Accessibility and Access Keys [4]

Skip to Content [2]

Companion animal issues

At the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, we deal with a variety of animal welfare issues. Naturally, issues facing companion animals, or animals that people keep as pets, often get the most attention because nearly everyone has had a pet of some kind at one point or another in their life.

As you will see in our Animals and the Law section animal protection acts differ from province to province, and the protection that animals receive varies accordingly. While most provinces have updated their animal protection acts, weak federal laws means violence against animals frequently goes unpunished or the punishments and fines are so light they do not act as a deterrent to animal cruelty. For more information on municipal, provincial or federal laws please see our Animals and the Law section.

In this section we highlight some of the issues facing companion animals in Canada.

Puppy mills

Related How can YOU shut down puppy mills? Visit Finding Fido: Unfortunately, for many aspiring dog owners, the first place to go searching for a new dog is the pet store. These playfully innocent puppies are irresistible and few would ever imagine that they may come from a far-from-innocent place. Many pet store puppies are born to suffering, malnourished dogs in puppy mills. ...

Dog fighting

Pitting dogs against each other for sport was common in many societies in the 1800’s. After England introduced a ban on bull-baiting×using dogs to bait bears, bulls and other animals earning them the name pit bulls, these dogs were instead trained to fight each other. Although dog fighting is a reprehensible act, it continues to be practiced in many parts of the world including ...

Dangerous dogs and breed bans

The National Companion Animal Coalition (NCAC), of which the CFHS is a founding member, defines a dangerous dog as: A dog that has killed a person or domestic animal, regardless of the circumstances A dog that has bitten or injured a person or domestic animal. Exceptions may be made if the dog was teased, abused, assaulted or if the dog was reacting to a person trespassing on the property ...

Cat overpopulation

Shelters across Canada have been facing a serious cat overpopulation problem for the last few decades. Far more cats are admitted into shelters than dogs. Some are found roaming as strays, and some are pets surrendered by their owners who can no longer care for them. Cats usually take much longer to adopt out than dogs, and some are never adopted. Many healthy, adoptable cats are euthanized ...

Malicious poisoning

In recent years, cases of dog poisonings have received a lot of media attention in Canada. Malicious poisoning, or poisoning an animal on purpose, is usually done by lacing an object that an animal would usually want to eat or play with a toxic substance. In some cases, animals have been poisoned by a neighbour or an individual who lives near an area that dogs frequent such as a park, because ...

Women and Pets Escaping Violence

Family violence involves the abuse of predominately women, children and animals. People who abuse animals are often responsible for family violence. Abusers exercise power and control through the physical, psychological and emotional torture of victims who abusers know to be defenceless.  The same power and control-based abuse is found across the spectrum in instances of child, elder, ...

Ear cropping and tail docking

Related For more information on ear cropping and tail docking, check out this University of PEI brochure on tail docking We also have available some posters produced by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association to raise awareness about ear cropping and tail docking of dogs. If you’d like copies of the poster (in English or French), please contact us at info@cfhs.ca. For ...

Animal hoarding

Animal hoarding is a serious mental health issue that involves an individual or individuals acquiring more animals than they can care for. According to The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium at Tufts University, animal hoarding can be defined by the following characteristics: More than the typical number of companion animals Inability to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, ...

Animal abandonment

Abandoning an animal is never acceptable under any circumstances, yet many people do just that by dumping their animals that they no longer want, or perhaps can no longer afford. With the recent economic troubles, many people are choosing to leave their animals to fend for themselves rather than do the responsible thing and find them a new home or surrender them to a local humane society or ...

Print this page
Subscribe to our newsletter