 for an illuminating talk entitled, “Animal Rights and the Capabilities Approach: A Radical Alternative to Anthropocentrism“. Thank you to our co-hosts, Sturm College of Law and Friends of Animals. Gratitude and recognition is also extended to Chuck & Don’s, for their generous support and sponsorship of this event.

    IHAC led the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos – Denver at the Colorado State Capitol Building on September 24, 2016. Join the worldwide movement to advocate for a total ban on the ivory trade. Learn more here.

  • Watch IHAC”s very own Philip Tedeschi and Sarah Bexell talk about IHAC’s latest work as canine companion Nathaniel steals the show on Colorado and Company.
    IHAC hosted its second Practitioners Conference, Animals on the Mind: Social Neurobiology of Human-Animal Interactions in Research and Practice on May 12-13, 2016. This conference focused on the applications and research of animal-assisted interventions specific to social neuroscience in areas such as: autism spectrum disorders, mental health treatment and variants of exposure to animals across the lifespan.

  • Press Release: Equine-Assisted Mental Health at University of Denver – New Program Starts in 2015. Download the full press release here.
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  • Summer 2015: IHAC welcomes Nina Ekholm Fry as the Director of Equine Programs! Nina leads the new Equine Assisted Mental Health Practitioner Certificate program- learn more.

    IHAC partnered with Green Chimneys in hosting the 2015 Human-Animal Interaction conference in Brewster, New York. Learn more and download the conference summary here.

    Read about Marc Beckoff’s work teaching animal behavior in the Boulder County Jail here.

    Take action to save wildlife! Measure and find out how you can reduce your ecological impact using the Global Footprint Network’s Footprint Calculator here.

    The University of Wisconsin-Madison did a special alumni piece on IHAC’s Executive Director, Philip Tedeschi. Read the full article here.

    IHAC, Chuck & Don’s and Animal-Assisted Social Work students highlighted on local news! See the Fox News story here.

    University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work students organize animal-assisted stress relief event at DU Law School. See the 9News story here.

    Chuck & Don’s donates $23k to IHAC for new safe shelter program for pets.

    Contact Us

    • Institute for Human-Animal Connection
      University of Denver
      Graduate School of Social Work
      2148 S. High St.
      Denver, CO 80208
    • Phone: 303-871-3833
    • [email protected]
    • Download Our New Brochure (PDF)

    © 2019 University of Denver. All rights reserved. Privacy. Cookies. The University of Denver is an equal opportunity affirmative action institution.


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