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UBC and BC SPCA announce new research to improve the lives of companion animals 

The BC SPCA and the University of British Columbia (UBC) have announced new research into how to improve the lives of companion animals.

The two organizations have created a new research chair on the topic, which will see the BC SPCA contribute $100,000 annually for a minimum of five years.

<who>Photo credit: 123RF

Companion animals play a large role in their adopted families and in service programs where their social interactions can benefit people with disabilities.

Alexandra Protopopova, an assistant professor in UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems, has done extensive research to improve the fate of companion animals and those who surround them.

Protopopova has been named the NSERC/BC SPCA Industrial Research Chair in Animal Welfare, and she will lead research between UBC and The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) over the next five years.

“Companion animals face critical issues related to optimal housing in animal shelters, rehabilitation and adoption following cruelty or neglect, import of rescue animals, and in various other human-animal interaction contexts,” says Protopopova.

“I’ll be working with the scientific community, professionals in non-profit organizations, and the companion animal industry to discover new ways we can improve the lives of companion animals.”

The new program will combine research, public education and outreach and will be integrated into the faculty’s Animal Welfare Program.

“Our Animal Welfare Program has a long history of transferring rigorous research into findings that directly benefit industry and improve outcomes in the field, both here in Canada and abroad,” said Rickey Yada, Dean, Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Protopopova will be expanding into this new area for UBC and working in partnership with the BC SPCA.”

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