She was family: Women of color and animal-human connections


Most families with companion animals regard them as family members, and affectionate relationships with pets can enhance health. Research suggests that these relationships are complicated and vary, depending on many factors, including ethnicity, but there has been little research on animal-human relationships in communities of color in the United States. This qualitative study explored beliefs about and experiences with companion animals of women of color. A central theme that emerged was the reciprocity that existed in women's relationships with their animals. A model for understanding multiple influences on women's views about animals and implications for research and practice are offered.

Publication Date

Winter 2006

Journal Title



Sage Publications

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type