Universidad del Turabo
Gurabo, Puerto Rico
Úrsula Aragunde Kohl, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist with a passion for animals. She has committed her life in working with high-risk communities creating spaces for social justice and a more compassionate ways of living. In 2010, she founded the nonprofit Puerto Rico Alliance for Companion Animals, Inc (PR Animals). Its mission is to educate the Puerto Rican communities about compassion, kindness, and responsible guardianship towards all animals. When Úrsula is not rescuing and rehabilitating street dogs, she is a faculty member at the Universidad Ana G. Mendez, Gurabo Campus, where she developed the first graduate class regarding Human Animal Interactions and how to insert them in health-allied fields, called: “Animal Assisted Interventions in Health Settings” and has crafted and led proposals on improving sexual health and HIV prevention. In an effort to understand the general beliefs and attitudes toward companion animals, she conducted the first investigation in Puerto Rico regarding them. Úrsula coordinates the first HAI related committee within the Puerto Rico Psychology Association called “Integral wellbeing through the Human Animal Relationship”. In this role, she promotes the human animal bond, and helps psychologists consider companion animals as essential aspects within effective therapeutic interventions.