Animal Interest

Measuring Economic Impacts of Animal Welfare Practices and Policies

Our Partnership

Animal welfare policies can have extensive economic impact across the nation. In response to the need for research on the effects of existing and potential animal welfare policies and legislation, DU's Kevin Morris, Philip Tedeschi and Sloane Hawes allied with professors from Oklahoma City University. This multidisciplinary team conducted studies analyzing the direct, indirect and broad economic ramifications of animal welfare policies.

About Our Research

We leverage cross-institutional collaboration to address some of today’s most pressing challenges, producing interdisciplinary solutions that influence policymakers to effectively serve the public good. From Stanford to UChicago to NYU, we’ve refined our collaborative process through years of mutually beneficial relationships with institutions nationwide to understand and address challenges like climate change, HIV and youth homelessness.

DU’s current research efforts have been featured in news outlets like The New York Times. They include…

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About the Project

The collaboration between DU, Oklahoma City University and community partners investigated a new animal sheltering concept in downtown Oklahoma City, OK; the "No Kill" legislation in Austin, TX; and the breed-specific legislation, or "pit bull ban," in Denver, CO. Conducted studies analyzed these policies' direct economic impacts (e.g., through increased employment), indirect economic impacts (e.g., through improved municipal brand equity), and broad economic impacts (e.g., through improvements in public health).

This research was aimed at informing decisions around animal welfare policy making at the municipal, state and national levels.

The fellowship of DU, Oklahoma City University and community partners included the Bridge Project and Denver Housing Authority with endorsement from the Watershed Animal Fund and Maddie's Fund.

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Meet the Researchers

Kevin Morris is a research associate professor at the DU Institute for Human-Animal Connection. He began his career in clinical cancer research, which he studied for two decades before switching focus to animal welfare and the ways in which the wellbeing of animals intersects with the wellbeing of humans.

Philip Tedeschi is a clinical professor at the DU Graduate School of Social Work and the executive director at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection. He has devoted his career to studying the relationships between people and the natural world, including both wild and domesticated animals, and has contributed to research focused on the therapeutic value of interaction between humans and animals.

Sloane Hawes is a Maddie's Fund Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Social Work. Her expertise lies in an ecosystem-focused approach to social work and in the interplay between humane education, human-animal interaction and real-world human outcomes.