Can therapy dogs have a ‘pawsitive’ impact on patient pain?

Project specs




Ben Carey & Dr. Collen Dell



Funding agency

Royal University Hospital Foundation Saskatchewan Centre for patient oriented research




The Royal university hospital in Saskatoon Saskatchewan was the first to allow Therapy Dogs into their emergency department. Since then, more and more Canadian hospitals have allowed therapy dogs into their emergency departments where the dogs and their handlers provide support and comfort to the patients, even going so far as to reduce their pain.

Researcher Profile

We have a large multi-disciplinary team working on this project.


  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Colleen Anne Dell
  • Co-Applicants: Dr. James Stempien m(co-PI), Dr. Peter Butt, Dr. Lindsey Bromberg, Dr. Donna Goodridge, Dr. Susan Tupper, Dr. Eloise Carr, Jane Smith

Advisory Group:

  • Patient advocates: Janet Gunderson, Logan Fele-Slaferek, Cathie Fornssler, Kerry Ukrainetz
  • System Representatives: Lisa Collard, Jason Shand, Jason Trask
  • Research: Dr. Sharon Acoose, Dr. Joe Rubin, Holly McKenzie


  • Coordinator: Ben Carey
  • Research Assistants:
  • Veterinarian: Dr. Beverly Morrision
  • Medical students: Lacey Jurke, Andrew Tolmie, Lara Witt, Michelle Brabant, Christopher Beresh
  • Nursing students: Tristan Lang, Ashley Buller, Rebecca Ness
  • Sociology students: Maria Cruz, Alexandria Pavelich, Jenna Retzlaff, Shayla Batty
  • Data Analyst: Dr. Betty Rohr

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