Picture of Colleen Dell

Colleen Dell B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Research Chair in One Health & Wellness, Professor, Tenured

Faculty Member in Sociology

Arts 1109

Research Area(s)

  • Animal Assisted Interventions
  • Addictions
  • Criminalization
  • Health, Healing & Wellness
  • Mental Health
  • Indigenous Wellbeing
  • Knowledge Mobilization
  • Women and Girls


Addictions Animal Assisted Interventions Criminalization Healing Health Indigenous Wellbeing Knowledge Mobilization Mental Health Women and Girls

Dr. Dell is an animal therapy researcher and practitioner specializing in treatment for mental health, addictions, and well-being. She is currently a Professor and Centennial Enhancement Chair in One Health & Wellness in the Department of Sociology and Associate in the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan. She is also a Senior Research Associate with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use & Addiction.

Dr. Dell's research program is grounded in an empowering, community-based, and patient-oriented participatory approach with both humans and animals. Her research background is firmly rooted in criminal justice, mental health, substance use health, and Indigenous peoples’ health. In her research program and life she has worked alongside several St. John Ambulance and PAWSitive Support therapy dogs, and a Service Dog, and is currently working closely with E-Jay a 4 year old Boxer dog, Ruby a 6 year old Labrador Retriever, and Molly a 4 year old Old English Bulldog. She works alongside various community and academic partners, in studies examining how the human-animal bond can help enrich wellness among individuals and communities. This ranges from addictions treatment facilities through to university and criminal justice institutions. Attention to animal-welfare is central in her work. In her most recent work she co-led a controlled clinic trial of the impact of therapy dogs visiting an emergency department in Canada, and it was featured by CNN, People Magazine online, Canadian Press, NPR, MedScape and more!

Dr. Dell was recently awarded the St. John Ambulance Chancellor’s Pandemic Coin for her community leadership with therapy dogs in Saskatchewan. In 2022 she was  awarded the University of Saskatchewan Distinguished Graduate Mentor award.