Please note: Humane Canada™’s position statements are in the process of being reviewed internally. The revised statements will be added to this page as they are completed.
As Canada’s federation of SPCAs and humane societies, Humane Canada™ drives positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. We are the convener and representative of the largest animal welfare community in Canada, advancing the welfare of animals with a strong national voice by promoting animal welfare interests and concerns to government, policy makers, industry and the public.
- Humane Canada™ believes that each animal possesses intrinsic value, remarkable complexity and inherent dignity and, as such, is deserving of respect and moral concern.
- Humane Canada™ advocates universal humane treatment, care and protection of all animals.
- Humane Canada™ insists that all animals used by humans be provided with high levels of care to ensure their health, comfort and behavioural needs.
- Humane Canada™ advocates habitat protection and enhancement for the well-being of animals in the wild.
HUMANENESS TOWARDS ANIMALS
Humaneness means treatment of an animal in a manner that ensures its welfare and well-being in circumstances where a human is or should be exercising care, custody, control or use of an animal. A person responsible for an animal must provide living conditions, necessities of life and care suitable to the circumstances and in accordance with the normal psychological and physical needs of the animal.
Humane treatment of an animal precludes cruelty and involves every possible effort to avoid or reduce pain, suffering or injury.
A humane death occurs when an animal is killed in a manner whereby it dies instantly without panic or pain or whereby it is rendered instantly unconscious with inevitable subsidence into death without regaining consciousness.
Humaneness involves sensitivity toward all life in compliance with ethical, moral and legal principles. Human members of the animal kingdom have the responsibility to be humane in the ways they act or fail to act with respect to other animals. Humans who have care, custody, control or use of animals must be diligent in exercising this responsibility.
Humane Canada™ has established detailed position statements on the following animal welfare issues:
- Animals as Prizes and Gifts
- Community Cats (Free-roaming abandoned and feral cats)
- Companion Animal Overpopulation
- Dangerous Dogs
- Medically Unnecessary Procedures
- Pet Identification
- Selective Breeding of Companion Animals
- Sources for Acquiring a Pet
- Wild or Exotic Animals as Pets
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.
2018 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
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.
For most pet owners, a house fire is our worst nightmare – watching first responders do their best to save our precious but helpless companions as smoke billows out the windows.
Big or small, house fires occur every 83 seconds in North America, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Of those house fires, approximately 500,000 affect pets, killing nearly 40,000 animals per year.
This begs the question, are you doing everything you can to prepare for an emergency? Today, on Pet Fire Safety Day, we want to share some tips on how to give your pets the best chance of safely escaping a house fire.
Practice makes perfect
One of the best ways to ensure the safety of every being in your home is to create an exit plan BEFORE an emergency takes place. Routinely practice your escape route with your pets, starting from their most common resting place in the house. The more comfortable your animals are with the plan, the easier it will be to leave together if and when you need to.
Take advantage of free or affordable resources
Some humane societies and SPCAs in Canada offer window decals or wallet cards for free. Fill out the decal or wallet card, leaving the decal in the front window of your home and the wallet card on your person. Update these as needed. They help emergency personnel to identify the number, type and location of pets in your home.
Help emergency personnel help you
When leaving pets alone at home, ensure that they are housed near an exit, whether it be a window or door. The closer pets are to an exit, the easier they are to evacuate. In addition, ensure that your pet is collared and that leashes or leads are located nearby your pets to help emergency personnel safely rescue pets from your home.
Have a plan for what happens next
Most people think of an emergency plan as something that exists to simply carry you through a moment of crisis or evacuation, but you may not be able to return for weeks or months if your home has suffered significant damage.
To ensure you’re not left in a lurch, compile a list of hotels or other accommodations in your area that are pet-friendly, or enlist the help of a trusted person (like a close friend or family member) outside your region who could help you and your pet should there be no suitable, pet-friendly accommodations in your area – or should you need special housing for larger animals.
Be at the ready
Keep a pet emergency kit in an easily accessible place. Include your veterinarian’s contact information, a copy of your pet’s medical and vaccination records, any medication your pet might need, extra collars, harnesses and leashes, as well as pet first aid supplies. Check to see if you can purchase a pet first aid kit from your local humane society or SPCA to ensure you have all the supplies you will need.
Remember! A well-prepared and well-executed emergency plan could save you and your pets’ lives during a house fire and keep the whole family safe and comfortable after an evacuation.
What's the difference between a humane society/SPCA, rescue, municipal pound and satellite adoption centre?
Humane Canada™, also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, is looking to partner with dynamic and innovative organizations that share our values and commitment to animal welfare and wish to promote a thriving animal welfare sector in Canada. Our partners include private businesses, industry groups and municipalities.
Does your organization:
- Support a strong animal welfare sector and recognize the role of humane societies and SPCAs in building a humane Canada?
- Offer expertise in areas that help strengthen the humane movement?
- Provide socially-responsible products and services to animal welfare agencies and the public?
- Seek an easy way to communicate with animal welfare agencies in every corner of the country?
If this sounds like your organization, then we would like to hear from you. Let’s discuss partnership opportunities and how can work together! You can contact Derek deLouche, Director of Resource Development and Member Services at Humane Canada™ at 1-888-678-2347 or email@example.com.
