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
Through the generosity of people like you, our work has made a difference in the lives of Canada's animals. Your gift to Humane Canada™, also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, allows us to drive positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals.
Your one-time gift to Humane Canada™ provides immediate, much-needed funding to improve animal welfare in Canada!
Your manageable monthly gift ensures that Humane Canada™ has stable, consistent funding to build a Humane Canada™ year-round! Rest assured, you can adjust the amount of your monthly gift at any time by contacting us. At the end of the year, we will issue you a single tax receipt for the total amount of your contribution.
Women for Humane Canada
Women for Humane Canada™ is a circle of Canadian women who believe in the power of making change happen for animals.
By joining forces with like-minded women across Canada – women who are thought leaders in animal welfare and willing to invest in change – we are making much-needed improvements to animal cruelty laws, improving enforcement in Canada and elevating public thinking about the role of animals in society.
Learn more about Women for Humane Canada™.
Ensure your legacy includes the well-being of animals. Leaving a gift to Humane Canada™ in your will is a simple and thoughtful way to reflect your commitment to improving animal welfare in Canada.
Memorial & Tribute Donations
Make a donation in memory or in honour of someone special. Your tribute gift will help make a difference in for animals across the nation.Donate
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)
Considering a dog
There are many reasons for wanting a dog, and all of them will have a huge impact on your daily life. Dogs will entertain you, keep you company, enrich your life and likely even improve your mental and physical health, but it's important to remember that, in exchange for all of the richness a dog will add to your life, he or she is going to need your dedicated time and attention.
There are many things to consider before getting a dog, like whether or not you have the time, money, energy, space, desire, patience and lifestyle to make the commitment of being a full-time dog owner.
Learn more about considering a dog.
Choosing the right dog
Dogs come in many shapes, sizes and temperaments. It is important when choosing a dog that you consider the reasons why you want a dog, what activity level you're comfortable engaging in, how often you want to groom your dog, how experienced you are with dogs, how big you want your dog to be once the animal is fully grown, what kind of personality you want your dog to have and whether or not you will need to get a hypoallergenic dog.
Thinking about your needs and having a concrete idea of what kind of qualities you are looking for in a dog will help you decide whether to get a puppy or an adult dog, and which breed or breed mix might be best for you.
Learn more about choosing the right dog.
Finding your dog
You've done your research and decided on the kind of dog you want to get. Now where do you go to find your dog? To ensure that you avoid supporting puppy mills, you can either adopt a dog from a humane society, SPCA, reputable rescue or satellite adoption centre, or you can purchase directly from a responsible, ethical breeder.
Learn more about finding your dog.
Remember, dogs are for life. Think carefully, choose wisely and love deeply!
What to do if you have lost or found a dog:
IF YOU HAVE LOST A DOG
Losing your dog can be devastating. Here are some actions you can immediately take to help you bring your Fido home.
- Immediately check your property and your neighbours' properties – check any place your dog could reasonably hide in.
- Notify your local animal shelters, including animal control and nearby humane societies, rescue groups, dog parks, groomers, doggy day cares and pet stores.
- List your lost pet on www.helpinglostpets.com. Emails and twitter alerts will be sent to all network members in the area.
- Create a poster that you can place in high-traffic areas. Include a photo of your pet and describe his or her distinguishing characteristics. (Note: posters can be printed at www.helpinglostpets.com)
- Get friends and family involved right away. The more ground you cover in the first few hours, the better chance you have of finding your dog.
- Knock on doors.
- Follow your dog’s regular walking route. Try to think of where he or she might go to feel safe.
- Go to your local humane society or SPCA and look for your pet.
- Check websites that have lost/found pet pages. Also, check in the pets for sale section in case someone is trying to sell/find a new home for your pet.
- If you receive a call about a sighting of your dog, confirm the pet’s description and size before you send anyone to search that area.
- If you get a confirmed sighting, have someone go immediately. Dogs can travel a long way in just an hour.
IF YOU HAVE FOUND A DOG
- If a lost/stray dog approaches you, be cautious. Even if he or she seems to be a friendly dog, we would advise that you move slowly, and very gently take hold of the collar or leash.
- If the dog growls or becomes panicked/aggressive, stop what you are doing and stand back.
- If you are able to leash the dog, check for tags and call whatever phone numbers you find on the dog's tags.
- If there is no contact information, notify your local humane society or SPCA or animal control.
- If you are offering food to the dog, place a small amount on the ground.
- Do not look the dog directly in the eye – this may be interpreted as aggression.
- Take the dog to a veterinarian or animal shelter to be scanned for a microchip. This could tell you who the owners are and where they live.
- Microchip your pet, and update your information with the service provider EVERY TIME you change your phone number or address.
- License your pet with your municipality and keep the tag on your pet’s collar/harness at all times.
- Have another ID tag on the dog’s leash in case the collar breaks free or is lost.
- Check tags regularly for wear and tear.