Who We Are

Julie M. Fagan, Ph.D.  Principle Investigator  She received her Ph.D. in Animal Physiology from the University of Arizona in 1983.  After a 3 year postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, she accepted a position as a Professor at Rutgers University in the Department of Animal Sciences.  One of her research interests is how companion animals improve our quality of life and more specifically, how companion animals can assist in the treatment of individuals with behavioral health issues.  She also engages college upperclassman in community service projects in her courses “Ethics in Science and Society” and “Issues in Animals and Agriculture”.

(848) 932-8354 work office phone; (610) 847-2411 home office phone;
project email:ruffloveus@yahoo.com, work email fagan@rci.rutgers.edu

Student Researchers:

Ali Locke is a senior at Rutgers University, majoring in Animal Science with a pre-vet option. She hopes to become a veterinarian specializing in radiology. After raising six puppies for several service/guide dog organizations, she developed a strong appreciation for the human-canine bond. The benefits that these dogs provide are nothing short of a miracle!

Andrew Reicherter is a third year student at Rutgers University, with a double major in Animal Science (pre-vet focus) and Biological Science. This study hits home for him as his family has been personally affected by this disorder. Being able to put a program in motion that can aid families afflicted with this disorder, while exploring the human-animal bond, gives him the motivation that better treatment options are on the way!

Dana Deluca, a biology major at Rutgers University,  School of Enviromental and Biological Sciences, plans on graduating in January 2013. She hopes to attend an accelerated Nursing program at Pace University so she can help people in need. She is very interested in seeing how therapy dogs assist those with autism!

Courtney Zinna is a senior at Rutgers University majoring in Animal Science with a pre-vet option. She hopes to attend graduate school in the fall (2013) and continue doing research on the human-animal bond. She thinks it is truly amazing how much companion animals can change our lives and look forward to seeing how this program helps many families. After graduate school,  she would like  to become a veterinarian, but wants to continue working with therapy dogs for the rest of her life!

Jenny Kim is a third year Animal Science, Pre-veterinary major at Rutgers University. She hopes to become a veterinarian after graduating from Rutgers. Her main interest is in zoonotic and infectious disease.

Yung-Yung Chan is a senior majoring in Animal Science (pre-vet option)
at Rutgers University. She hopes to explore the beneficial use of animals and
promote the relationship between humans and animals through this research.
Companion animals are amazing, they are fun and friendly to work with!


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