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An update from the CEO

April 15, 2020 @ 12:46 pm

Hello Everyone,

It has been about 4 weeks now since we have found ourselves in this new world. This new world we live in has changed many things for Toronto Humane Society, but, today I want to assure you that we are still here to support the animals and pet guardians in our community. The update I have for you today, is long, but it provides thorough detail on everything we are still accomplishing as an organization within our community.

You may have heard earlier about our record start to the year! Starting with January, with the highest canine adoption numbers we have seen in a decade. This in turn allowed us to open our doors to more dogs from, not only Ontario, but across Canada and the US too. Or you may have heard about the new grant funding for support programs that we received from PetSmart Charities of Canada. Things have certainly changed quickly since then. We find ourselves in a new world. A new world where animals are still in need of our help, however, it is a world where we need to find new and innovative ways to support them.

Over the past weeks our staff have been hard at work re-designing our processes, developing new initiatives, educating, researching and doing everything we can to ensure we continue to Improve the Lives of Animals. Our Foster Parents have been instrumental in our continuance and we have successfully placed hundreds of animals into their loving care. I want to share with you a high level of the work that has been on-going, donations are still greatly needed and they are going to good use.

Toronto Humane Society has been active advocating the need for Veterinary Services and Animal Care to be considered an essential service in Ontario. I am happy to say that we have succeeded in this venture, working alongside numerous other organizations both of these items have been deemed essential by the Province of Ontario. This means we can continue to provide care to the animals who need us. Although, some of our services have changed, we are still providing emergency care to those who need it most in our community.

With the closure of dog parks and recommendations for physical distancing, there is a high potential for new behaviours to develop in our loving pets. These changes could be brought on from things like routine changes, guardians being home more and the inability to burn off energy the way they are used to. Our innovative and expert staff have come up with a way to help out pets and their guardians from the comfort of their own homes. Our trainers are available for training consults over the web and phone to assist pet guardians with finding new ways to ensure their pets, both dogs and cats receive all the best enrichment and mental stimulation they can. You can read more about this great initiative here.

In an effort to reduce staff and foster parent travel, we have launched a few new initiatives to reduce their risk as well. Shortly after we had to close to the public, we have been operating tele-health consult appointments between our foster parents and Veterinarians to ensure our animals receive all the care they need. Essential staff have also been available at our shelter clinic to ensure any care required is provided. Additionally, we have been working to establish and launch a supply shipment service so care supplies and medications can be shipped directly to our foster parent’s door. This initiative was so well received by one of our supporters Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, they contributed a substantial donation to the associative costs. Thanks to this immediate support, we are hoping to have this service up and running within the next week.

Our Pet Food Bank has been running in overdrive, with many skids of food being donated to us from some very generous corporate donors. These donations help to support our community initiatives, as many individuals are still coming daily for curbside pet food bank pick up and we have already made a number of shipments to local community food banks so they can also distribute pet food in their community.

You may have heard about one of our staff members Dr. Linda Jacobson – our Senior Veterinarian, Shelter Medicine Advancement. Dr. Jacobson is also President of the Ontario Shelter Medicine Association and she has been working exceptionally hard to ensure shelters across the province remain updated with the most current information and supporting them with protocols on how to provide the best care throughout this period. If you are interested in supporting this work please click here.

Although all of the above and more has been on-going our services are still needed on-site with direct care for many animals. In the last two weeks although closed to the public we have still been admitting emergent and urgent cases in
need of help; including a lovely kitty, who needed a leg amputation, a young pup with the parvovirus and a number of other cases in need of care.

As time moves forward and the situation develops we are anticipating an increase in the need for community support services and access to care. I am asking you today if you are able to please make a donation here to ensure these services continue. A One-Time or Monthly Gift is needed now more than ever. Please consider adding Toronto Humane Society to your list of supported agencies.

Stay safe and healthy.


Jacques Messier, DVM, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Toronto Humane Society


April 15, 2020
12:46 pm
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