Press Releases

We are proud to announce the new Safepet Program

January 14, 2019

Toronto Humane Society Logo TM



January 14, 2019— TORONTO, ON

The Toronto Humane Society recently received a $35,000 grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada, one of the nation’s leading funders of animal welfare. With this grant, the Toronto Humane Society can now join others in helping victims of domestic abuse and their pets find safety sooner.

When women are at risk of or experiencing domestic abuse, having a pet can add an extra layer of complexity and concern to the situation. Many women are reluctant to leave their home and seek help at a women’s shelter if it means leaving their pet behind with the abuser.

In-fact, a recent study by Dr. Amy Fitzgerald at the University of Windsor found that:

  1. 89% of abused women say their partner also abused a pet.
  2. 56% of women delayed leaving an abusive relationship due to fear for a pet’s safety.
  3. 47% say they would have left a relationship earlier if they could have taken a pet with them.
  4. 33% say they considered returning to an abuser because their partner had the pet.
  5. And yet, the vast majority of women’s shelters in Canada do not have the capacity or are not equipped to care for the pets of their clients.

(2017 University of Windsor study)

This new grant will help to bridge that gap. The Toronto Humane Society will be working closely with Link Coalition Toronto, a Toronto-based non-profit, in coordination with their existing SafePet program. This program provides foster care for the pets of survivors of domestic violence. SafePet animals remain with their foster family until they can be safely reunited with its pet parent or family.

“With the additional veterinary care provided by the Toronto Humane Society, we were able to expand our SafePet program in Toronto. At Link T.O. we are passionate about ending abuse in all of its forms, and our SafePet program assists by removing a significant barrier to women leaving situations of abuse. We know that in order to help families, we must help pets. T.H.S.’s assistance will go a long way in improving the lives of our SafePet clients- both human and animal.” Dr. Hayley Glaholt, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Link Coalition Toronto.

“We’re proud to support the Toronto Humane Society’s collaborative SAFE PET foster care program to help women and children with pets to escape situations of violence without having to leave their beloved companion animals behind,” says Dani LaGiglia, regional relationship manager at PetSmart Charities of Canada. Pet retention is just one of PetSmart Charities of Canada’s seven grant categories. Funding from PetSmart Charities of Canada supports animal welfare organizations and non-profits committed to reducing pet homelessness and enhancing the human-animal bond. For more information, visit” alt=“Pet Smart Charities Main Website”>

About Toronto Humane Society

The Toronto Humane Society is a animal welfare organization whose mission is to promote the humane care and protection of all animals and to prevent all forms cruelty and suffering. One of Toronto’s oldest charities, they operate as an animal shelter and high volume clinic with spay/neuter and vaccination services. In recent years, they have sought to expand beyond shelter activities to include a pet food bank, dog training programs, educational outreach and animal rescue operations at both the local and international level. For more information, visit

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About Link Coalition Toronto:

Link Coalition Toronto is a registered non-profit whose goal is to end the abuse of humans and animals in Ontario by educating community health workers, law enforcement officials, animal care professionals, and the public about the interconnectedness of all types of violence, and by establishing programs that provide direct assistance to those who experience abuse. For more information, visit

Follow Link Toronto on Instagram: @linktoronto

Follow Link Toronto on Facebook: @linkcoalitionto

Follow Link Toronto on Twitter: @LinkCoalitionTO

About PetSmart Charities® of Canada:

PetSmart® Charities of Canada is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across Canada, PetSmart Charities of Canada helps to find forever homes and families for more than 25,000 shelter pets each year. PetSmart Charities of Canada also provides grant funding to registered Canadian charities aligned with its mission under four key areas of support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets and Providing Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, more than 500,000 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 of Canada efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as a leading funder of animal welfare in Canada, granting more than $14 million since its inception in 1999. PetSmart Charities of Canada is a registered Canadian charity, a member of Imagine Canada and is independent from the PetSmart business in Canada. To learn more visit

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