• Does part-time dog ownership offer the same benefits as full-time ownership? A new University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine’s Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI)program will recruit older adults to foster shelter dogs until the dogs are placed in a more permanent home. The new grant funded by The WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition,… [Continue Reading]

    Do Dogs Foster Improved Health in Their Foster Owners?
  • Aging adults benefit from relationships with pets, research has shown. Having a pet can lower the stress hormone, cortisol, while increasing oxytocin, prolactin and norepinephrine, hormones related to joy, nurturing and relaxation. Although the health benefits of pet ownership widely are acknowledged, many retirement communities and eldercare facilities do not allow or accommodate residents’ pet… [Continue Reading]

    Pets Benefit Aging Adults’ Health, MU Researcher Says
  • Members of the Warrensburg, Mo.,-based organization Change for Animals of Missouri (CAMO) recently presented proceeds raised during the “Hounds for Heroes: Running for Research” 5K run to the University of Missouri Research Center for Human Animal Interaction (ReCHAI). The donation was earmarked to support ReCHAI’s Veterans and Shelter Dogs Initiative. CAMO is a small nonprofit,… [Continue Reading]

    Change for Animals of Missouri Raises Funds for ReCHAI
  • Of the 2 million United States Service members that have been in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s estimated that up to 50 percent experience combat-related issues ranging from substance abuse to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Now, a University of Missouri professor is conducting a unique study that will give military veterans a “training… [Continue Reading]

    Study Pairs Veterans and Shelter Dogs To Ease Transition Home for Veterans

Welcome to ReCHAI

People and animals have lived close to one another for centuries. The human animal bond is the strong connection that they feel toward one another. The MU College of Veterinary Medicine is proud of this exciting center based on the growing field of research showing how the human animal bond impacts health in people and animals.

Who we are:

ReCHAI, founded in 2005, operates as a dynamic collaboration between the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing and College of Veterinary Medicine with a mission of education and conducting programs and studies about the benefits of human-animal interaction. It is so rewarding to see what happens  when we pair people with animal to the good of both.


ReCHAI is designed to:

  • Develop a program for research and education to study the health benefits of human-animal interaction (HAI).
  • Promote the science of HAI.
  • Further the understanding and value of the relationship between humans and animals.
  • Document evidence demonstrating Animal Assisted Activity (AAA) as a beneficial form of complementary therapy.
  • Celebrate and better document the benefits of HAI.
  • Foster educational and research opportunities for MU students, as well as students from around the country and globe.
  • Collaborate with other centers nationally and internationally to promote HAI.
  • Foster public understanding of benefits of HAI.