IAHAIO sponsors three international awards, presented every three years, to acknowledge contributions made by individuals or institutions in the study of the human-companion animal relationship.

1. The Johannes Odendaal HAI Distinguished Researcher Award of IAHAIO

We are delighted to announce that the 2016 Johannes Odendaal HAI distinguished Research Award of IAHAIO is awarded to Dr Erika Friedmann for her outstanding contribution to the field. Please read further for an outline of Dr Friedmann's work in the field here.

About the award

In honor of the late Johannes Odendaal of South Africa (pictured above), and with permission of his heirs, IAHAIO will present at its triennial international conferences an award to an individual for distinguished research in the broadly defined field of human-animal interaction. That research must have been published (or accepted for publication) in peer-reviewed journals and/or in (chapters of) books that have received excellent reviews in appropriate journals. Publications as well as manuscripts in press will be considered over the 5.5 years previous to the respective IAHAIO triennial conference.

Research must be either descriptive or hypothesis-driven and involve collection of data. 

Nominations of individuals may be made by IAHAIO member organizations, by IAHAIO board members, and/or by other individuals (including self-nomination). They must be made in English, but if the nominee’s publication(s) is (are) in another language, an English summary must be provided along with the English Curriculum Vita (CV) of the nominated candidate. Electronic copies of the nomination (a signed pdf), the CV, and the publications to be considered (pdfs) must arrive at the IAHAIO administration ( 6 months prior to the first day of the next triennial conference.

Nominations will be reviewed and a winner selected by the Johannes Odendaal Research Award Commission consisting of two representatives of IAHAIO member organizations not currently on the IAHAIO board (preferentially themselves researchers), two current IAHAIO board members (again preferentially themselves researchers) and the IAHAIO president at the time.

The Distinguished Researcher will be given an oral speaking slot and is expected to attend the next IAHAIO triennial conference to accept the award and speak, and may be asked to give an interview in connection with her/his research and the HAI field. Travel expenses (one eco-class round-trip air ticket, hotel room costs including breakfast during the entire triennial conference, which can also be for a double-room), one complimentary registration fee including two tickets to the conference dinner if a partner attends, and an honorarium (prize) of USD $1000.00 will be provided through IAHAIO by the sponsor of the award. The sponsor will be acknowledged in any announcement of the award winner and presentation given by the awardee.


HAI is broadly defined as either Human-Animal Interaction or Human-Animal Intervention, or both. Research eligible for consideration may be either descriptive or experimental, qualitative or quantitative but must involve collection and analysis of data.

The data must have been properly analyzed with the appropriate methods.

Results/findings must be carefully interpreted and integrated into the existing body of knowledge on the research topic.

The research must be original and add significantly to our knowledge on the topic.

The research must have been published within the 5.5 years prior to the upcoming triennial IAHAIO conference in peer reviewed journals and/or in chapters in books that have received excellent reviews in appropriate journals, or in press in such.

Multiple authors may be involved, but the awardee must be listed in a significant position (first or last author as appropriate for the discipline).

We are delighted that Mars/WALTHAM is sponsoring this award. WALTHAM is delighted to honour the contribution of those who do outstanding research in understanding Human-Animal Interactions


2. IAHAIO Distinguished Scholar award

We are delighted to announce that the 2016 IAHAIO Distinguished Scholar award is awarded to Dr Andrea Beetz. Please read further about Dr Beetz's career and achievements in the field here

About the award

Previous award winners are: Elizabeth Lawrence (1989), James Serpell (1992), Karen Allen (1995-6), Arnold Arluke (1998), Frank Ascione (2001), Liliane Bodson (2004), Katherine Grier (2007) and Adam Miklosi (2010), Hungary. The winner of the award in 2013 was Dr. Hal Herzog (USA). Nominations of individuals may be made by anyone in the field of human-animal relations. They must be made in English, but if the nominee's publication(s) is (are) in another language, an English summary must be provided along with the English Curriculum Vita (CV) of the nominated candidate. Electronic copies of the nomination (a signed PDF), the CV, and the publication(s) to be considered or their summary (PDFs) must arrive at the IAHAIO administration ( at the specified closing date. The panel of judges for the award consists of five, independent distinguished scholars from different countries, not directly connected with IAHAIO.

Criteria for Judging the Candidates

Note: A higher academic degree (PhD/Dr. phil, ScD/Dr. sc., DVM, MD) is assumed, but exceptions may be considered.

