Human-animal bonds in the laboratory: how animal behavior affects the perspective of caregivers

Fon T. Chang, Lynette A. Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Experiencing the human-animal bond in the laboratory context can potentially improve the quality of life of animals as well as increase job satisfaction for animal caregivers. With today's centralized facilities, caregivers generally focus entirely on providing routine care for animals without involvement in experimental procedures. Results of responses to a detailed and open-ended survey of 16 caregivers and five campus veterinarians at seven University of California campuses are presented, in addition to six interviews of additional caregivers and veterinarians. The survey revealed that these individuals became caregivers because of their attraction to the animals. Positive interactions with the animals were highly rewarding. Approximately half of the caregivers reported feeling less attracted to mice than other species. Job satisfaction could perhaps be increased by offering seminars for the research team that would include the caregivers and providing support related to animal deaths and euthanasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
JournalILAR Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Animal
  • Behavior
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Euthanasia
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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