Delta Society

Delta Society is the leading international resource for the human-animal bond. Delta Society has been the force to validate the important role of animals for people's health and well-being by promoting the results of research to the media and health and human services organizations.

The Delta Foundation was established in 1977 in Portland, Oregon, under the leadership of Michael McCulloch, MD. Delta's first president was Leo K. Bustad, DVM, PhD, dean of a veterinary college and a pioneer in human-animal bond theory and application. Delta's founders wanted to understand the quality of the relationship between pet owners, pets, and care givers, both human and veterinary, (hence the "delta" name based on this triangle). At that time, pets were widely considered luxury or throwaway items, not of central importance to individual health and well-being. Delta's early years focused on funding the first credible research on why animals are important to the general population and specifically how they affect health and well being. Early Delta members were primarily from the veterinary and human health professions and from university faculties.

One of Delta's strengths continues to be the development of standards-based training materials. We identify subject matter experts and work with them to create, rigorously pilot and revise, and then implement training. Using this process, we are creating a comprehensive service dog trainer curriculum. In 2001, we published Professional Standards for Dog Trainers: Effective, Humane Principles, that will provide guidelines for all dog training developed by Delta Society.

For more information, or to contact Delta Society, see their website at:

» Recent News

Lawrence J. Norvell Named President/CEO of Delta Society
28 Jan 04 | Lawrence Norvell was recently chosen as Delta Society's second President/CEO through a nationwide search, following the retirement of Linda Hines. Delta Society is an organization that aims to improve human health through service and therapy animals.

Linda Hines, CEO and President of Delta Society®, Retires After 25 Years
20 Feb 03 | Linda Hines, CEO and President of Delta Society®, has retired after 25 years of service with the organization. Linda was the first Executive Director of Delta and began her career with Delta in 1983.

Dr. Marty Becker Receives Bustad Award
13 Sep 02 | Dr. Marty Becker, veterinarian, author, educator and media personality, has been named as the recipient of the prestigious 2002 Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award: "Best Loved Family Doctor For Pets".

The Healing Effects of Animals: Delta Society's 21st Annual Conference
27 Mar 02 | Delta's Service Animal of the Year award recognizes animals that are specially trained to help people with disabilities to overcome barriers and achieve greater independence. Delta's Therapy Animal of the Year award recognizes those animals ...

Sun Valley's 'Summer of Labs' Extends into Winter; Charity Auction to be Held December 29
08 Sep 01 | Pilchuck Dumpster Dog was created by renowned glass artist Catherine Rahn from remnants from her association with glass masters Dale Chihuly and William Morris at Pilchuck Glass Institute. Others include the Delta Society, Canine Companions for ...

Professional Standards for Dog Trainers Now Available From Delta Society
04 Sep 01 | (Renton, WA - September 4, 2001) - Professional Standards for Dog Trainers: Effective, Humane Principles is an important new book that offers guidelines for the professional dog trainer. Delta's programs and services include its volunteer Pet ...



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