AnimalSign Institute is the animal-friendly research wing of AnimalSign, which creates, develops, and implements ways to enhance animal communications to humans and humans’ awareness of those communications. The Institute was created to further explore, study, document, test, and publish research and education on these ways to enhance animals’ communications to humans. By doing this animals’ and humans’ relationships are expanded and lives are enriched. We use both anecdotal and evidence -based methods, developed by Sean Senechal at AnimalSign and incorporate information and research from the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, Speech Therapy, ASL and Linguistics, and Neuroscience.
We use evidence-based scientific methods
1) to study the potential of animals to LEARN and express more language,
2) to study the effects of this learning on their brain, behavior, and communication,
3) to provide humans with validated reason to respect the private and expressed experience (including personhood) of animals, and
4) to provide animals enrichment through with tools/games to live happier and more fulfilled lives.
We have several projects ongoing and upcoming where we work and play with several species: dogs, horses, cats, (to start) and visit ranches, zoos, and sanctuaries to work with other animals, such as the elephant.
This research wing of AnimalSign and aims to file as a 501 C (3) soon. Currently, we are staffed by the director, volunteers (in the community, CSUMB, local RVTs, interns, but are bulging at the seams and need to add more space, trained and research staff, along with an education program for those members.