Center for Families with Animals

Improving our relationships with animals and each other

Let’s build the Center for Families with Animals™ to enhance our relationships with animals within our families. Donate Here.

Below is a sampling of services, information, resources, reading lists, and art from the Center for Families with Animals™. With your donation, we can build these webpages as we have with our Center on Sibling Dynamics™

  1. Purpose
  2. Services
  3. Resources
  4. Bibliography
  5. Art Galleries


When animals are in our lives, life becomes more interesting, funny, poignant, frustrating, sweet, and hopeful. We each bring something new, sometimes challenging, to these relationships. Fifty years ago, animals were simply objectified as property – their capacities for emotions, feelings, thought, and suffering were regularly dismissed. Today we know better. In the past, strong feelings of joy or love shared with another animal was stigmatized, even pathologized, especially for teens and adults. That’s all changing – worldwide.

The Center for Families with Animals™ is being developed as a hub for programs, scholarship, and creativity. We’re committed to improving our relationships with other animals and each other, within families and across cultures. When our animals are happier, everyone is happier, and wonderful things happen when family members work together. Giving greater attention to our animal friends and family may even help us think more deeply about the loss of species and habitats, and our connections to our environments.

Current Programs: We will pilot Discussion Groups addressing specific problems within families, and Support Groups focusing on grief and guilt upon the death of an animal. After evaluating and refining these groups, we’ll provide trainings to other organizations and individuals who want to adapt our programs to their communities. Our curated lists of books, articles, organizations, programs, films, and online art galleries illustrate the influence of culture and history on our relationships with animals, in life as well as death. As we expand our online resources, lists, and art galleries, group participants and the general public will have grater opportunities to reflect upon their family dynamics and their personal interactions with animals. We’ve a lot more planned, including programs where we work directly with individual families – your donation will help make that happen.


“Let it Out!” – Discussion & Support Groups

We will offer four staff-led groups addressing our interactions with the animals in our lives, and how they affect our family dynamic: two closed 10-week Discussion Groups, and two open weekly Bereavement Groups. 

More information, Dates and Times coming soon!

Learn more about our “Let it Out!” groups and what to expect. Contact us if you are interested in joining one of our groups.

Please read our Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, and Disclaimers.


Special Programs (Green Pet-Burial Society)
Organizations & Information (Training & Behavior | Research | Animal Care Programs)


Books & Articles

Art Galleries

Short Films

Top Images (clockwise from top):

Sofonisba Anguissola, Three Siblings of the Gaddi Family with Dog, c. 1555-1560, oil on panel, 74 cm x 95 cm, private collection.

Tony Alter, Abandoned Dog, 2009. on flickr.

Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921), The Favorite Kitten. Public Domain {PD-US} US.

Public Art, part of former Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu’s Utility Box Art Program.

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