2019 will be the year that you make a real difference for Canada's animals. How? It's simple! Make a gift of just $5 each month and help provide the steady funding that fuels Humane Canada™'s ongoing action for animals. Will you give to help Canada's animals?
This is your opportunity to BE THE MOVEMENT FOR #HUMANECANADA. Join Canadians just like you who believe in positive, progressive change for animals. A humane nation is within our grasp, but it will take all of us standing together as one big community to make it happen.
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In order to improve the welfare of companion animals, the animal welfare community and the public at large need to know the number of animals in shelters and what the outcome is for these animals after they are admitted.
Humane Canada™, formerly known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, gathers data on the number of animals entering humane society and SPCA shelters as well as the numbers adopted, returned to their owners or euthanized. This information provides a national picture of the important role shelters play in their communities.
Humane Canada's™ Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics represent the best available information about companion animals in Canadian shelters. Reports from 2017 and earlier are available for download below, along with a year-by-year comparison document that shows sheltering trends over time.
Click on the images below to download our reports.
2017 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
Note that the 2016 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics were published in our most recent Cats in Canada report, which you can find here. The report includes statistics on both cats and dogs.
2015 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
2014 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
2013 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
2012 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
Download this yearly comparison document to see upward and downward trends in Canadian sheltering outcomes for cats and dogs over the years.
Halloween is a fun time of year for humans, but it isn't always the case for pets. A parade of strangers in even stranger outfits ringing the doorbell can cause anxiety, and there are a number of threats to them – human and otherwise – on Halloween night.
Follow these safety tips below for a safer and happier Halloween for your pets.
Keep your pets away from chocolate. Between visitors, store these treats where your pets can't reach them. Even in minuscule doses, ingesting chocolate can be fatal to cats and dogs. Make sure the kids in your life know not to share their treats with their furry friends!
Candies and candy wrappers are also unsafe for cats and dogs. An artificial sweetener called xylitol is a common ingredient in candy, and it's poisonous for most animals. Wrappers can also be a threat to pets, causing life-threatening bowel obstructions if ingested.
- Some people choose to give out boxes of raisins at Halloween as a healthier alternative to candy. This is a great idea for trick-or-treaters, but they are very poisonous for dogs and must be kept out of their reach. Same thing for grapes! Both are toxic for canines.
Want to offer pet-friendly treats for your furbabies on Halloween night? Consider wet food, extra-moist chewy cat treats, dog biscuits with peanut butter on top, unsalted and unbuttered popcorn, fruit or carrots. They'll love you for thinking of them, and it will help to distract them from human treats!
Keep a close eye on wires or cords for decorative lights – many dogs and cats like to chew on them and could suffer serious injuries as a result of the electrical current. Either tuck the cords behind furniture where they can't be reached, or watch your pets closely.
- Cats are drawn to anything interesting that they can chew, so glowsticks pose a threat to your feline friends. While eating glowsticks is not usually fatal for cats, it causes them great pain and irritation, as well as excessive drooling and foaming at the mouth. Put them away in a drawer or on a high shelf when not wearing them.
- In case your pets do make a break for it on Halloween night, ensure that they all have proper, up-to-date ID tags and/or a microchip in time for Halloween. If your beloved pet escapes and becomes lost, these forms of ID are the best way for people to know how to reunite you.
All the noise and activity of Halloween can trigger anxiety responses in pets – it's best to keep your furry companions in a quiet, closed room or covered crate during trick-or-treating hours so they don't get agitated or run out the open door. Consider a TV or some calming music to mask all the noise, and talk to the kids in your life about not scaring, harassing or otherwise abusing animals on Halloween.
- Pet costumes. Take note if your pets are resisting dress-up time – if so, respect their preference not to wear a costume. Show your furbabies how much you love them by avoiding these additional stresses on an already stressful night and try a thematic collar or bandanna instead. If you're absolutely certain that your animals don't mind getting dressed up for Halloween, make sure that there are no dangly items like bells or buttons on their costumes that they may potentially choke on. Same goes for children's costumes – animals like to attack dangly things. And remember that your pets may not recognize you in costume!
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
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Humane Canada statement on recent incident at Edmonton Humane Society
OTTAWA - June 7, 2018 - Humane Canada is saddened by the recent incident at the Edmonton Humane Society involving three cats being accidentally left in one of the organization’s transport vehicles. Edmonton Humane Society has acted swiftly to review and change their transfer policy and procedures in order to prevent this kind of gravely serious error from ever happening again.
This incident highlights a need for an independent review mechanism for organizations that both care for animals and also enforce the law, as more than 40 per cent of Humane Societies and SPCAs in Canada are responsible for enforcing both federal and provincial animal protection laws. Edmonton Humane Society not only supports this but is actively working to determine what the process would be to access such an external review free from conflict of interest.
Humane Canada does not support recent calls to download animal protection law enforcement responsibilities solely to public institutions.
"For 150 years now, SPCAs and Humane Societies have been responsible for enforcing the law in Canada. In fact, they make up a highly specialized unit in this country solely dedicated to the protection of animals. If animal cruelty enforcement were to be taken over by the policing sector or any other public institution, we would lose that singular focus on animals and their welfare. Animals deserve more than that," says Barbara Cartwright, CEO of Humane Canada.
