August 19, 2005 15:18 ET

Add A New Family Member on National Homeless Animals' Day Asks HSC

A Dog or a Cat is the Best Friend in the World Anyone Could Have Attention: Assignment Editor, News Editor VANCOUVER, BC--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 19, 2005) - If you have the time, love, energy and money, why not add a fur face to your family. "A dog or a cat is the best friend in the world anyone could have," says Al Hickey, Western Regional Director for The Humane Society of Canada. "Tomorrow is National Homeless Animals' Day and by helping save just one more life, people can take action to give a permanent loving home to an animal in need"

"While dogs and cats give us unconditional love, companionship, protection and a host of other benefits, we have failed them in many ways," says HSC Executive Director whose family has a houseful of rescued dogs and cats. "Each year, an estimated 400,000 dogs and cats are killed across Canada because there are not enough permanent loving homes. In every community, pets are hit by cars each day, and there are tens of thousands of feral cats who live short, harsh lives. Animals deserve better than this."

The animal charity says that pet overpopulation is the greatest single preventable animal tragedy in Canada.

Ten Ways to Help Homeless Animals

1. See your veterinarian about having your pet spayed or neutered. Every dog or cat that is spayed or neutered is your personal contribution to combating the pet overpopulation crisis and there are health and behavioural benefits associated with spaying and neutering like a lowered risk of disease and injury. You can also purchase gift certificates for veterinary care, pet treats and a pet first aid kit by visiting our Online Adventure Store and all the money raised is used to support our work to help animals.
2. If you want to adopt a new four footed member for your family, instead of visiting a pet shop or a breeder, start your search at your local humane society, SPCA, animal shelter or rescue group where there are thousands of animals looking for a permanent loving home. Puppy and kitten mills thrive because not enough people adopt animals in need with only about 20% of people adopting pets from humane societies, SPCAs, animal shelters and rescue groups which have both mixed breed and purebred pets up for adoption. The Humane Society of Canada has an adoption section that you can visit online at their website.
3. The Pet Recovery Team reunites lost pets with their families through a special network which includes giving each one of your pets an id tag bearing your pet's name and your contact telephone numbers. On the other side of the tag, is a unique serial number keyed to each one of your pets' information, complete with The Humane Society of Canada's toll free number, which works from anywhere in the world.
4. Support The Humane Society of Canada's Silver Paws Program which provides routine and emergency veterinary assistance to the pet companions who live with elderly people.
5. Report cases of abandoned, abused or injured pets to the appropriate authorities or call The Humane Society of Canada at our toll-free number 1-800-641-KIND (5463).
6. Donate to organizations that help homeless animals either through adoptions or education.
7. Volunteer your time grooming, exercising and socializing pets in pounds and shelters waiting to be adopted.
8. Donate towels, pet food, blankets, pet toys and other items to animal shelters and pounds.
9. Volunteer your time to help animal shelters and humane societies with their fund raising projects. Most shelters and humane societies rely to a large degree on fund raising ventures to accomplish their important goals.
10. Contact your municipality about creating and enforcing more effective bylaws which include significant economic incentives for pets who are spayed/neutered, those who have effective ID and dogs who have passed recognized obedience courses. Incentives should also be given to those who adopt from humane societies, SPCAs, animal shelters and rescue groups.

CONTACT: Al Hickey or Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has 6 grandchildren.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 95 countries during the last 35 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. They carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, fund scientific research, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The Humane Society of Canada depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our campaigns to help homeless animals please make a donation.

/For further information: IN: MEDIA

Contact Information

  • Michael O'Sullivan, Executive Director, Humane Society of Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-368-0405
    Secondary Phone: 416-876-9685
    Toll-Free: 800-641-5463