Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferable skills. Students were challenged to describe their research, scholarship or creative activity in 150 or fewer words to share with our community.




Recognizing the Human-Animal Bond through veterinary social work

Animals and humans have long enjoyed a special relationship known as the Human-Animal Bond (HAB). In social work, the HAB is beginning to play a more important role in understanding and supporting people. Through veterinary social work (VSW), a little-known discipline in Canada, social workers focus on four pillars: compassion fatigue and conflict management among people working with animals, animal-related loss and grief, animal-assisted interventions, and the link between animal and human violence. This Independent Study project allowed me to create a VSW course that examines the four pillars, as well as the One Health approach to VSW and the role of the HAB in general social work practice. My hope is to spark interest in this emerging area, and highlight the need for social workers to recognize the important role animals may play in their clients’ lives.

Sarika Singodia
MSW candidate, Social Work
King's University College - Western University

Stephanie Baird


Sarika Singodia (she/her) is completing her Master's of Social Work (MSW) degree at King’s University College, Western University. She completed her Honours Specialization in French Language and Linguistics with a Major in Political Sciences at Western University, then went on to obtain her Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa. Before beginning her MSW, Sarika was called to the Bar of Ontario and practised law with various legal aid and community organizations. She has a special interest in work related to gender-based violence issues and the link between human and animal violence. 

You can connect with Sarika via email at, and on LinkedIn at .

View Sarika's work as it appears in the Inspiring Minds Digital Collection:

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