Community Research Event to Focus on Pets

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From preventing dog bites to helping homeless cats to fighting cancer, University of Guelph research is making a difference in the lives of pets and the people who love them. Guelph residents are invited to hear all about it during a special event Oct. 20.

“Why Research Matters – Let’s Talk About Pets” will be a panel discussion highlighting work at U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) that benefits companion animals. Four leading researchers will share their latest discoveries and initiatives.

The free event will be held at the Guelph Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk St. The discussion will begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

It will be moderated by Malcolm Campbell, U of G’s vice-president (research).

The goal is to inform and engage the general public, and to show the accessibility and relevance of university research, Campbell said.

“Every day, our researchers are involved in initiatives and making discoveries that impact the health and well-being of people and our companion animals,” he said.

“This is an opportunity to share that work with the community and show how it can make a difference now and in the future.”

Lee Niel, a professor in OVC’s Department of Population Medicine, will discuss why dogs bite. She heads OVC’s companion animal welfare and behaviour lab.Dog aggression is a serious threat to human and animal safety and a top reason for euthanizing and giving up animals, she said. Her research team is working to identify at-risk animals and strategies for prevention and treatment.

Prof. Shane Bateman, Department of Clinical Studies, will talk about the Guelph cat population task force. This community group brings together the Guelph Humane Society, several U of G departments and local organizations to develop science-based strategies for addressing the city’s homeless cat population.

Recent advances in cancer research and how studying pets can aid in human treatment will be discussed by Profs. Brenda Coomber and Paul Woods. They are co-directors of Guelph’s Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation, a first-of-its-kind centre for cancer treatment in companion animals.

“Research Matters: Let’s Talk About Pets” is sponsored by U of G’s Office of Research.

Although the event is free, seating is limited. For advance registration, visit bit.do/researchpets or call Liz Snyder at 519 824-4120, Ext. 53781.