“Humane Canada™ is the national voice for animal welfare in Canada, and we need that voice to effect change for the animals.”
Bruce Roney, Executive Director
Ottawa Humane Society
“Membership connects us to issues that affect animals on a national scale, while we work at the local level.”
Adrienne McBride, Executive Director
Guelph Humane Society
Together we’re promoting respect and humane treatment toward all animals
As Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies, Humane Canada™ advances the welfare of animals with a strong national voice, promoting the interests and concerns of animal welfare to government, policy makers, industry and the public.
Humane Canada™ regularly consults and collaborates with representatives from government, industry and the non-profit sector to address key animal welfare challenges in Canada. Here are a few examples of the issues we’re tackling by working together with other stakeholders:
- As a founding member of the National Companion Animal Coalition, Humane Canada™ has helped establish the Canadian standard for microchip identification of pets, ensuring that lost pets can be more easily reunited with their owners regardless of where in Canada they are found. Other projects we’ve worked on as part of the National Companion Animal Coalition include the development of model animal control bylaws for municipalities and public education on dog bite prevention.
- Humane Canada™ has an ex-officio role on the animal welfare committee of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). This is a very active committee that addresses a broad spectrum of animal welfare issues, including farm husbandry practices, pet care, animal abuse and the seal hunt.
- Humane Canada™ is a founding member of the National Farm Animal Care Council and the only animal welfare organization sitting on each and every code development committee. The official goal of the council is to implement a comprehensive and strategic approach to farm animal care in Canada, which includes reviewing and revising national codes of practice for the treatment of farm animals. Humane Canada™ negotiates the development and review of these codes with the goal of creating better living environments and more humane treatment for farm animals. We also give direct input on agriculture policy at the federal and provincial/territorial level.
- In 2015, Humane Canada™ launched the National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty (NCPAC). NCPAC designs and delivers training to the prosecution community that reflects current best practices in animal cruelty prosecution in order to improve consistency and outcomes across the country. We also maintain a bilingual Canada-wide database of animal cruelty case law. Click here to find out more.
- Humane Canada™ produces annual Canadian animal shelter statistics to track outcomes for companion animals in Canada’s humane societies and SPCAs. Click here to read our most recent report.
Read our reports and publications here.
Humane Canada™ promotes the enactment of federal, provincial and municipal legislation that protects animals from cruelty and provides a legal framework to ensure animals are treated humanely and with respect.
Canada is widely considered to be a progressive, civilized country with plenty of laws on the books to protect its citizens from various forms of violence, disorderly conduct and theft, but we have a dismal record when it comes to protecting animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect.
While countries all over the world have updated or enacted effective animal cruelty legislation, Canada has not made substantial changes to the federal animal cruelty laws that were first introduced in 1892.
Humane Canada™ has been calling on the government to amend the animal cruelty sections of the Criminal Code of Canada for more than 25 years. In 1999, the government launched a consultation process to gather input on what changes were needed to the animal cruelty provisions, which were originally enacted in…
Humane Canada™, also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, was formed in 1957 out of concern for the welfare of animals being slaughtered for food in Canada. At that time, there were no regulations addressing the humane slaughter of animals. Humane Canada™ took on the issue and was influential in the introduction of the federal Humane Slaughter of Food Animals Act in 1959.
We continue to play a crucial role in farm animal welfare in Canada. As a founding member of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), Humane Canada™ advocates for continual improvements to the standards for farm animal care that are included in Canada’s codes of practice.
Humane Canada™ also campaigns for improvements to various policies and regulations to improve the treatment of farm animals at the provincial and federal level.
Companion animals play a huge role in the lives of Canadians, and Humane Canada™ is dedicated to developing projects, programs and research focused on companion animal welfare.
Research and Reports
Humane Canada™, also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, conducts vital companion animal research, publishing reports on key issues affecting companion animals.
