As most of us know, the human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that positively influences the health and well-being of both. While many of us, as pet owners, understand the benefits of having companion animals in our lives, there is an emerging body of research which recognises the impact the human-animal bond can have on individual and community health – such as with ex-military personnel and shelter dogs.

In collaboration with UQ’s School of Psychology, we will be looking into dogs that have been relinquished to an animal shelter and ex–defence personnel who experience physical and psychological injuries, both of whom potentially share the legacy of a history of traumatic events which have left them psychologically damaged.

The potential of this research to showcase the benefits of the human-animal bond and the effect on the lives of dogs, PTSD suffers, and the community is critical.