These national standards for Canadian animal shelters provide guidance on recommended practices for all aspects of care to ensure that the needs of animals in shelter settings will be met and that the animals will be treated humanely.
In 2013, Humane Canada™ brought together animal shelter thought leaders and stakeholders from across the country to establish Canadian shelter standards. The group accepted the principles of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians' (ASV) Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters as a foundational document and contextualized the document for use in Canada.
The following documents are available for download:
Canadian Standards of Care in Animal Shelters - English
Canadian Standards of Care in Animal Shelters - French
Canada’s Humane Societies and SPCAs
This ground-breaking report, available for download in both French and English by clicking the images above, provides the first comprehensive analysis of Canada’s sector of humane societies and SPCAs. Using data from a cross-Canada survey and the Canada Revenue Agency’s Registered Charity Information Returns, Humane Canada™ looks at the humane sector’s contributions to Canadian society, the volunteer and financial support it receives and some of the challenges it faces.
This report was prepared by Humane Canada™, also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. As the national voice for animal welfare, Humane Canada™ represents humane societies and SPCAs across Canada, driving positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals.
Humane Societies and SPCAs in Canada: A comprehensive look at the sector was funded by Humane Canada™, as well as a major donor who wishes to remain anonymous and five of our member societies from across Canada. We thank Animal Welfare Agency South Central Ontario (AWASCO), BC SPCA, Montreal SPCA, Ottawa Humane Society and Toronto Humane Society in helping to make this report possible.
- Humane Canada™ estimates that more than 103,000 investigations were carried out by Canada’s humane societies and SPCAs in 2014.
- Overall, 21% of the revenue in our sector came from government funding – the majority coming from municipal sources.
- Less than 50% of the costs of enforcing provincial or federal animal cruelty legislation are covered by government funding despite our mandate to enforce the law.
- 45% of the total sector revenue of $187.8 million comes directly from donations, with 85% of donation revenue coming from individual donors. The result is that the responsibility of protecting animals in Canadian society is falling mainly to individual donors and the charities they support.
- 93% of Canada’s humane societies and SPCAs operate animal shelters. In 2014, these organizations spent an estimated $118.4 million sheltering more than 278,000 animals.
- 67% of responding Humane Societies and SPCAs deliver humane education programs in their communities.
- Public financial support of Canada’s humane societies and SPCAs is on par with public support of arts and culture initiatives or development/housing organizations.
- Canada’s 125 humane societies and SPCAs employ close to 2,000 staff, supported by an estimated 26,000 volunteers.
Canada’s Cat Overpopulation Crisis
The biggest problem that threatens cats in Canada is homelessness.
Cats are a domesticated species that need human care to survive and stay healthy - especially during cold Canadian winters. But every year, the population of homeless cats grows, and more and more cats flow into already crowded animal shelters. It is estimated that less than half of cats admitted to shelters are adopted. The majority are euthanized. Many never make it to a shelter and, instead, die painful deaths outside.
The homeless cat crisis affects nearly every community in Canada, urban and rural. Want to learn more?
Click the image below to download the 2017 Cats in Canada Report
Click the images below to read the original 2012 Cats in Canada Report
What is Humane Canada™ doing about cat overpopulation?
Shelters in your neighborhood are overwhelmed with the number of cats in crisis – just like every other SPCA and humane society across the country. And they need the help of Humane Canada™ today, more than ever.
While our members deal with these issues in their local communities, they need Humane Canada™ to work at the national level, developing new and innovative programs to help them get more cats off the streets and into loving homes. But, we can’t do it alone. We need YOUR HELP.
More than one way to SAVE a cat
The good news is that every Canadian can take action to save cat lives. To re-phrase an old anti-feline saying, there is more than one way to save a cat.
Here are six ways you can help right now:
- ADOPT. Adopt a cat from an animal shelter or animal rescue group. Remember: kittens are cute, but adult cats are the ones whose lives are most at risk.
- FOSTER. Give a temporary home to a cat in need by volunteering to foster cats or kittens for your local humane society, SPCA or cat rescue group. By fostering, you save two lives: the cat you foster (who might not have survived in the stressful shelter environment), and the cat who benefits from an extra space freed up in the shelter.
- SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR CAT. Help cut off cat overpopulation at the source. If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, ask yourself: can you guarantee that each and every kitten your cat might produce in his or her lifetime will end up in a secure, permanent home?
- I.D. YOUR CAT. Even indoor cats can escape and end up lost. By giving your cat permanent identification, like a microchip and a tag with your address and contact information on it, you dramatically decrease the risk that she could become lost and never found.
- DONATE.The problem we face is complicated. By taking action TODAY and supporting Humane Canada's homeless cat crisis response, you are helping us put solutions into the hands of shelters across the country.
- ADVOCATE FOR CATS by writing letters to your local government representatives. Ask them to pass by-laws that encourage or require residents to register, I.D. and spay or neuter their cats. Local governments can also prohibit residents from letting cats roam outdoors, which keeps cats (and birds) much safer.
To download a PDF copy of the above list, click here.
Capacity for Care Case Studies
Capacity for Care (C4C) is an operations and management model that helps shelters better meet the needs of the animals in their facility. It creates the conditions necessary to provide shelter animals with the Five Freedoms, thereby improving the welfare of individual animals. Read about our three-year pilot project (2014-2017), in which we implemented C4C in six animal shelters across Canada, by downloading our final report for the program.
Accessible Spay/Neuter Toolkit
The Humane Canada™ report, The Case for Accessible Spay/Neuter in Canada, lays out the evidence for the benefits and savings of implementing spay/neuter programs and provides examples of successful initiatives that can be modeled in other communities. The report also makes recommendations for animal welfare organizations, the veterinary community, and governments to advance accessible spay/neuter. The extensive toolkit that accompanies the report includes educational webinars, additional case studies, implementation tools, funding guidance, advocacy advice and examples of promotional videos on spay/neuter initiatives.