The Lives of Animals Research Group

The Lives of Animals Research Group

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Renée D'Souza joined our research team in September 2016. Renée received her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, University of Guelph in 2015 and spends her free time volunteering with animal rescue and welfare organizations. Driven by a passion for conservation and animal welfare, Renée is pursuing her Master’s in Environmental Studies at Queen’s University, focusing on the lives of dogs working for conservation in Canada.

Conservation canines have received attention in scholarly literature regarding their utility for biologists and ecologists in the field. Yet little research has focused on their circumstances and experiences in these roles. Renée will explore the welfare of dogs working for conservation in various provinces across Canada through observational assessments, interviews with program managers, and surveys completed by dog handlers. She recently presented a poster of her research project at the Animal Welfare Symposium at the University of Guelph.

Renée’s work will bring light to an understudied topic in the literature, and ultimately she aims to assess the potential for conservation canine roles to lead to humane job creation – jobs that are good for people, animals, and the environment.


D'Souza, Renée and Alice J. Hovorka. 2018. Conservation Canines: Roles, Welfare and Environmental Impacts. Invited speakers at the Animal Labour Workshop, Queen's University, Kingston.

D’Souza, Renée (presenter) and Alice J. Hovorka. 2017. Conservation Canines in Canada: Roles, Welfare, and Environmental Impacts. Poster presented at the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare Annual Research Symposium, Guelph, Ontario. May 2017. Third place winner.