Key Takeaways

  • The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) have a shared goal of promoting healthy aging.

  • The two organizations worked together to gather promising practices related to animals and the health of older adults in senior centers.

  • In the fall of 2017, NISC surveyed its member senior centers to gather information on current animal programming.

NISC surveyed senior centers, in partnership with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) collaborated to explore animal programs held in senior centers and to develop guidelines to ensure that the positive benefits of the human-animal bond can be widely and safely enjoyed in senior centers across America.

During a recent NISC webinar, the results of our survey were shared regarding pet policies in senior centers, which took place in the fall of 2017 in partnership with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI). Ways to include pets and pet therapy programs at your center were highlighted. The results, along with relevant research and promising animal practices, have been compiled into this downloadable handbook. These programs and practices can be replicated by senior centers and other community-based organizations nationwide to assist in providing animal programming for older adults to improve their health and well-being. 

Download and print the report below which summarizes the findings and offers examples to many situations that you may face at your senior center.


"Thank you for the informative session. I learned a lot!" "Very informative, good starting place for me." "Very informative. Hope to get animals to our center soon." "Useful information. Interested in study results."