Are Animals Capable Of Experiencing PTSD Just Like Humans?

Comforting Animals With Trauma

After observing animal sanctuaries around Australia, David John Roland from the University of Sydney identified a list of four essential qualities necessary to help rehabilitate those with PTSD, animal or otherwise.

  • A sense of agency (freedom and control over their choices)
  • To feel safe
  • To develop a trusting, caring bond with at least one other creature
  • Reintegration into the community at the trauma sufferer’s own discretion


While some facilities rely on sedatives like diazepam and fluphenazine in serious cases, Roland told ABC News that researchers at the University of Western Australia have been working on less invasive ways of soothing victims of trauma.

Young joeys at Sugarshine Animal Sanctuary and Possumwood Wildlife begin their “treatment” in non-threatening environments, sometimes dark rooms, where they are allowed to act autonomously and open up to other animals on their own terms. Eventually establishing a connection with the animals, workers are able to rehabilitate and re-socialize them in a compassionate setting.


While comfort and empathy for animals after trauma occurs is certainly important in their recovery, prevention can be even more effective. However, law enforcement does not have access to training to fight animal cruelty in many of their academies or in service training.

The Humane Society of the United States provides training for the information and techniques law enforcement needs to protect animals in all states, and it does so at no cost. Law enforcement is given the task of protecting all of its beings, but without adequate training or equipment, animal protection laws are often neglected. Click the link below to help make a difference!

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