These extraordinary times in this most extraordinary year have shown all of us how pets and people are a healthy combination. The companionship of our furry, feathered and scaled friends continues to provide company, solace and pawsitive love in these ambiguous times.

The human animal bond reminds us everyday about the importance of keeping people and pets together. This is a cornerstone of the HBSPCA’s service to community.  Prior to COVID, some visitors to the shelter would ask – “Why are there some empty kennels?” Low intake is a good sign – communities are valuing animals, pet parents are spaying and/or neutering their pets, and pet families are getting the support they need to keep pets healthy and safe.

About three years ago, a couple arrived at the shelter with their cat, a long-time family member, now suffering a severe case of dermatitis. They could not afford community veterinary fees, and the only option they felt they had was to request euthanasia. No animal with a treatable condition is euthanized at the HBSPCA. The ethical dilemma for the care team was that dermatitis is a treatable condition; and if the cat was surrendered, it would be treated and adopted out to a new home.

We changed course; no longer would a loved pet with a treatable condition be surrendered. Today same day care prevents unnecessary admission to shelter, and keeps cats at home, where they belong.

Here are some of the ways your support keeps pets and their people together:

Free health checks and spay neuter surgeries are provided for pets belonging to people without resources to support pet health, and for whom their pet companion is their best friend and the reason they get out of bed every day. This Community Veterinary Outreach program is a partnership among Good Shepherd Homes, Ontario Veterinary College, and the HBSPCA.

Very low cost spay neuter surgeries are provided to pets in eligible families with least access to affordable service in our community. We are very grateful to PetSmart Charities of Canada for subsidizing spay neuter surgeries for cats in our Companion Animal Hospital for 5 years now. These grants help to reduce unwanted litters, reduce cats living on the streets, and reduce high kennel populations.

Classes for pet parents and their dogs (sometimes called dog obedience) help person and dog live and play together at home and in the community in safe and positive ways. Classes nurture healthy bonding, prevent adoption returns and animal abandonment, and set the stage for a long-lasting forever home. Classes are a partnership between Positive Pups and the HBSPCA.

Families are precious.  Never again will a loved pet with an easily treatable condition be surrendered for care and adoption.  Donors make this possible every day. Thank You