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Central Standard

How Animals Help Heal

Dale Smith and his dog Keegan, on their first backpacking trip post cancer treatment, in Piney Creek Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest

In 2007, Dale Smith was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer of the head and neck. Throughout his treatment, his pet dog Keegan, normally an energetic border collie, lay patiently by his side, waiting for Dale to get better.

On this Tuesday's Central Standard,a look at how animals and humans help heal each other. Plus, new research being done on human-animal interaction, and the health benefits of pet ownership. We're joined by Dr. Rebecca Johnson, with the University of Missouri Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction and Dale Smith, co-editor of Paw Prints The Magazine.


  1. Foster: Many people don't understand that fostering a shelter animal in their home saves two lives--the one they are fostering and the one who may have to be put down to make room if another animal comes into the shelter--and that often it is only for two to three weeks while the dogs await transport.
  2. Transports: We often transport dogs from one end of the country to the other, 60- to 90-mile legs at a time or by small-engine plane. Transports are coordinated by one person and often have more than a dozen legs, each one driven by a volunteer driver the coordinator has likely never met in person who uses his or her personal vehicle and gas to get these animals to either their rescue group, a foster or best of all, a furever (sic) home.

This year’s Bark For Life walk will take place at Penn Valley Park on May 19th. It’s a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer.

The first annual Pets for Vets adoption hosted by the KC Pet Project is going on May 19-20th. From noon to 5pm at 4400 Raytown Rd., military families receive a 1/2 price pet adoption.

Pet Therapy, how animals and humans heal each other (NPR)
Walk a hound, lose a pound (from Dr. Johnson)
Paw Prints The Magazine

Humanity's Best Friend: How Dogs May Have Helped Humans Beat the Neanderthals (The Atlantic, from listener Eric)



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