In 2017, Humane Canada™ reconvened the National Cat Overpopulation Task Force and completed a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder report on cat overpopulation, which acts as a five-year update on our ground-breaking 2012 analysis of cat welfare in Canada – the first report of its kind. Read the Cats in Canada 2017 report here. It is available in both English and French.
In 2016, Humane Canada™ released Humane Societies and SPCAs in Canada, the first-ever 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 to look at the sector’s contributions to Canadian society, the volunteer and financial support it receives and some of the challenges it faces. Read Humane Societies and SPCAs in Canada: A Comprehensive Look at the Sector here.
Humane Canada™ gathers annual statistics on Canadian shelter animals, which measures outcomes at Canada’s humane societies and SPCAs and provides a national picture of shelter animal welfare.This information provides a national picture of the important role shelters play in their communities. We publish this data on an annual basis in the form of the Animal Shelter Statistics Report. Read our latest report here.
In 2013, Humane Canada brought together animal shelter thought leaders and stakeholders from across the country to establish Canadian animal 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 Canadian document must always be read as a companion to the ASV Shelter Standards. Download both documents here.
Projects and Programs
Humane Canada™ partnered with the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program to bring Capacity for Care (C4C) to 6 pilot shelters between 2013 and 2016. C4C is an operations and management model that helps shelters better meet the needs of the animals in their facility, which significantly improves outcomes.
Programs like C4C are changing the way shelters do business and saving lives in the process. Recent statistics show that, depending on the shelter, we have seen a decrease in the number of sick cats by up to 87%, decreased cats’ length of stay at the shelter by 51% and decreased euthanasia due to illness by 63%!
Read about our three-year Capacity for Care pilot project (2014-2017), in which we implemented C4C in six animal shelters across Canada.
Committees and Councils
As Canada's trusted voice for animal welfare, Humane Canada™ advocates on behalf of animals to the public, industry, and government by sitting on multiple committees and councils.
Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association (CVMA) Animal Welfare Committee
Humane Canada™ is an Ex-Officio member of the CVMA Animal Welfare Committee, promoting key animal welfare issues within the animal industry to government and the public. We also advise the CVMA on animal welfare issues and aid in the development of pertinent position statements.
The National Companion Animal Coalition (NCAC)
Formed in 1996, the NCAC promotes socially-responsible pet ownership and enhance the health and well-being of companion animals. In 2004, Humane Canada™ was instrumental in the NCAC's harmonization of microchip systems for companion animals in Canada. Read more about harmonized microchip systems here.
Humane Canada™ is the national voice of humane societies and SPCAs, which serve animals in communities large and small, urban and rural, English and French, in every province and territory across Canada. We bring together those who work with and care for animals to promote respect and humane treatment toward all animals – in the home, on the farm, in the lab and in the wild.
Our work is focused in four areas:
Humane Canada™ regularly consults and collaborates with representatives from government, industry and the non-profit sector to address key animal welfare challenges in Canada. Read our reports and publications here.
Humane Canada™ promotes the enactment of federal, provincial and municipal legislation that protects animals from cruelty and provides a framework to ensure animals are treated humanely and with respect.
Humane Canada™ plays a crucial role in farm animal welfare in Canada. As a founding member of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), we advocate for continual improvements to the standards for farm animal care that are included in Canada’s Codes of Practice. Humane Canada™ also campaigns for improvements to various regulations that govern the treatment of farm animals.
Humane Canada™ advocates on behalf of companion animals and promotes key companion animal welfare issues to the animal industry, government, and public. We regularly conduct research on companion animal welfare issues like overpopulation and homelessness, promote programs that save the lives of sheltered companion animals like Capacity for Care, and sit on various committees that enhance the health and well-being of companion animals like The National Companion Animal Coalition and the Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association Animal Welfare Committee.
Posted by Barbara Cartwright · May 17, 2019 12:16 PM
Posted by Barbara Cartwright · May 15, 2019 7:27 AM
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.