May 15, 2020

Hello Friend of the Animals

Yesterday, Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford announced Phase 1 of the opening of Ontario’s services and businesses. The times of COVID-19 are changing and the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA is getting ready. I want to let you know what this means for your local animal welfare charity and the service to community you support.

Taking care of our people and the public we serve

We are mindful that the state of emergency in Ontario remains in place until June 2nd. And we are mindful too that the Premier stated that businesses  – including veterinary services – should open only when they are ready. The health and safety of our Staff are the priority, as is the safety of the public we serve. We are confident too that our donors who have supported the animals generously these past two months expect no less of us.

The HBSPCA has already started working on a post COVID-19 Emergency State recovery plan. We are guided by distancing, local and Provincial public health directives and the evidence based practices evolving among our colleagues across Ontario and Canada.  Our focus on safety for all compels us to ensure a robust supply of personal protective equipment, re-assess patient flow in our Companion Animal Hospital, and modify staff and public pathways in the building.

Protective barriers are being installed in the hospital and adoption center. Web cams will enable meaningful staff meetings without face-to-face gatherings.  Classes, clinics and fundraisers will resume only when it is safe for the public to gather in numbers greater than 5 persons.

Service to community – still active, every day

For the next while, the HBSPCA will remain closed to the public. Service to community continues as it has for several weeks. These services include

  • Receiving animals at risk identified by Provincial Inspectors and as asked.
  • Receiving animals requiring emergency care.
  • Receiving surrenders of animals otherwise at risk for neglect and abandonment.
  • Supporting pets and their families with end of life support to alleviate pain, distress, and discomfort at the end of life.
  • Offering compassionate boarding for pets belonging to persons who might be hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment and for whom there are no pet care alternatives.
  • Providing no contact adoptions for pet companions ready for their forever home.
  • Supporting our customers with telemedicine and pet behavioural advice to keep people and pets together.
  • And
    As reported last week, safe spay/neuter for street cats in our City, already over populated with cats on the street.

It takes a village to make a difference 

As you may be finding in these times of COVID, we are distant yet not alone. We are grateful for the support community members show every day. This week, community members provided hand made washable masks for our Staff. What a fabulous support, helping to fill a safety need that will go on for some time yet.

Holy Cannoli!  Yesterday, a donation of cannoli was received from Katie’s Cannoli as a way to say thanks.  Yummy!

And our colony caregivers continue to be supported with cat food. Thank you.

I am reminded everyday of what I have come to think of as the Canadian way. Among our animal welfare colleagues across Ontario and Canada, we are connected and collaborative. We share our insights and plans to sustain a humane future. Learning together, no one is left behind, and this can only serve the animals, pet families and our communities well.

Looking Ahead

We are exceptionally grateful for your support, especially since the advent of COVID-19. As donors and supporters, you are helping build innovative service, new service, and the requisites for safe service and keep people and pets together. And for this we sincerely thank you.

I invite you to share some of the ways people you know can help support innovation, all for the animals.

Help the HBSPCA win $5000.  Vote Daily here https://www.nutram.com/ca/vote

Be a local hero and become a monthly donor /donate/monthly-gift/

Purchase Spring Lottery tickets at /donate/lottery-tickets/

OR, if you and others are able, please support the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA with a donation of any size.

As our “bubbles” expand and our communities open up, I wish you, your families and your friends health and safety.


Marion Emo
President and CEO
Keeping Distance Staying Connected.