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.
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.
Stay connected to Humane Canada™ news, campaigns and action alerts
Join the Humane Canada™ network!
As Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies, Humane Canada™ (also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies) advances the welfare of animals, with a strong national voice promoting animal welfare interests and concerns to government, policy makers, industry and the public.
Does your organization:
- Drive positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty?
- Improve animal protection?
- Promote the humane treatment of all animals?
If you answered YES to these questions, Humane Canada™ wants you to join our network.
You can join the Humane Canada™ network in one of two ways:
Our shared values
We believe that each animal possesses intrinsic value, remarkable complexity and inherent dignity and, as such, is deserving of respect and moral concern. We use the Five Freedoms to guide our animal welfare decisions.
We are a federation of organizations that recognizes we have more influence as a collective than as individuals to impact key national animal welfare issues. We work collaboratively and cooperatively with members and stakeholders based on the premise that we have greater impact creating positive change by being a part of the process.
POSITIVE, PROGRESSIVE CHANGE
We drive positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty and improve animal protection.
EVIDENCE-BASED THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
We are an evidenced-based organization that supports and promotes innovative and anticipatory thinking to address animal welfare issues and secure lasting change.
INTEGRATED, STRATEGIC, PROFESSIONAL APPROACH
We build integrated, strategic professional teams that utilize systems thinking to create an effective organization.
If you share our values, apply to join us today!
Humane Canada™, also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, is Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies. Our members 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 falls into the following categories:
Strengthening and supporting humane societies and SPCAs
Humane Canada™ helps humane societies and SPCAs across Canada better serve the animals in their communities by providing them with support, expertise, professional development and opportunities for nationwide collaboration on legislation, policy development and public education.
Through our annual National Animal Welfare Conference, innovative programs and original, Canadian research, we keep humane societies and SPCAs up-to-date on emerging animal welfare issues, training and funding opportunities and best practices in animal sheltering, humane education, legislation and advocacy. For our member organizations, we offer many additional supports, including one-on-one guidance, critical information about the sector and members-only webinars.
We also help humane societies and SPCAs carry out humane education programs by administering the McGrand Trust, a capital fund left to Humane Canada™ by Senator Frederic A. McGrand to support animal welfare work in Atlantic Canada. Humane Canada™ awards grants from this trust to organizations in the Maritimes for humane education projects.
For more information on how we help member organizations and how to apply for membership, click here.
For a list of our member organizations, click here.
Since being founded in 1957, Humane Canada™ has earned a solid reputation as the "go to" national voice on animal welfare issues for the media, government, non-governmental organizations and the public. We provide leadership on animal welfare issues and ensure crucial messages are heard and understood from coast to coast to coast.
In recent years, our key public education efforts have included:
Developing the first and only national report on Canada’s humane societies and SPCAs, which outlines the sector’s successes, achievements and challenges
Promoting the adoption of homeless pets from humane societies and SPCAs and creating more public awareness about these essential institutions
Raising awareness of puppy mills and backyard breeders, and of how to acquire pets responsibly from humane, reputable sources
Educating Canadians on principles of responsible pet ownership, such as spaying and neutering and providing permanent identification
Learn more about our work for companion animals.
Advocacy for improved animal protection laws and policies
In addition to educating Canadians about the shortcoming of current animal protection laws, we work proactively to shape the drafting and adoption of progressive changes to inadequate laws, regulations, corporate policies and industry practices.
Amendments to the Criminal Code: For almost 20 years, Humane Canada™ has spearheaded a campaign to push for much-needed amendments to Canada’s outdated animal cruelty laws. The current animal cruelty sections of the Criminal Code were written in 1892 and are full of loopholes that allow many animal abusers to fall through the cracks.
Learn more about our work with animals and the law.
Improving animal transport regulations: Humane Canada™ is actively promoting improvements to the federal regulations governing animal transportation. After a ten-year process, a draft update to the transportation regulations for Canada’s farm animals was released on December 7, 2016. The updated regulations still do not go far enough in addressing unacceptably long transport times, overcrowded trucks and other problems causing needless suffering for farm animals.
Learn more about our work for farm animals.
Research and collaboration to address other areas of concern
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 represented on the council. 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™ participates in the development and review of these codes with the goal of creating better living environments and more humane treatment for farmed 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 reflect 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 national animal shelter statistics to track outcomes for homeless companion animals in Canada’s humane societies and SPCAs. Click here to read our most recent report.
Humane Canada™, also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, is Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies. We bring together organizations that work with and care for animals to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals.
Since we were founded in 1957, we’ve earned our solid reputation and enviable credibility as the go-to national voice on animal welfare issues for industry, media, government, non-governmental organizations and the public. We work collaboratively and cooperatively with key stakeholders from across Canada, based on the premise that we can have a greater impact creating positive change by being a part of the process instead of being apart from it.
As Canada's voice for animal welfare, we drive positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals.
As the convener and representative of the largest animal welfare community in Canada, we advance the welfare of animals with a strong national voice, promoting animal welfare interests and concerns to government, policy makers, industry and the public.
Collaboration & Cooperation
Positive, Progressive Change
An Integrated, Strategic, Professional Approach
Humane Canada™ receives no government funding. We are completely dependent on voluntary contributions from the public and supportive organizations, such as corporate sponsors, to fund our public education programs, campaigns for effective legislation to protect animals and our crucial work to support, unite and represent humane societies and SPCAs.
Click here to learn more about what Humane Canada™ does and how it is improving the lives of animals across Canada.