Humane Canada supports oversight and transparency. In partnership with Humane Societies and SPCAs across Canada we are developing national standards and a certification program for humane societies and SPCAs. Edmonton Humane Society is a leader in this area and we look forward to our continued partnership to advance animal protection in Canada.
Humane Canada is available for comment on this issue.
For media interviews or additional information, contact:
Communications and Marketing Manager
(The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies)
I recently attended my first Humane Canada National Animal Welfare Conference in Calgary. To say it was an unforgettable, life-changing experience would be a major understatement.
Over two days, I listened to presenters from around the world share accounts of all the issues facing animals from the hoarding and neglect of cats to puppy mills. From farm animals stuck on freezing or sweltering transport trucks for days without food or water to marine mammals in captivity. From abused bears and elephants used for entertainment to beagles and monkeys who undergo painful laboratory experiments. I was exposed to eye opening, critical information about the realities of animal welfare here in Canada and abroad.
I also learned how much is being done to address these issues. Each presenter shared powerful stories of hope and liberation. The work that is being done to improve the lives of companion animals, livestock, wildlife and research animals is incredible – and so inspiring.
As an animal lover working in the cosmetics industry, animal testing in particular is an issue near and dear to my heart. At the conference, I primarily attended the presentations dealing with animals in scientific research, and I wanted to recount one of the most moving presentations I went to: Beyond Animal Testing: A Canadian Vision toward Replacement by Dr. Charu Chandrasekera.
BEYOND ANIMAL TESTING
Dr. Chandrasekera holds a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Calgary, and she pursued a career in biomedical research that was primarily focused on heart failure and diabetes. In her research, she used rats and mice and indicated she felt emotionally removed from her ‘subjects’. What she began to notice however – and what was echoed by all the other scientists and researchers at the conference – was that “95% of drugs tested to be safe and effective in animals, failed in human clinical trials.” She also commented that there are most likely thousands of drugs that never progress to human trials because “they had no efficacy or showed irrelevant side effects in animals.”
Moreover, many discoveries made in animal research do not often apply to human diseases. This struck a personal chord for Dr. Chandrasekera after her father suffered a heart attack. She was working in a heart failure animal research laboratory at the time, trying to understand specific biochemical pathways activated in the heart following heart attacks in mice – research that her professor had pursued for more than two decades. But when she questioned the applicability of that research to human heart disease, she realized that her mouse work did not inform what happens in humans, and researchers had not even bothered to test those effects in human heart tissue.
Physiologically, humans vary drastically from animals, and no amount of genetic or molecular modifications can accurately mimic disease biology or how a drug or chemical will react in a human being. This realization caused Dr. Chandrasekera to leave traditional animal-based research to begin exploring and promoting alternative methods, like ‘Disease-in-a-Dish’ and ‘Toxicity-on-a-Chip’, which can more accurately predict drug and chemical effectiveness and risks in humans.
It was also around this time that Dr. Chandrasekera adopted a cat named Mowgley, who made such an emotional impact on her that she could no longer justify using animals in her research and her life. She explained how looking into the eyes of this being with a unique personality allowed her to connect with her lab animals. She began to see “the innocence and purity in her cat’s eyes in all of their eyes”. The realization that animals are “individuals” and not objects inspired her to become vegan, and it changed the course of her career. She says that the drastic change in focus was “fuelled by the scientific failures of animal research.”
According to Dr. Chandrasekera, “Canada alone uses over 4 million animals for experimentation, over 60% of which are used for biomedical research and the rest for education and toxicity testing” – and this does not include all animals used for classroom dissection or testing within private industry. Humanity has progressed in so many ways over the last century, yet we still rely on outdated and ineffective animal testing methods. But Dr. Chandrasekera is determined to change that.
CANADIAN CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVES TO ANIMAL METHODS
Dr. Chandrasekera recently founded the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM) “from a back-of-the-napkin idea to reality” and launched it at the University of Windsor in October of 2017. From Brazil to China, many countries across the globe have already established centres for alternatives, but Canada was lagging behind. This is the first research centre of its kind in Canada. Eliminating all animal testing is still far off but, like the abolishment of slavery or granting women the right to vote, she understands that this is a goal worth working towards. Her centre’s vision is to “replace animals in Canadian biomedical research, education and chemical safety testing, hopefully by 2050” – an inspiring ambition, that I for one support wholeheartedly. And I hope you do, too.
THREE WAYS YOU CAN HELP
Reach out to Dr. Chandrasekera
If you’d like to be part of helping the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, please get in touch with Dr. Chandrasekera directly: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone: 519-253-3000, Ext 3086
Take action to end cosmetic animal testing in Canada
Support Humane Canada's work to pass Senate Bill S-214, The Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act. S-214 is now in its third and final stage in the Canadian Senate. Help to ensure it passes by telling Senators that it’s Canada’s turn to ban cosmetic testing, and the time to act is now: www.humanecanada.ca/end_testing
Become a Woman for Humane Canada
Do you want to elevate animal welfare in Canada and help to advance our work at the national level on issues like animal testing? Both myself and Dr. Chandrasekera are members of Women for Humane Canada because it allows us to be the change we want to see! Click here to find out more.
Spread the word, share the message.