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How to help

There are many ways that you can help prevent animal abuse and improve the lives of companion animals in Canada. Here are some suggestions:

Choose and promote the adoption option

Each year in Canada, over one quarter of a million homeless cats and dogs are temporarily housed in animal shelters. Their lives depend on one thing: people choosing to share their homes with a loving animal in need. Unfortunately, many people choose instead to buy pets from breeders or pet stores. 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.

Find healthy, loving animals of all ages and breeds awaiting adoption in your community at www.petfinder.com.

Volunteer with your local humane society, SPCA 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 cause.

Find animal shelters, humane societies, SPCAs and rescue groups in your community at www.petfinder.com.

Donate

Sometimes donating your time to an organization is not possible. However, 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.

To support the CFHS’s work promoting responsible pet ownership and advocating for better laws to protect animals nationwide, click here.

Write a letter to your MP, MPP, MHA, MNA or MLA

Take action!

Visit our Stop Animal Abuse campaign website to send a message to the Justice Minister today demanding changes to Canada’s inadequate animal cruelty law.

The federal Criminal Code is extremely outdated and does not adequately protect animals from abuse. Canada needs comprehensive legislation at every level to help improve and safeguard the lives of animals.

To find 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 write to your provincial or territorial government representative as well to urge 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. The CFHS has worked with the other members of the National Companion Animal Coalition to develop model municipal bylaws regulating the keeping of animals. Read them here, then see if your local bylaws measure up. If not, write to your city councillor or other local representative and ask for change!

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 cats that are lost 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.

Stay connected to CFHS news, campaigns and action alerts

Stay connected with us so we can keep you up to date on key animal welfare issues, news, and action alerts. Please:

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