SOURCE: PetSmart Charities of Canada

PetSmart Charities of Canada

July 27, 2017 12:17 ET

PetSmart Charities™ of Canada Survey Reveals Canadians Significantly Underestimate Pet Homelessness Problem Across Our Continent

This year, more than 6 million pets have entered shelters across North America

BURLINGTON, ON--(Marketwired - July 27, 2017) - Canadian pet parents significantly underestimate the current pet homelessness issue facing North America, according to a new survey commissioned by PetSmart Charities of Canada, one of the nation's leading funders of animal welfare, and conducted by Wakefield Research.

Eighty-seven percent of Canadians surveyed said they believe that less than one million pets enter shelters per year, when in fact the number is closer to 6.5 million pets annually.

Pet adoption is widely recognized as a viable solution to the pet homelessness issue, and an increasingly popular path when prospective pet parents decide to add a new four-legged member to their family. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed agreed that more pets would be rescued if people were provided with more information on how to adopt a pet.

"This survey demonstrates the continuing need to educate current and prospective pet parents about how easy it is to adopt a pet, and the difference it can make to this wide-spread issue across Canada," said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities of Canada. "Programs like PetSmart Charities of Canada's National Adoption Weekends are moving the needle by finding homes for as many as 1,600 pets in a single event."

Seventy-one percent of pet parents surveyed say they would look to an animal welfare agency as a key source of information about how to adopt a pet and another 41 percent of those surveyed said they would also turn to their local pet store. Nearly two of every 10 pet adoptions in North America are facilitated at a PetSmart store.

Since 1999, PetSmart Charities of Canada has partnered with more than 250 animal welfare agencies to operate free pet adoption spaces in PetSmart stores, while also offering pet food and supplies for pets while they await adoption. Nearly all 125 PetSmart stores in Canada feature in-store adoption centres or spaces, creating a convenient and friendly environment where pets are connected with new forever families. Since the program began, PetSmart and PetSmart Charities of Canada have helped more than 240,000 Canadian shelter pets find homes.

Survey Shows Pets' Positive Contribution to Human Health and Happiness

  • 90 percent of surveyed pet parents said their children frequently turn to their family pet when they are sad, upset or in need of comfort.
  • Among those employed, 66 percent of pet parents reported that giving up their pet would be worse than losing their jobs.
  • 93 percent of people surveyed said they had experienced at least one health benefit from pet parenthood, including improved mood, and decreased stress to increased physical activity, weight loss, and enhanced work-life balance.
  • The majority of people surveyed (94 percent) agreed with the statement that pets are essential for people to maintain good mental and physical health.

"The results of the PetSmart Charities of Canada-commissioned survey speak volumes about the human-animal bond and the tremendous value pets bring to our everyday lives," said Dr. Haworth. "Once they are adopted, not only do they provide unconditional love and support, but pets have also become irreplaceable members of our families and an essential part of our physical and emotional well-being."

PetSmart Charities of Canada has created a quick and easy Survey Companion Guide showcasing strong reasons to adopt and additional fun facts from the survey, like what percentage of Canadians would rather talk to their pet than a therapist during a difficult time. To learn more, click here to download the guide.

Survey Methodology
The PetSmart Charities of Canada-commissioned survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 pet parents in Canada. Respondents were randomly selected and completed the survey online between the dates of March 14 - 21, 2017.

About PetSmart Charities™ of Canada
PetSmart Charities of Canada is a registered Canadian charity with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. In addition to finding homes for more than 25,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores, PetSmart Charities of Canada provides funding to registered charities aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities of Canada using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 89 cents of every dollar donated and has become a leading funder of animal welfare in Canada, donating nearly $12 million to date. PetSmart Charities of Canada is a member of Imagine Canada, and a registered Canadian charity independent from PetSmart, Inc. To learn more, visit

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Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Golin for PetSmart Charities of Canada
    Miriam Fitting
    416-438-6225 ext. 3440