CENTAUR: Center for Animal Human Relationships

About our Programs

CENTAUR is an academic center conducting instructional, research, and outreach programs designed to foster a greater understanding of the mutual benefits associated with human-animal interaction.


The center promotes the education of veterinary and human health care professionals and the general public on the importance of human-animal relationships. Education programs include:

  • Advanced residency training and approved curriculum courses
  • Kids' Tech University
  • Governors School
  • Service projects and seminars


The center conducts partnered, scholarly research in the field of Human Companion Animal Interaction, leading to publications, conferences and public presentations. As a veterinary based center, there will be an emphasis on promoting animal health, but areas of research may include the study of:

  • The animal-human interface and the benefits people and animals derive from one another
  • Working dog performance
  • Therapy animal welfare
  • Equine assisted activities


The center provides outreach and service projects for community, including:

  • Certification of dogs and cats for Animal Assisted Activities (AAA)
  • AAA in a variety of settings
  • Law Enforcement handler training and first aid classes
  • Support services for bereaved clients facing pet loss/euthanasia


For more information about CENTAUR, please contact Dr. Virginia Buechner-Maxwell at centaur@vt.edu.