Pfizer Animal Health And American Humane Association Partner To Conduct Research On The Power Of The Human-Animal Bond In Pediatric Cancer Patients

Multi-site Research Study Will Examine the Outcomes of Animal-Assisted Therapy for Pediatric Cancer Patients and Their Families

MADISON, NJ, May 11, 2011 - Pfizer Animal Health and American Humane Association today announced a partnership to conduct a study on the impact of animal-assisted therapy on pediatric oncology patients, as well as on their parents, caregivers, siblings, and other close family members.

The partnership — which includes a $282,000 grant from Pfizer and the Pfizer Foundation — exemplifies the strategic goal of both organizations to better quantify in clinical terms what many in health care already realize as the extraordinary power of the human-animal bond.

“This important research will measure the impact of animal-assisted therapy on pediatric oncology patients and their families, thus furthering the fields of research on human-animal interaction and integrated therapies for conditions such as cancer in children,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, Diplomate ABVP and Group Director of Veterinary Medical Services & Corporate Citizenship for Pfizer Animal Health.  “We are proud to be part of the work that American Humane Association is doing — showing the far-reaching benefits of pets to our society.”

This partnership with American Humane Association’s Child Protection Research Center and Animal-Assisted Therapy Program is an example of the Pfizer Animal Health Commitment to Veterinarians platform — which addresses the many challenges facing the veterinary profession through training and education, research and development, investing in the future, philanthropic efforts and the development of understanding around the human-animal bond.

Over the next three years, American Humane Association and Pfizer Animal Health will work with a total of 150 children at up to five hospitals or clinical settings throughout the United States that treat children with cancer.  Researchers will examine the medical, behavioral and mental health benefits of animal-assisted therapy to quantify the effect on the family as a whole.

“Anyone who has ever seen a child turn to her pet for solace during a difficult time knows that a beneficial interaction is taking place there,” said Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of American Humane Association.  “Our goal is to fully understand, from a scientific perspective, what is happening in these types of interactions with children undergoing cancer treatment.  The question we are looking to answer is: In what ways can animal-assisted therapy improve the health and well-being of children — and their families — in their fight against cancer?”

Pfizer Animal Health also has recently become a Founding Partner in HABRI (Human Animal Bond Research Initiative) Foundation, which will deliver data, a central hub of research, awareness and evidence-based education about the impact of the human-animal bond.  And, in 2009, Pfizer Animal Health funded a study to be completed this year that will formally measure clinical outcomes from therapy dog interactions with adult patients in inpatient oncology treatment and outpatient chemotherapy infusion settings.  The study is being led by the Good Dog Foundation at the Continuum Cancer Centers of New York at Beth Israel Medical Center. 

Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life.  We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals.  Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world's best-known consumer products.  Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time.  Consistent with our responsibility as the world's leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world.  For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.  To learn more about our commitments to animal health, please visit us at

About American Humane Association

Since 1877, the historic American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advancement in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society.  As the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through 
groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too.  Visit American Humane Association at today.

For immediate release:
Pfizer Inc.:
Rick Goulart
(212) 733-7457

American Humane Association:
Mark Stubis
(202) 677-4227
Mobile: (202) 380-8964



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