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Loar, LynnLynn Loar earned her Ph.D. in 1981 at Duke University in Durham, NC. She is the president of the Pryor Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to the study and promotion of methods that facilitate behavioral change exclusively through positive reinforcement. She is a social worker in the San Francisco Bay Area with expertise in familial abuse and neglect across the lifespan, and in the role that cruelty and neglect of animals play in family dysfunction and violence. She provides advocacy and training to human service and animal welfare agencies about neglect, abuse and violence affecting children, elders, dependent adults, people with disabilities and animals. She has designed and implemented humane education and animal-assisted therapy programs that teach gentleness and empathy, including the Strategic Humane Interventions Program (SHIP) and SHIP for Seniors. She is a frequent contributor to the Latham Letter. She’s been also a Research Associate at MRI in Palo Alto since 1985.


  • 2016 “Clicker Training Shelter Animals with the Help of the New Generation”(with Raquel Castellanos, Francisco Martinez, Emma Prado, Radhika Prasad, Javier Valdez and Austin Werchick),Latham Letter, winter
  • 2015 “Realizing Potential: At-risk youth teach and learn from shelter dogs, cats and rabbits”, (with Sarah Aguiniga, Mario Garcia, Karla Olvera, Ronaldo Ordonez and Brenden Patterson), Latham Letter, winter
  • 2010 “You don’t act like a jerk when you have business cards” (with Geoffrey Pott, Sebastian Pott and Noah Carlton), Latham Letter, summer
  • 2009 “Designing Effective Reinforcers” (with Louie, H.., Pang, E., Rankupalli, M., Pott, G), Latham Letter, summer and fall
  • 2008 “Thats Right! But Don’t Do It Again Today!”, ISI Edge, 12-14
  • 2007 “SHIP for Seniors: A new wrinkle in animal-assisted therapy”, (with K. White), Latham Letter, vol. 28, no. 4, 6-8
  • 2006 Animal Hoarding: Structuring Interdisciplinary Responses to Help People, Animals and Communities at Risk (with Gary Patronek, et al. of Animal Hoarding), ed. Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • 2004 Teaching Empathy: Animal-Assisted Therapy Programs for Children and Families Exposed to Violence (with Libby Colman), ed. Latham Foundation
  • 2000 “Shaping Behavior with Positive Reinforcement & Joy, The Latham Letter”, Vol. 21, No. 2, 6-7
  • 2000 “Clicker Training with At-Risk Families”, The Latham Letter, Vol. 21, No. 2, 13
  • 1999 Teaching compassion: A guide for humane educators, teachers, and parents (with Pamela Raphael and Libby Colman)
  • 1999 “I’ll only help you if you have two legs”, in Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Animal Abuse: Linking the Circles of Compassion for Prevention and Intervention, ed. Purdue University Press, pp 120-136
  • 1998 Confronting Abuse” (with Nancy Craig), The Latham Letter, Summer, pp 8-10
  • 1998 “Making visits work”, Child Welfare, Vol 77, Jan-Feb, pp 41-58
  • 1998 “Child Abuse and Neglect: A Guide to Effective Advocacy” in Crisis Counseling ofr a Quality School Community, ed. Accelerated Development Inc., pp 151-174
  • 1996 “Eliciting Cooperation from Teenagers and their Parents”, Directions in Clinical Psychology, Fall
  • 1996 “I liked that Policeman Who Arrested that Dog!”, The Lathan Letter, Spring pp 1 and 4-8
  • 1996 “Strengths-Based Adoptions”, Chain, Spring, pp 6 and 16
  • 1995 “Brief Therapy with Difficult Clients”, Directions in Clinical Psychology, Vol 5, #15, pp 1-10
  • 1995 “The Tao of John Weakland”, (with Heinz von Foerster), The California Therapist, Sept/Oct, Vol 7, #5, p 64
  • 1994 “Child Sexual Abuse: Several Brief Interventions with Young Perpetrators”, Child Abuse and Neglect: The International Journal, Vol 18, #11, pp 977-986
  • 1994 “Safe Volunteers: Effective Screening Techniques to Minimize the Risk of Abuse by Volunteers”, Journal of Volunteer Administration, Summer, pp 1-3
  • 1994 “The Limits of Education”, Chain, Summer, pp 6-7
  • 1994 “A Humane Garden of Children, Plants, and Animals Grows in Sonoma County, California” (with Carol Rathman), The Latham Letter, Spring, pp 6-9
  • 1994 “Congratulations…and Welcome!”, Chain, Winter, p 9
  • 1992 “Upsetting Comparisons”, The Latham Letter, Summer, pp 1-7
  • 1992 “More Upsetting Comparisons”, The Latham Letter, Winter, pp 16-17
  • 1992 “When a Dog Gets Better Care than a Child in Danger”, The San Francisco Examiner, November 16
  • 1990 “Working Briefly with Reluctant Clients: Child Prospective Services as an Example” (with John H. Weakland), Family Therapy Case Studies, Vol 5, #2, December ; Reprinted in Journal of Family Therapy, Vol 14, #3, 1992, pp 231-255
  • 1991 “Bless teh Beasts and the Children”, Chain, Spring, pp 6-7
  • 1985 “The Carrot Instead of the Stick: A More Positive Approach to Resolving the Problems of Separation and Divorce” with Paul Nathan), Family Law Reporter, Monograph #4, Vol 11