The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies. We bring together those who work with and care for animals to promote respect and humane treatment toward all animals.
Honoured for creating the Capacity for Care (C4C) program, a care model that optimizes intake, housing, adoption and overall operations at animal shelters to improve feline lives and outcomes. CFHS partnered with the C4C team and, at one of our pilot shelters, cat euthanasia decreased by 69% in just one year.
The Toronto Star was chosen to be honoured with this award for its consistent leadership in covering key animal welfare issues with excellent, well-researched reporting. The Star’s critical analysis of government, the animal welfare sector and the corporate community is of great benefit in holding Canadians accountable when it comes to animals, breaking stories that have led to major shifts in public perception and awareness.
Honoured for their work in helping CFHS to create and steer the National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty (NCPAC). Thanks to their tireless commitment and strong leadership, prosecutors across the country have access to the resources that they need.
Dr. David Fraser was honoured with this award for his life-long commitment to improving animal welfare as this country’s pre-eminent thinker in the field of animal welfare science. Dr. Fraser has been active in the field for 45 years and has worked with countless organizations in Canada and around the world to find practical ways to improve the lives of animals. He is personally responsible for many innovations in animal housing and management, ranging from designing better pig pens to reducing highway accidents involving wildlife.
Speaking as the national voice of humane societies and SPCAs since 1957, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies brings the concerns and priorities of our members to the national stage. Our programs are informed by the experiences of our members, who work on the front lines of animal sheltering, humane education and advocacy in communities all across Canada.
CFHS members understand the importance of advancing animal welfare at the national level and that CFHS membership brings direct benefit to your organization, including the cohesion offered by a strong national voice for humane societies and SPCAs to advance Canada's animal welfare agenda, increasing visibility with national decision-makers through our presence on influential national committees and coalitions – not to mention exclusive funding opportunities and original, evidence-based research and resources and opportunities to connect with animal welfare organizations across the country.
These benefits are just some of the reasons organizations like Red Deer and District SPCA are members of CFHS. We spoke with Tara Hellewell, the organization’s Executive Director, to share why she chose CFHS membership.
RDDSPCA: For a number of years, we felt there was this disjointed space between Humane Societies and SPCAs, between shelters and rescues – nationally, there was no connection. We wanted to support a national voice and be part of a national community. Our organization is very supportive of CFHS’ vision and mandate, and we’re grateful for the evidence-based work that’s happening within the organization. We were able to connect with our peers to share our ideas and other resources. For us, CFHS has been a great benefit. Our membership fee is very minimal considering the benefits we receive.
RDDSPCA: The connection to other humane societies and SPCAs, as well as other rescues and shelters. Breaking the isolation and joining a community of animal welfare organizations across the country that share the same goals. We also find a big benefit in public perception of our organization. They know that we are doing more than just taking care of animals in a shelter. We’re trying to change laws, change ideas and change attitudes at the national level. We get great feedback from our donors about wanting to support both the local and national program, so I think that speaks volumes.
RDDSPCA: Our donors are very engaged. They know the challenges locally and they know that there needs to be vast change at all levels. They feel that CFHS has a part to play in making those changes. We can’t do it alone; we need to all do it together. To have a voice that connects and promotes our needs at a federal level to government and industry is a valuable thing. A voice that is representative of our SPCAs, humane societies, shelters – and therefore our donors. It allows for better traction on these issues if we’re supporting the people who are going to make it happen.
RDDSPCA: It is absolutely worth the investment. One of the biggest challenges we face in this industry is funding, but investment in membership is a small price to pay in exchange for the benefits. We have the opportunity to give direct input about the advocacy focus that CFHS takes in a given year. So CFHS allows us to expand our horizons and influence. We’re connected across the country, and we feel like we’re part of the bigger picture. If we don’t connect in to that network, we’re never going to move ahead. Being part of CFHS increases your resource opportunities to help more animals. CFHS has some of the strongest leadership available, and there’s no reason that you wouldn’t want to be a part of it.
CFHS gives me an opportunity to contribute at a national level, to be part of the national discussion. We have a long way to go in terms in legislative framework on the treatment and handling of animals. I wanted to support an organization that would be working towards systemic change.