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Tucson, AZ
USA

520-621-0181

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Donate

Your Donation Makes a Difference

Please Help Us Make This Research a Reality By Donating to Our Campaign!

For a 100% tax deductible donation, you can visit this University of Arizona donation page.



For more information about the study please click the "about" tab

Why Should I Donate?

1. You Can Help SAVE dogs

  • This study will utilize shelter dogs through the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, giving them a second chance in a loving and supportive home.
  • If study results suggest that dogs may indeed have health-promoting effects,it could increase the adoption rate of dogs in shelters across the country. 

2. You Can Help Fund Innovative and Potentially Transformative Research!!

  • By donating to our campaign,you will become a critical part of our research effort: you will be helping us to test a completely new way of thinking about the human-dog relationship!
  • This study will examine whether dogs facilitate the growth of “good” bacteria in our guts (in science speak, “probiotic agents”). 
    • These bacteria – known as the microbiota – are increasingly recognized as playing an essential role in human emotional and physical health. Prior studies suggest that dogs can improve our microbiota. But this will be the first study to directly test whether dog ownership improves our  microbiota and if this improvement translates to improved health.

3. This study will examine whether dogs can improve the immune systems of older adults

  • Dozens of studies have shown us that dogs make us feel better emotionally. But we want to know if that ‘feel good’ factor is actually helping our immune systems. This study is designed to look at whether dog ownership have immune enhancing effects.

Estimated Costs of Conducting Study: 

Our research will be conducted in two phases. 

  • Phase I: Conduct Study, Collect All Human and Dog Samples and Analyze the Impact of Dogs and Humans on the Microbiome
  • Phase II: Complete Analysis of How Dogs Improve the Human Immune System

We are currently raising funds for Phase I of the research, which will cost $30,000. Once we reach this goal, we will begin raising funds for Phase II, which will cost $45,000. In total, we need to raise $75,000. 

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Why Are We Using a Crowd Sourcing Campaign to Fund Our Research?

Across the United States, science funding, particularly for biomedical research, has plummeted in recent years due to government budget cuts and competing priorities. Even when researchers have large scientific grants, they are constantly working to write the next large grant in order to keep their staff employed and labs viable. A recent report by NPR.org stated “nationwide, about sixteen percent of scientists with sustaining (known as “R01″) grants in 2012 lost them the following year… Since 2004, the NIH budget has decreased by more than 20 percent (1, 2).

This decrease in funding for scientific research makes it even more difficult for innovative and cutting-edge ideas to find appropriate funding sources. This is exactly the case with our study, Dogs as Probiotics for People (Dogs as Probiotics for short).

Although there is excellent research suggesting that we have a well-developed and plausible hypothesis (see the Study Details section of this website for more information), it is necessary for us to test this idea in a small group of humans and dogs in order to collect enough pilot study data to determine if a larger scale study is warranted. However, given the scarcity of funds for research studies such as this one, and because we are deeply committed to conducting this research with as much efficiency and accuracy as possible, we have decided to launch a crowdsourcing campaign to fund this work. 

Therefore, we invite you to help us fund this innovative research project. By doing this you will become part of something that is culturally and medically important, timely and potentially transformative for society. There are a number of gifts and prizes for our supporters, including the chance to win one of two photo shoots with a professional animal photographer.  Please visit the GoFundMe.org/UAdogstudy to learn more. 


Not Comfortable Donating Just Yet?

We completely understand! Even if you're not able to make a monetary contribution to the study, you can still help in other ways:

  • Share our page with your friends/family/co-workers who may be interested
  • Like us on Faceook:  www.facebook.com/DogsasProbiotics and share your story of how your life has been touched by a dog.
  • Follow us on twitter: @DogsasProbiotics and tweet us a photo of your pooch!

Thank you!

 

 (1) http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/09/09/340716091/u-s-science-suffering-from-booms-and-busts-in-funding

(2) http://www.faseb.org/policy-and-government-affairs/data-compilations/nih-research-funding-trends.aspx