One Health and Human-Animal Interaction Research

The One Health approach strives for optimal health outcomes for humans, animals, and the environment by acknowledging the connection between them. A noteworthy aspect of this approach is the exploration of human-animal interaction and its profound influence on the health of both humans and animals. Research at Colorado State University has explored the intricate dynamics and impacts of approaching issues at the nexus of this connection.

Equine therapy SPUR
Human animal bond CSU
Horse and human connection
Lorann Stallones and daughter Erin Shetland Ranch

CSU One Health Institute's Animal Research Coordinator examines innovative approaches to health challenges

Dr. Lorann Stallones, Professor in the Psychology department at CSU and Human-Animal Research Coordinator at the One Health Institute, has studied the intricate relationship between humans and animals to address health challenges to both.

Pictured left, Dr. Stallones and her daughter, Erin L. Nuckols, PhD., visit a Shetland Ranch together on Shetland Island, Scotland.

One Welfare: Recent Publication Spotlight

Stallones, L., McManus, P., McGreevy, P. (2023). Sustainability and the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industries; An enhanced One Welfare perspective. Animals. 13, 490.

Jockey with horse

Dr. Stallones et al. on the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industries; An enhanced One Welfare Perspective

This article explores the challenges facing the global Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry. It evaluates the sector’s impact on horse welfare, industry participants like workers, and the environment, suggesting an enhanced One Welfare framework for improved management. 

Unlike prior research, the article extends an application model to evaluate the industry’s impact on all the workers, including the jockeys, and the environmental impacts. Many approaches advocate for a ban on horseracing; this article instead suggests pathways for gradual improvements in industry practices while acknowledging the interests of stakeholders.

Publications on Equine Assisted Services

Kelly, E., Wood, W., Stallones, L., Schmidt, A., Peters, B. (2023) Integrating Horses in Psychotherapy for Transition-Aged Students: A Theory-Driven Logic Model. Volume 46, Issue 3. Journal of Experiential Education.46(3):342-363.

Hanson MR, Alm K, Fields B, Gabriels R, Schmid AA, Stallones L and Peters BC (2023) The potential usefulness of standardized assessments to measure participant outcomes of adaptive/therapeutic horseback riding: a survey study. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 10:1303991. 

Stallones, L., Gilbert, L., Figan, A. (2023). Applying a One Welfare Framework to Equine Assisted Services. (Poster) American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA. November, 2023.

Other Impactful Research on Human-Animal Interactions (HAI)

Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale (LAPS)

Companion animal image

The Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale (LAPS) was developed in 1990 with funds from the Delta Society and the American Pet Product Manufacturers. The paper describing the scale, published in 1992, has had a high scientific impact and has been cited around the world by undergraduate students, graduate students, and researchers studying human-companion animal interactions and pet attachment.

LAPS aims to measure the degree of attachment that an owner has to their companion animals and is one of the most used tools to assess the bond between people and their animals. The authors receive multiple requests annually to use the LAPS from researchers from across the world.

Read more: (Johnson T.P., L. Stallones, T.F. Garrity. Psychometric evaluation of the evaluation of the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale. Anthrozoos 3 (5):160-175, 1992).

Research Interest Score: 230.8 (Reflecting high scientific impact on ResearchGate)

Citations: 414

Reads: 3,054

Peer-Reviewed Publications on Euthanasia

Edwards-Callaway, L., Cramer, M., Roman-Muniz, I., Stallones, L., Thompson, S., Ennis, S., Marsh, J., Simpson, H., Kim, E., Calaba, E., Pairis-Garcia, M. (2020). Preliminary exploration of swine veterinarian perspectives of on-farm euthanasia. Animals, 10(10).

Simpson, H., Edward-Callaway, L., Cramer, M. Roman-Muniz, I., Stallones, L., Thompson S., Ennis, S., Kim, E., Pairis-Garcia, M. (2020). Preliminary study exploring caretaker perspectives of euthanasia on swine operations. Animals, 10(12).

Roman-Munoz, I., Cramer, M., Edwards-Callaway, L., Stallones, L., Kim, E., Thompson, S., Simpson, H., Mijares, S. (2021). Dairy caretaker perspectives on performing euthanasia as an essential component of their job. Animals. 11 (2). 289.

Edwards-Callaway, L., Simpson, H., Roman-Muniz, N., Cramer, C., Mijares, S., Stallones, L., Rivera-Gonzalez, J., Aberle, J. (2022). Preliminary exploration of weekly peer group discussion as a strategy for coping with feelings associated with euthanasia in dairy caretakers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 19, 2177.

Edwards-Callaway, L. N., Mijares, S.H., Simpson, H. M., Cramer, M.C., Roman-Muniz, I.N., Stallones, L. (2022). Preliminary exploration of training, perspectives, and mental health program awareness in slaughterhouse plant workers who perform stunning as part of their job. Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research. 1-21. Doi.10.1163/25889567-BJA10030.

Want to learn more about HAI resources and educational opportunities at CSU?

The Human Animal Bond in Colorado, housed in the School of Social Work, improves the quality of life for people through the therapeutic benefits of companion animals and supports research projects related to HAI.

The Argus Institute at the James Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital provides bereavement counseling and support to pet owners who have lost a pet or navigating difficult end of life decisions.

Researchers in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, as well as the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, study many aspects of human-wildlife interfaces.

The Temple Grandin Equine Center (TGEC) has three specific research tracks, including 1) systematic mapping reviews of peer-reviewed literature on equine-assisted activities and therapies; 2) dementia and equine-assisted learning; and 3) autism and occupational therapy in an equine environment.

The Center for Human-Carnivore Coexistence (CHCC), an academic institution housed at Colorado State University, is focused on integrating transformative science, education, and outreach to minimize conflict and facilitate coexistence between humans and carnivores.

The CSU Animal-Human Policy Center synthesizes socio-ecological information and brings diverse perspectives together to help policymakers and government agencies facilitate positive relationships between animals and humans.