Lynette A. Hart

Professor

Population Health & Reproduction

Office
3207 VM3B, Davis, CA 95616

Education
1958, BS, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
1962, MA, University of California, Berkeley
1976, PhD, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Honors and Awards
1995-2015 Honorary Member, Society for the Study of Human-Animal Relations, Japan
2007 Visiting Professor, University of West Indies, St. Augustine, September
2009 Visiting Professor, University of West Indies, St. Augustine, September
2009 Visiting Professor, Azabu University and University of Tokyo, Japan, November
2010 Visiting Professor, University of Helsinki and University of Eastern Finland; September-October
2010-2012 Vienna Encyclopedia of Animal Welfare Advisory Board (http:// veaw.univie.ac.at/editors/advisory-board/)
2011-2012 Advisory Professor, Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Graduate School for Life, The Catholic University of Korea; February 2011-January 2012
2011 Visiting Professor, Azabu University, Tokyo, Japan Visiting Professor, Azabu University and University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, December
2011 Visiting Professor, St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Grenada; April-May and October-November
2012 Visiting Professor, St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Grenada; April-May and October-November
2013 Visiting Professor, St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Grenada; April-May and October-November
2014 Visiting Professor, St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Grenada; April-May and October-November
2015 Visiting Professor, St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Grenada; April-May and October-November
2015 Visiting Lecturer, University of Pretoria, Faculty of Veterinary Science
2015 Visiting Lecturer, University of Johannesburg
2016 Visiting Professor, St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Grenada; April-May and October-November
2016 Fellow, International Society for Anthrozoology
2017 Visiting Professor, St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Grenada; April-May and October-November
2017 2017 Distinguished Anthrozoologist, International Society for Anthrozoology
Most Recent Five Book Chapters
2020 Yamamoto M, Hart LA : Separation from assistance dogs: the complicated psychological burden during loss of the relationship, L Kogan, P Erdman, (ed), Pet Loss, Grief, and Therapeutic Interventions: Practitioners Navigating the Human-animal Bond, New York. 188-208.
2019 Yamamoto M, Hart LA : Living with assistance dogs and other animals: their therapeutic roles and psychosocial health effects, A. Fine, (ed), Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy, 5th ed., New York. 61-76.
2019 Yamamoto M, Hart LA : Providing guidance on psychiatric service dogs and emotional support animals, L Kogan, C Blazina, (ed), Pets, People and Psychotherapy: Best practices for common human-animal interaction clinical scenarios, . 77-101.
2019 Messam LLMcV, Hart LA : Persons experiencing prolonged grief after the loss of a pet, L Kogan, C Blazina, (ed), Pets, People and Psychotherapy: Best practices for common human-animal interaction clinical scenarios, . 267-280.
2016 Hart BL, Hart LA : Chapter 7: Breed and gender differences in dog behavior, Serpell J, (ed), The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour and Interactions with People, Second Edition, England. 118-32.
Research Focus
There are three major interrelated areas of my research activity, each related to my various roles in teaching and mentoring of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. My primary research focus is on human-animal interactions. I continue working with a former postdoctoral student now in a faculty position in Japan, Mariko Yamamoto, in evaluating the expanding role of pets as assistance dogs for people with physical or mental disabilities. My group has published the only two papers regarding demographics on numbers and types of service/assistance dogs. One concerned Californians who had registered their assistance dogs over the previous 10+ years and the other included data from facilities around the world that place assistance dogs, including their placements by numbers and types in 2013 and 2014. A current focus is on psychiatric service dogs and emotional support dogs, and their roles for their handlers. I also have begun research on effects of meditating with a dog, or performing TTouch with the dog, to alleviate the fearfulness/anxiety of the dog. This work is a collaboration with epidemiologist Elisabeth Gruskin; we next will apply similar methods with dog owners with symptoms of mental illness to explore whether the meditation with the dog alleviates their symptoms. I mentor undergraduate students in all research projects. Each year I incorporate our new findings into my teaching of veterinary and undergraduate students.
A second focus of recent years has been in collaborating with others in exploring the adverse disease-related effects of spay/neuter in dog as a function of breed membership, gender and neuter age. These three papers, on Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds have had a large impact in the veterinary profession and the general public. A major theme concerns differences between breeds and genders. Together with coauthor Benjamin Hart, we have shown that the breeds essential as assistance dogs, military dogs and police dogs-Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds - all have a marked increased incidence of joint disorders from early spay/neuter that can impact the working life of the dog, and cause major psychological and financial stress for the handler. We have shown that simply avoiding a spay/neuter in the first year can eliminate most of the risks of a joint disorder. The large research team for this work includes several undergraduate students that I have mentored for their own side-piece of research for Animal Biology projects on topics we had not previously examined. These projects are informing our team's subsequent research on spay-neuter effects including degenerative myelopathy, urinary incontinence, and hypothyroidism. We now are in the final stages of wrapping up information for a single paper on 30+ breeds as well as similar data on five weight classes of mixed breed dogs.
A third major research focus is basic animal behavior. Continuing a longterm interest in various aspects of behavior of elephants, this year we published work with the first report of yawning and contagious yawning of elephants. This work with Benjamin Hart and others was first-authored by an exceptional honors undergraduate, Zoe Rossman. She also conducted a study of captive elephant-initiated interactions with their human guides, as well as volunteers or visiting tourists; she first-authored both of these papers this year.
Specialty Focus
Human-animal Interactions and Animal Behavior and Welfare