The Center for the Study of Animal Well-Being (CSAW) at Washington State University is a cooperative effort between the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. The goals of CSAW are to generate and disseminate new knowledge aimed at improving the well-being of animals, to enhance the mutual benefits of human-animal interactions and to develop and present educational and public service programs on animal well-being and human-animal interactions.
Both domestic and wild animals represent emotional, ecological, and economical values to humanity. There is public concern about animal use in education, research, food production, entertainment, and as companions. It is important for society to learn more about the biological and psychological needs of all animals in order to determine what factors of animal care and use controlled by humans are truly in the animals' best interest.
Dr. Jaak Panksepp
Dr. Panksepp’s internationally recognized work has focused on the nature of the basic emotional systems of the mammalian brain, with the most recent work devoted to analyzing the brain mechanisms that mediate separation distress and social bonding. His discovery of the nature of social joy by studying the psychobiological controls of juvenile playfulness and the accompanying laughter-type sounds has redefined many of the current models of animal emotion understanding. Currently, his work is aimed at deepening and broadening our understanding of these systems biologically as well as exploring the consequences of this knowledge for understanding animal and human mental health issues.
Dr. Leticia Fanucchi
Dr. Fanucchi is a veterinarian with advanced training in veterinary behavior medicine. She has experience working with behavioral problems in a wide variety of species and is looking forward to helping clients develop a stronger bond with their animals. Her previous research focused on attachment systems and effects of separation in dogs, and currently she is working on the applied aspect of behavior investigating therapeutic alternatives to decrease animals' anxieties and fears. Since moving to Pullman, Washington, Dr. Fanucchi has taken on various roles in academia as well as the community. She currently holds a Clinical Instructor position at Washington State University where she teaches a course on behavior of exotic and domestic animals, and is now seeing behavior cases in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She also runs the Shelter Training Program at our local Whitman County Humane Society where she serves on the board of directors.