The Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society (CIAS) was established to provide a forum for addressing the many practical and moral issues arising from the interactions of animals and society. The study of human-animal interactions—sometimes known as Anthrozoology—is still a new and developing field that straddles the boundaries between traditional academic disciplines. The CIAS therefore strives for an interdisciplinary approach and the involvement of scholars and researchers from a wide variety of different backgrounds and interests.
The mission of the CIAS is to promote understanding of human-animal interactions and relationships across a wide range of contexts including companion animals, farm animals, laboratory animals, zoo animals, and free-living wild animals. Specifically, the CIAS aims to:
- Study the influence of relationships with animals on human physical and mental health and well-being.
- Investigate the impact of these relationships on the behavior and welfare of the animals involved.
- Encourage constructive, balanced, and well-informed debate and discussion on the ethics of animal use.
- Use the knowledge and information gained from this work to benefit both people and animals.
CIAS is also home to the C-BARQ — the world’s most referenced behavioral assessment tool for dogs — and, more recently, the Fe-BARQ a brand new behavioral evaluation tool for cats.