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A Circle of Learning and Leadership Sub-Division


CARE’s Research and Development team is data-driven and equity-centered. CARE is using evidence-based thought leadership that advances equity and reform for marginalized communities at the intersection of animal well-being and social justice.

Our Method For Change

Why is Research Important? Understanding the root causes of our challenges often provides a pathway to solutions. Unfortunately, little research has been done within BIPOC communities to asses whether or not traditional Animal Welfare polices cause harm to underserve communities.

The lack of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [BIPOC] in the Animal Protection field means that millions of BIPOC Americans live under policies and laws that affect them and their four-legged family members with virtually no representation.

Some things to keep in mind:

“Minorities in general and African Americans, in particular, are still virtually invisible in all aspects of organized animal protection.” ~ Society and Animals Due to the lack of representation in the Animal Welfare and Protection field, there is scant research literature on racial disparities within the field. 

Harvard project Diversity Results

More about R&D

Since CARE’s founding in 2020, we’ve made important strides to undo the erasure BIPOC communities suffer within the Animal Protection field. Aside from the lack of representation in the field identified by Dr. Brown in 2005 and CARE in 2020, CARE has discovered a considerable amount of Unconscious Bias within the field as well [See results below]. The question CARE is now attempting to answer, is whether the field’s unconscious bias influences policy making, Animal Control Laws, and Pet Adoptions.


CARE is using evidence-based thought leadership that advances equity and reform for marginalized communities at the intersection of animal well-being and social justice. Our approach offsets the lack of research focused on BIPOC communities and their pets. The historic absence of insights into BIPOC pet companionship has allowed prejudices to remain unchecked and too often leads to critical resources not being provided to communities in need. Or, resources being delivered without a high degree of cultural competence.


Articles, Papers, and projects. 

Measuring Bias in the Animal Welfare Field /Harvard Implicit Bias Study

Top Line Results
In the aggregate, participants showed an implicit preference for White people over Black people, Non-Hispanic people over Hispanic people, and rich people over poor people. These results stood in contrast to Self-reported preferences for Black people over White people, Hispanic people over Non-Hispanic people, and poor people over rich people.

[Download the full study here]

Decolonizing Animal Welfare Through a Social Justice Framework

A peer reviewed article

Discussion [Excerpt]:

“We argue animal welfare must build authentic relationships with intersectional BIPOC communities to holistically address the challenges that impact these communities and their pets. In essence, this work requires the disruption of the status quo within animal welfare to benefit pets within marginalized communities.”
– Rudd & Jenkins

[Read the full Peered Reviewed article: Frontiers in Veterinarian Medicine]

Community Participatory Research (CPR):Little Earth of United Tribes Companion Pet Census Study 2021

Study Description:
This survey study seeks to strengthen the quality of resources and services to the Little Earth of United Tribes community using Community Participatory Research (CPR) practices. Survey questions were crafted with input from a tribal representative to identify the needs and experiences of tribal pets and their families. Little Earth’s Proximate Leaders serve as CARE’s point of contact for this study. CARE supported each household that responded to the survey with incentives. The survey serves to inform approaches that best support the participating tribal community.

Bowling Green Human and Companion Animal Natural Disaster Impact Study

Study Description:
The study assesses the experiences, barriers, and issues of importance from companion animal owners of color living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who have been affected by December 2021 tornados. In partnership with CARE’s Environmental Justice Division, we seek to help identify how to prevent and combat the unwanted effects of natural disaster scenarios. 

Racial Disparities in Animal Welfare Exploratory Study

Principal Investigators: Michael J. Blackwell and Linda Daugherty, University of Tennessee, Program for Pet Health Equity




  • Family separation: Pets are consistently being adopted to higher SES and more White communities
  • Lack of trust: When asked if they thought law enforcement or animal control were more likely to take pets to punish their owner, respondents who identified as BIPOC were more likely than Whites to believe that pets were used for punishment
  • Inequitable punishment: Despite differences in location and size, significant similarities were discovered. In all four communities, members of the BIPOC community have less economic wealth, lower rates of home ownership, and less access to a vehicle. These systemic factors coupled with lack of access to veterinary care directly impact pet owners’ ability to be compliant with local ordinances – especially those that require all dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered.

Recommended citation:  Program for Pet Health Equity (2024) Racial Disparities in Animal Welfare. Report for Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity. Authors: Blackwell, M., Daughterty, L., Galvez, E., Garrett, K., Butler, R., Mesa, A., Dorminey, Z. Available here.


The Animal Welfare field [Animal Protection field] tends to focus on animals only, versus Human and Animal Well-being collectively, Insight on how the field affects current and potential BIPOC pet parents is crucially needed to inform better future impacts. CARE is committed to fostering positive outcomes for communities of color. To that end, we seek data that illustrates the industry’s impact on diverse communities all over the U.S., and that task requires a dynamic and experienced research team.



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BHM James Baldwin