The City of Toronto is in Crisis – Meet the People and their Pets Who Are Impacted and Hear Their Stories

| November 21, 2023

Toronto Humane Society Shares Powerful and Touching Stories of Torontonians Facing Barriers to Access Pet Care

TORONTO, ON. – November 21, 2023 – In the fourth installment of Toronto Humane Society’s series, “A City in Crisis,” the organization shares powerful stories of Torontonians who faced barriers to accessing pet care and the outcomes.

Toronto Humane Society brings to light the painful choices that families are faced with and introduces compassionate solutions provided through their community programing, including the Urgent Care program, Pet Food Bank and their Community Day events. These are just some of the many programs that the organization offers to the community.

Jeanette & Rosie’s Story

Rosie is more than just a dog to Jeanette; she is her lifeline, her confidant, and her support system. But on one summer day, everything changed. “Rosie threw up, she did not want to eat or drink anything – she just wanted to sleep which is not normal behaviour for Rosie.” Jeanette continued. “I called a few vets, and the price was so much for them to look at her. So, I brought Rosie to Toronto Humane Society.” Jeanette didn’t know if she would be saying goodbye to Rosie that day.

Rosie had parvovirus, a deadly disease. Jeanette, residing in a low-income apartment, faced the harsh reality too many people face each day – she wasn’t sure how she would afford the extensive medical care Rosie urgently needed. Yet, the alternative option of surrendering Rosie for adoption, or potentially euthanizing her if she did not receive medical care, would be something too heartbreaking to face.

Toronto Humane Society’s medical team put together a cost-effective treatment plan and with their expert oversight and Jeanette’s dedication, Rosie began to recover. Today, she is a happy, healthy dog, back by Jeanette’s side, where she belongs.

“If it wasn’t for Toronto Humane Society, Rosie wouldn’t be here. Rosie brings so much happiness and love into my life. I couldn’t imagine her not being here with me.” – Jeanette, Rosie’s Mom

Candace & NinaBear’s Story

Imagine facing a heart-wrenching situation: losing your health, home, and your beloved animal companion all at once.

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Candace battles periods of blindness, a traumatic spine injury, and the loss of feeling in her lower body. Combined with mental health challenges, she experienced two years of homelessness and ultimately, she had no choice but to surrender two cherished cats. This decision still haunts her as one of the most heartbreaking moments in her life.

Recently, Candace’s illness required her to be hospitalized for spine treatment, but the thought of being separated from her newfound companion, NinaBear, was debilitating. To Candace, she isn’t just a pet – she’s a soulmate, a loyal friend. This agony led Candace to delay vital medical care until she found Toronto Humane Society’s Urgent Care program. Candace received crucial spine treatment, while NinaBear was cared for in a temporary foster home. They were joyously reunited, proving that families need not be torn apart during crises.

The program was created to preserve families during acute crises like homelessness, hospitalization, or escaping violence. The organization, which is not government funded, relies on the generosity of the public to keep these programs going. Toronto Humane Society was able to help keep 89 families and their pets together, just like Candace and NinaBear.

“I missed my cat terribly the whole time, but I always knew she was in the best of hands and being loved by a foster that understood her special physical and emotional needs.” - Candace, a client of Toronto Humane Society’s Urgent Care program

Toronto Humane Society in Action

Toronto Humane Society is not only sounding the alarm on the crisis but is actively working to find solutions. In light of the growing concerns for animal welfare in Toronto, the charity has expanded their Urgent Care program. Between January and November 2023, Toronto Humane Society enrolled 150 animals into temporary foster programs. The organization has so far reunited 89 of those animals with their families this year.

As the holidays approach, Toronto Humane Society is asking the public to support this program and help keep families and their pets together.All generous gifts will be doubled and matched by Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets.

About Toronto Humane Society

Toronto Humane Society’s mission is to improve the lives of animals. The organization excels in all ways an animal shelter should, with industry-leading shelter care, veterinary services, animal training and behaviour consultations. Toronto Humane Society believes in the importance of the human-animal bond, finds new homes for thousands of animals and helps keep families together.Toronto Humane Society is more than an animal shelter. They are an educational resource and support system, a leading voice in animal welfare and accessible care. The organization is also a centre of excellence, a space where best practices and boundary-pushing knowledge meet with unyielding optimism and a love for animals to create something special. Toronto Humane Society is like no other. For more information, visit

For more information, or to arrange an interview please contact Lucas Solowey at or call 416-392-2273 ext. 2196