In a study published by Society & Animals, 256 participants were given fake newspaper clippings about a victim being attacked with a baseball bat and “left unconscious with one broken leg and multiple lacerations”.
While the story remained the same, the victim in the report was changed to either a one-year-old child, a 30-year-old adult, a puppy or a six-year-old dog.
"Age makes a difference for empathy toward human victims, but not for dog victims," the study's notes read. "In addition, female participants were significantly more empathic toward all victims than were their male counterparts."
The results found that people were more upset about a baby, a puppy and a dog being attacked than an adult human.
Another study, published this month by researchers at Canisius College in New York, found that women who sleep with their dogs have a better sleep than those who sleep with partners. Researchers surveyed 962 women living in the U.S. It found 55 per cent slept with a dog, 31 per cent slept with a cat, and 57 per cent slept with a human. The women with dogs, according to the study, were more likely to have a restful night.