1. Consideration of scholarly publications during the 5,5 years previous to the triennial conference (July, 2016, Paris);

2. Significance of contribution(s) to the field of Anthrozoology (human-animal relations) including, but not limited to, understanding of the mechanisms involved and implications for animal assisted interventions;

3. High ethical standards when dealing with people AND animals; and

4. International reputation of the candidate, e.g participation as a speaker/poster author in international conferences, in international organizations broadly related to the field.

3. William F. McCulloch Award for Excellence in HAI Practice and/or Education
We are delighted to announce that the 2016 IAHAIO Distinguished Scholar award is awarded to Dr Aubrey Fine. 
Please read further about Dr Fine's career and achievements in the field here

About the award

The IAHAIO William F. McCulloch Award acknowledges outstanding achievements of practitioners and educators in the field of human-animal relations, in particular Animal Assisted Interventions, such as AAA and AAT. Successful individual applicants, organizations or projects pursue evidence-based practice approaches in agreement with the IAHAIO principles and strive for evaluating their results via objective outcome measures.  A main criterion is the impact their contributions made to the positive perception of the field by the public and by decision makers and also, whether and how much their contributions were perceived at a regional, national, or international level. There will be no discrimination according to the affiliation of the applicant, profit or non-profit organization. Award winners will be selected by an international panel of IAHAIO members and are announced on occasion of the IAHAIO conference.  

The IAHAIO Award is dedicated to Dr. William 'Bill' McCulloch, who may also be regarded as a role model for IAHAIO awardees. Born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1932, he earned his DVM degree from Iowa State University in 1956 and his Masters Degree in Public Health (MPH) in 1960 from the University of Minnesota. William McCulloch was inspired early on by the writings of Dr. Boris Levinson on the human health benefits of companion animals. As one of the co-founders of Delta-Society, William McCulloch has promoted the field of human-animal interactions and the application of its beneficial effect throughout his life. In practical projects and in education of the public he has followed the idea of “one health” – of humans and animals. In cooperation with health organizations and veterinary science he has helped to create a better life for humans of all ages, their companion animals, and animals professionally working in animal-assisted interventions. But also in academic life, he was honored by colleagues as a distinguished scholar for his many accomplishments, publications and organization of conferences.

Dr. William McCulloch has been a co-founder and board member of Delta Society and one of the society´s successful fund raisers. He also filled leading positions in the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) where he initiated the AVMA Human-Animal Bond Task Force. Bill McCulloch’s human-animal bond efforts began long before the Delta Society in 1977, with published articles in the late 1960’s, with his brother, Michael and others, amounting to over 100 publications, many of them in top-tier scientific journals. Throughout his career, Bill McCulloch’s major efforts have been on what is now called “One Health.” As a communicator and role model he has contributed to a dynamic improvement of societal attitude to the human animal bond, in the US and beyond.  


This award was presented for the first time at the 2013 IAHAIO Conference in Chicago to dr. Elizabeth Ormerod, UK.

Hal Herzog (IAHAIO & ISAZ Distinguished Scholar award winner) lecturing.

William F. McCulloch Award winner dr. Elizabeth Ormerod.


IAHAIO conference stream and AGM 2017, California

IAHAIO is delighted to announce that it will be hosting a dedicated HCAB stream at the ISAZ conference on 24 June 2017 at the University of California, Davis, California, USA. The IAHAIO Annual General Meeting will take place on 23 June. Registration is now open. Full details, including the IAHAIO programme, can be found here. IAHAIO member, Pet Partners, is also offering 6 places to IAHAIO members for their Pet Partners Evaluator Training which will take place during the conference. Further details are available here.

IAHAIO White Paper - Animal assisted interventions

The IAHAIO White Paper outlining definitions and guidelines for animal assisted interventions and wellness of animals involved was endorsed by  IAHAIO members in 2014, and has now been translated into French, German, Dutch and Polish. An essential document for everyone involved in AAI. For further information, click here.

IAHAIO Digital Photo Contest

When you look at HAI, what do you see? HAI around the world

Open to all IAHAIO member organisations, the IAHAIO photo contest invites members to share their images of human-animal interactions with the IAHAIO community and help build our photo library. It carries a first prize of $500. Closing date for submissions is 15 May 2017. For contest rules and instructions. please click here.

Temple Grandin interview

We are delighted to share a video of Temple Grandin being interviewed by IAHAIO Board member, Brinda Jegatheesan, which was shown at the IAHAIO conference in July. Click here to view.

People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice (PAIJ)

We are delighted to announce the launch of the new IAHAIO open-access, peer-reviewed Journal! It publishes articles relating to research, practice and education in HAI and AAI. For further information and to submit abstracts for review for the first issues, please click here.