Support Services are Needed Now More Than Ever

| March 10, 2023

Last year, many welfare organizations reported that pets were being surrendered because their pet parents had to return to work and could not leave them for long periods of time, or could no longer afford to care for them (CP24). Sadly, with no where left to turn, they had to make the heartbreaking decisions to surrender their beloved pets.    

To help struggling pet parents, Centennial College post-grad Public Relations students have launched the Positive Pet Parent campaign to raise awareness of the services provided by the Pet Parent Support Network (PPSN). Accessible to all pet parents seeking assistance, this program helps find resources, solutions, and tips, to help mitigate the number of pet surrenders and keep more pets where they belong – with their families.  

“I have been struggling for months with the high cost of living,” says Bianka*, a Toronto puppy pet parent. “I can’t afford training sessions and $1,200 to have my puppy spayed.” Running out of options, she turned to Toronto Humane Society’s Pet Parent Support Network, where she was offered a pet behavioural consultation and a subsidized spay surgery. 

“I am so grateful – I was able to keep my puppy thanks to the kind volunteers from the Pet Parent Support Network,” says a relieved Bianka.   

Led by Jennifer Murphy, Program Manager of Pet Parent Support Network, the entire program is supported by volunteers. Besides handling pet surrender applications, the program provides accessible veterinary care options, training and behavioural consultations, pet food, and resources for those in need.  

“I am a problem solver,” says PPSN volunteer Kara. “When I save an animal from being surrendered, it is the most rewarding feeling. I truly love my job because I can make a change in people’s lives when I help them find alternative ways to navigate the high cost of living and keep their beloved pets healthy and happy.”  

Pet parents can face a variety of life changes, but their beloved pets help and support them every day, no matter what happens. Last year, 17% of pet surrender requests were prevented by the Pet Parent Support Network – the importance of this program within our community is significant.  

If you’d like to support the Pet Parent Support Network and make a positive change in our community, you can donate here or visit the page to apply to be a volunteer. 

*Name has been changed for confidentiality.   

Learn More About the Positive Pet Parent Campaign 

The Positive Pet Parent campaign with the tagline “Support for a happier tomorrow” was developed by Centennial College post-grad public relations students who are passionate about animal welfare and volunteering. A group of six students worked on this project to highlight the efforts of Toronto Humane Society and the Pet Parent Support Network to help pet parents during challenging times.  

Check out the heartwarming stories, images, and videos about the program’s positive impact on Toronto Humane Society’s social media channels. Follow Toronto Humane Society’s Instagram  and share your stories or tips as a pet parent with the hashtags #HappierTomorrow, #ReflectionOfUs, and #PositivePetParent.