An unbreakable bond between one furry feline and SUNY Oswego senior human development major Hannah Hertik inspired Hertik’s study, “Pets and Mental Health: An Exploration of Perceived Social Support,” which she will present at Quest.

“I was very close with my cat,” Hertik said. “She always made me feel more comfortable and relaxed when she was around. Now living with another cat that’s my roommate’s, I'm feeling that sort of nice comfortable feeling again.”

Spending much of the past year researching the comparison of mental health between pet owners and non-pet owners, Hertik is prepared to present for Quest, Wednesday’s celebration of scholarly and creative activities.

“It’s going to be really interesting to actually present my findings and show people what I’m able to do,” Hannah said of her virtual presentation, which is part of an 11 am series of human development presentations.

Her hypothesis? “Pets owners are going to receive greater amounts of social support and feel an increased positive feeling of mental health than non-pet owners would,” Hertik said. Especially in a pandemic with many spending more time in their homes, this benefit is worth studying.

The April 14 Quest 2021 schedule is now available on Attendify. For more information, visit the Quest website.

-- Story and video by Stephanie Shtoyko of the Class of 2021