The Therapy Dog Program at Carleton was initially piloted at the Centre for Initiatives in Education in 2017. Students can experience anxiety, depression, and sense of being overwhelmed during their studies at university. Animal-Assisted therapy is an evidence-based practice that can help lead to increased levels of happiness and decreased stress levels for those who participate.

Our original therapy dog, Blue, accomplished several goals and showed us a lot more through students’ response to the program!

“After visiting with Blue, my day got better.”

Overall, students were happy and excited to see this experience of wellness and conversation around positive mental health being brought to the forefront. We are so proud of Blue and all the work he has done for so many students.

The therapy dog pilot was run by Shannon Noonan, Blue’s handler.

This innovative programming has now been adopted at the institutional level and moved on from the pilot year at CIE to become an established strand in the university’s proactive mental health supports for students, with 10 dogs and their Carleton staff or faculty handlers.

“Meeting with Blue (and Shannon), helped me make a weekly routine.”

TVO’s Ontario Hubs checks out this exciting pet therapy program, and it’s paw-sitive impact at Carleton!

Please check the Carleton Therapy Dogs (Mental Health and Wellness) webpage for up-to-date information and scheduling.