The Furry Solution: how fostering could improve your mental health

As semester one wraps up, stress levels rise amongst many Carleton University students. Interactions with a furry friend may be the answer to reducing some of this stress. Several studies in Canada have shown the benefits of animal therapy for students in particular. Shannon Noonan is a faculty member at Carleton University who works with the Centre for Initiatives in Education, doing pet therapy as a retention initiative for students in the Enriched Support Program. Her partner is her five year-old Great Dane-Pointer, Blue.   “There have been studies showing that coming in contact with an animal increases your oxytocin levels, which is your stress fighting hormone,” Noonan said. “It can also decrease your cortisol levels. Cortisol is your stress […]

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Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind seeks Carleton students

The Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind are seeking volunteers to train future guide dogs, and are looking specifically for students at Carleton. Volunteers train dogs, eight to 16 weeks of age, for 12 to 18 months. From there, the dogs go into formal training with Canadian Guide Dogs staff. “Right now, we have more puppies than volunteers so we are in a bit of a desperation stage at the moment,” Steven Doucette, the organization’s events and guider coordinator, said. According to Doucette, there are usually 60 to 80 volunteers a year, but fewer in the middle of winter and summer. Volunteers spend the majority of their time with the puppies. For students, this includes taking them to class and […]

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Letter: Pigs deserve the same respect as dogs

Canadian animal rights activist Anita Krajnc was recently charged with criminal mischief for feeding water to thirsty pigs on a tractor-trailer en route to a Toronto slaughterhouse. The incident was covered internationally and brought attention to the conflict between animal rights activists and livestock owners. While the pending case involves the legality of her actions, it also points to the deeper issue of the mistreatment of livestock, particularly pigs, in Canada. Canada ranks seventh in the world for pork production, according to Statistics Canada. This translates to the annual slaughter of about 21 million pigs per year. Put into perspective, 2,400 pigs are slaughtered each hour of every day  Its consumption is just as popular. Pork and its derivatives such as bacon, ham, and sausage are a staple in […]

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