Dear Friends of the Animals

The days are shorter. The weather is colder. The leaves for the most part are down. All too soon the onset of cold always surprises us.

The HBSPCA Team is delightfully surprised and humbled that for the 6th year in a row, PetSmart Charities of Canada® will be granting funds to support families and their pets in Hamilton. The grants increase health opportunities for chronically under-resourced pets and their people and facilitate the delivery of accessible basic veterinary care. In the past, the grant to the HBSPCA has subsidized spay/neuter surgeries keeping pets healthy, reducing unwanted litters and preventing unnecessary intake at the shelter.

While pets and people together are a wellness combination, PetSmart Charities of Canada has long recognized the variety of barriers to accessible veterinary care in Canadian communities including but not limited to language, culture, socioeconomic status, or access to transportation. All of these are true in Hamilton.

Food bank usage reflects poverty. The 2019 Hunger Report (Feed Ontario) showed Hamilton having the 2nd highest food bank usage per capita in all of Ontario in 2018 with 12,300 (12 in every 100) people making 111,828 food bank visits. That same report shows, for Hamilton, that ODSP income was $486 less than the monthly Market Basket Measure and that Ontario Works income was $922 less than the same measure.  Little has changed and the Times of COVID have exasperated families’ situations.

I have heard said – “If you can’t afford a pet, you shouldn’t have a pet”. This is short sighted. Animals make a difference in people’s health and well-being every day. In our community, there are people who get up each day because they have a pet companion who is their best friend. We know that isolated and under-resourced seniors agree to hospital care only when their pet companions are fostered and provided basic veterinary care. We know that the relationships between differently abled persons and horses are restorative. Pets and people are a healing combination.

The PetSmart Charities of Canada grant will continue to support spay/neuter surgeries for under-resourced pets and their people. In addition, the grant will support a pilot program in partnership with three social service agencies for pet health check clinics – keeping pets healthy and safe at home, where they belong.

Thank you!

And thank you, Friends of the Animals. Your gifts of time and treasure support a Foundation of service to community, every day.

Be Safe. Be kind.