There are many ways that you can help to prevent animal abuse and improve the lives of companion animals in Canada. You can start by supporting the mission of Humane Canada™ (also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies), as well as the work of our members, associates and other allied organizations.
Here are some suggestions:
Choose and promote the adoption option
Each year in Canada, more than 250,000 homeless cats and dogs are temporarily housed in animal shelters. These animals' lives depend on one thing: people choosing to share their homes with them. Unfortunately, many people choose instead to buy pets from breeders or pet stores instead. Sadly, many of the pets that are sold in Canada come from abusive puppy mills and irresponsible breeders. If you are looking for a new pet, please make adoption your option, and urge every animal lover you know to do the same.
Visit our Finding Fido page for resources on how to know you're ready for a dog, how to pick the right dog for you and how to avoid supporting Canada's cruel puppy mill industry.
Volunteer with Humane Canada™, your local SPCA, humane society, rescue or other animal welfare organization
In nearly every community across Canada, there are animal shelters or rescue groups that need volunteers to help them find homes for stray, abandoned or abused companion animals. From walking dogs or temporarily fostering cats in your home, to organizing a fundraiser or joining a shelter’s board of directors, there are many ways you can contribute your time and talents to the humane movement.
Find animal shelters, humane societies, SPCAs and rescue groups in your community at www.petfinder.com.
Sometimes donating your time to an organization is not possible. A monetary contribution to your local shelter will help them get the supplies and resources they need to help animals in your area. Even a very small donation can go towards directly improving the lives of shelter animals by buying food or paying for a vet check-up.
Support the work of Humane Canada™ in promoting responsible pet ownership and advocating for better laws to protect animals nationwide by clicking here.
Write a letter to your MP, MPP, MHA, MNA or MLA
The federal Criminal Code is extremely outdated and does not adequately protect animals from abuse. Canada needs comprehensive federal legislation to help improve and safeguard the lives of animals. To find contact info for your federal Member of Parliament, click here.
Most provinces have reasonably good animal protection acts now, although some still need to be updated and strengthened. So be sure to also write to your provincial or territorial government representative to urge them to introduce or support better legal protection for animals — especially in northern jurisdictions, where animal protection legislation is minimal and often goes unenforced.
Encourage your municipal government to adopt better animal control laws
Local governments can also improve the lives of animals by changing their animal control bylaws. Humane Canada™ has worked with the other members of the National Companion Animal Coalition to develop model municipal bylaws to regulate the keeping of animals.
One way that municipal regulations can be particularly useful is in addressing the cat overpopulation problem in many shelters. New cat licensing regulations, such as the bylaw introduced by the City of Calgary, have helped to curb the problem of too many cats in shelters by reducing the number of stray and lost cats in the city. As well, a differential licensing system, where owners of animals that are spayed or neutered pay a lower licensing fee, encourages owners to spay or neuter their cats, further helping to diminish the number of homeless cats.