PEOPLE AND THEIR PETS IN THE TIMES OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Main Article Content

AVIVA VINCENT
HANNA MAMZER
ZENITHSON NG
KATHLEEN J. FARKAS

Abstract

In the face of a global pandemic, domesticated and companion animals are relegated to the most vulnerable stratification of society. Companion animals (pets) have been established as family members in a wide breath of cultures globally; thereby ensuring reliance on humans for maintaining care and wellbeing. Furthermore, those on social media are sharing animal stories, photos, memes, and videos as a mechanism of distraction, enjoyment, and humor. Animals are becoming the force to bring humanity together through crisis, and yet, they require human care and compassion. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was confronted with three pertinent questions: 1. How do individuals provide physical and emotional care and enrichment for pets during a pandemic? 2. Are there zoonotic concerns in caring for a pet? 3. What are the mid- and long-term repercussions of the pandemic for pet care? To address these questions, this paper identifies avenues of support, and challenges that can be addressed in the midst of the pandemic to advance and ensure companion animal welfare. This is the moment we collectively challenge the notion of companion animals as family members and the importance of these very animals in our lives.

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How to Cite
VINCENT, A., MAMZER, H., NG, Z., & FARKAS, K. J. (2020). PEOPLE AND THEIR PETS IN THE TIMES OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. Society Register, 4(3), 111-128. https://doi.org/10.14746/sr.2020.4.3.06
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Articles
Author Biographies

AVIVA VINCENT, Case Western Reserve University

Aviva Vincent, PhD is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, Mandel School of Social Welfare in veterinary social work. Her research focuses on the biological impact that animals have on children, specifically in the reduction on fear and anxiety in stressful situations. Methodologically, her research interest is the integration of salivary analyte measures in social science research. Her background in veterinary social work informs her practice as the Director of Program Quality at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. She is an instructor of macro course-work at Case Western Reserve University, and teaches in the University of Tennessee in the Veterinary Social Work Certificate Program. Aviva is founder and co-chair of the human-animal interactions workgroup with National Association of Social Workers, Ohio chapter.

HANNA MAMZER, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

Hanna Mamzer is professor of sociology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland.

ZENITHSON NG, The University of Tennessee

Zenithson Ng is a clinical associate professor at the University of Tennessee. He earned his undergraduate degree in animal science from Rutgers University and his veterinary degree from Cornell University; then completed a small animal rotating internship at the ASPCA in NYC, followed by an American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) canine/feline residency combined with a master’s degree in human-animal bond studies at Virginia Tech. His research and teaching interests span all aspects of the human-animal bond including the effect of human-animal interaction on both humans and animals, the veterinary-client relationship, and stress reduction in both veterinary and animal-assisted intervention settings.

KATHLEEN J. FARKAS, Case Western Reserve University

Kathleen J. Farkas, Ph.D. LISW-Supv. is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio USA. She has extensive clinical and research experience in the areas of mental health and addictions assessment and treatment. Dr. Farkas a long time interest in substance use issues among older adults and women and her work has focused on addictions and mental health issues among those incarcerated in jails and prisons. Recently she has been involved in research, teaching and service efforts using animal-assisted interventions in mental health and addictions. She is the chairperson of the Mandel School’s direct practice faculty as well as the specialization faculty for substance use disorders and recovery.

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