We invite you to be part of a nationwide dialogue about the future of the Animal-Assisted Services Sector in Canada.  This survey is being conducted for The Canadian Foundation for Animal-Assisted Support Services (CFAS). 

CFAS is an impartial national non-profit and registered charity that promotes Canada's Animal-Assisted Services Sector. The organization is dedicated to AAS clients' wellbeing and the welfare of animals in service while working collaboratively with practitioners to foster public confidence. ​CFAS builds bridges among communities, disciplines, and sectors to inform and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. For more information, please visit CFAS online.

A Burgeoning Sector
Animal-Assisted Services (AAS) in this survey refers to the increasingly widespread practice of incorporating animals in professional disciplines such as social work, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, speech pathology, physical therapy, and education in ways that foster One Health for People, Pets, and Partners™. Segments within the evolving AAS sector incorporate animal-assisted activities, therapy, and interventions that benefit the health of vulnerable persons and their families. "Health" includes the physical, mental, emotional, academic, spiritual, and social wellbeing of people, pets, and other animals involved in the services, activities, or interventions. 

Focusing on Assets to Tackle Common Challenges
Presently, the AAS sector is fragmented and self-regulated, making it difficult to understand the scope of AAS practices. Responding to this survey will help CFAS better understand how to collaborate with and support practitioners in this sector to address emerging front-line challenges such as increasing demands for Canadian industry standards. The ultimate goal is to ensure that AAS, in its many forms, is recognized for its positive impact. Thank you in advance for considering being part of this national dialogue.

The Survey
This survey should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete. We do not anticipate any risks to you resulting from your participation in this study. You may find some benefit in reflecting on the needs or limitations you experience in your practice.

All responses will be kept anonymous: Your IP address (computer address) used for responses will not be recorded. Although it is impossible to guarantee the complete privacy of any online material, we have done our best to ensure that your privacy will be respected. SurveyMonkey data is backed up in the United States and is therefore subject to the privacy laws of the US.

We would greatly appreciate you answering every question; however, you are under no obligation to answer questions you would prefer to skip. You may also withdraw from the survey at any time without consequence. To withdraw from the survey, close the survey tab in your browser. Responses submitted prior to withdrawal may be included in analysis and reporting.
As an expression of our gratitude, all participants will be invited to enter a draw for one of four $25 Pet Valu gift cards. To enter this draw, please provide your contact information through a separate link at the end of the survey. This contact information will not be connected to your survey responses

Survey Results

CFAS will use the survey results to structure national dialogues among AAS practitioners and may reference findings in grant proposals and/or CFAS presentations. Results may also be published or presented in journals, reports, conferences, websites, or other media alternatives. All responses to closed-ended questions will be reported in group form. Quotations from written responses may be included in publications and presentations, but they will not be linked with identifying information. Furthermore, the study's results may be used in future research or for teaching purposes. We remain committed to ensuring your privacy.

Discovery Partners
This survey is a joint initiative between The Canadian Foundation for Animal-Assisted Support Services (CFAS) and The King's University Psychology Department (kingsu.ca/research/cer), with collaboration from Dreamcatcher Nature-Assisted Therapy (https://www.dreamcatcherassociation.com/).

Questions
If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Dr. Heather Looy, Professor of Psychology (heather.looy@kingsu.ca) or Heidi Walker, Program Manager for Community Engaged Research (heidi.walker@kingsu.ca) at The King's University.

This research has received ethics approval from The King's University Research Ethics Board. If you have any questions about your rights as a study participant, you may contact the Research Ethics Board: Dr. Danielle C. Brosseau, Vice-Chair (Danielle.Brosseau@kingsu.ca or 780-465-3500 Ext. 8058).

Participation
By clicking "Next" below, you are confirming that you:

●are a professional practitioner who involves animals in your work;
●understand what is required of you based on the previous information provided in this letter,
●recognize that your participation is voluntary and you may withdraw at any time by simply closing the corresponding tab in your browser,
●know that your responses will be anonymous, and you 
●affirm that you are 18 years of age or older.
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