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Michael San Filippo
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 AVMA partners with HABRI on Human-Animal Bond Certification Program

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has signed on as the founding educational partner for the Human-Animal Bond Certification Program offered through the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC).

This certification program allows veterinary professionals to learn more about the science behind the human-animal bond and its benefits for both animals and people, and to receive practical advice on how to ensure strong bonds are built and maintained. The program's educational modules offer the most accurate and up-to-date information available, helping veterinarians remain the most trusted and reliable resource on animal health and welfare and human-animal relationships.

"Research has shown the benefits of the human-animal bond, especially in the areas of human wellness, depression, PTSD and heart health," said Dr. Janet Donlin, chief executive officer of the AVMA. "We also know that the majority of pet owners value their veterinarian more when we talk about the benefits of the human-animal bond. So it's a win-win for all—the human-animal bond is beneficial for humans, animals and the profession. And this certification program is critical to deepening our understanding and application of those benefits. We're thrilled to be the founding educational partner for the Human-Animal Bond Certification Program."

Eligibility for the Human-Animal Bond Certification Program is open to practicing veterinarians, as well as veterinary technicians and practice managers with a minimum two years of experience. Participants can complete their work at their own pace through the online program.

Veterinarians who complete the program and pass a certification exam will receive official human-animal bond certification from the NAVC Learning Academy and HABRI; a certificate for display in their clinics and online; and exclusive online marketing tools and materials to help attract new clients.

Since the mid-1980s, the AVMA has been a trusted source of human-animal bond information and resources for not only veterinarians but also physicians, psychologists, lawyers, academics and researchers. Today, the AVMA continues to address issues related to the human-animal bond through its Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions, with staff support from its Animal Welfare Division.

In addition to serving as an educational partner for the HABRI Human-Animal Bond Certification Program, the AVMA has been a member of HABRI's steering committee since its founding in 2010 and is a member of the HABRI Board of Trustees. In January, the AVMA Board of Directors voted to welcome HABRI's chief executive officer to the AVMA Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions as a non-voting liaison, enhancing mutual understanding and collaboration between the two organizations.

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