Animal welfare organizations and veterinarians widely agree that a key solution to the crisis of overpopulation and homelessness of companion animals is accessible, affordable spay/neuter surgery. Furthermore, accessible spay/neuter initiatives have positive outcomes for public health and safety, which translates to reduced public spending.
Read the Humane Canada position statement on spay/neuter here.
Humane Canada's report, The Case for Accessible Spay/Neuter in Canada, lays out the evidence for these benefits and savings, and provides examples of successful initiatives that can be modeled in other communities. The report also makes recommendations for how animal welfare organizations, the veterinary community and governments to advance accessible spay/neuter.
Click on a heading to download each document:
"The invaluable information gathered in this report provides the foundation for all stakeholders to move forward working together to reduce the number of homeless and stray pets and, ultimately, end the need for euthanasia as a means of population control. By working in partnership, veterinarians, municipalities and animal welfare groups can spearhead efforts through accessible spay/neuter programs to create communities that are safe for everyone – both animals and people.” -Lisa Koch, Executive Director, Regina Humane Society
Take action to advocate for accessible spay/neuter in your community
This section provides tools for you to advocate for accessible spay/neuter initiatives in your community by raising awareness of this critical animal welfare issue with local media and politicians. Key messages for meetings and interviews are provided, along with templates for letters and presentations to decision-makers.
Click on a heading to download each document:
This section provides tools to help you implement accessible spay/neuter initiatives in your community.
"We experience the reality of pet overpopulation every day at our shelter. We firmly believe the key solution that will end the cycle of shelter overcrowding and unnecessary euthanasia will be providing greater opportunities for more pet owners to spay and neuter their pets. We intend to use this report to help ensure that becomes a reality in our province in the very near future.” - Kelly Mullaly, Former Executive Director, PEI Humane Society
Below are some inspiring public service announcements and documentary videos about spay/neuter.
Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force
Cote Saint-Luc Cats Committee
Community Collaborations for the Advancement of Accessible Spay/Neuter
Presented by Kathy Innocente, Animal Care Manager, and LeeAnn Sealey, Clinic Director
This session will focus on the challenges and successes that shelters may face in collaborating with community veterinarians and rescue organizations. The webinar will share perspectives from both an animal welfare organization and veterinary point of view. Learn what worked and what didn’t, and what they are still learning today.
The Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force: A Community-Based Solution for Managing Companion Animal Populations
Presented by: Nancy Larsen, President and Co-founder and R.J. Bailot, Executive Director and Co-founder of the Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force
The Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force (ASNTF) is a dedicated and compassionate team of volunteer veterinarians, animal health technologists and general volunteers that provide pro-active, community based pet wellness clinics for areas that are experiencing pet overpopulation issues, including First Nation communities. ASNTF’s primary goal is to improve the health and well-being of the dogs and cats in the community and to reduce human health issues that have resulted from this pet overpopulation. The Task Force has the ability to set up a MASH-type surgical unit in a school gym, community centre or other venue within the community to spay and neuter up to 420 animals over one weekend.
Saving Lives Through Prevention: Getting Serious about Cat Spay/Neuter
Presented by: Amy Morris, Manager, Public Policy and Outreach, BC SPCA
This session for sheltering organizations focuses on making an effective transition to a prevention model, specifically around spaying and neutering. It reviews the importance of partnership, technology and data, and effective messaging to create long-term societal change. The webinar uses concrete examples to help you take your spay/neuter program from feeling like a drop in a bucket towards an empty shelter!
Funding for this project was generously provided by PetSmart Charities of Canada.
Special thanks to Lisa Koch of Regina Humane Society for her extraordinary contribution to this project.
We would also like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions:
AASAO; Airport Animal Hospital, Regina SK; Alberta Animal Services; Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force; ASPCA; BC SPCA; Dr. Johanna Booth, Toronto Animal Services / Toronto Street Cats; Calgary Humane Society; Kelly Campbell, PetSmart Charities; Lorne Chow, City of Regina; City of Ottawa Spay/Neuter Clinic; City of Regina; Canadian Veterinary Medical Association; Edmonton Humane Society; Sandra Flemming, Nova Scotia SPCA; Fredericton SPCA; Guelph Humane Society; Humane Alliance; Kelly Mullaly; Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society; Meow Foundation; Montreal SPCA; Newfoundland Department of Natural Resources; Ontario SPCA; Stephanie Rigby, Prince Edward Island Humane Society; Saskatoon SPCA; SpayAid PEI; Spay Day HRM; University of Guelph Library; Winnipeg Humane Society.
Finally, thank you to our celebrity spokescats Tiny (Fredericton SPCA) and Earl Grey (Spay Day HRM).
Project documents were translated by Pierre René de Cotret.
Design work for this project was provided by: Lola Design and Phil Communications.
Support Humane Canada today so we can create more critical resources like this toolkit!
Humane Canada's work to help improve the lives of animals across Canada would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors and partners.
We are pleased to recognize the following foundations and organizations for their support.
Sponsors and Partners
In the development and implementation of this website, Humane Canada™ has used key accessibility practices. The colours were selected to be friendly to users who are colourblind or have visual impairments, hard-coded page template elements use heading styling tags to organize content in a logical manner, and all forms are given proper label tags.
We have done our utmost to make the content on our website as accessible as possible. If you have any suggestions for improvement to the accessibility of this site, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email us through the Contact Us page.