The City of Toronto is in Crisis: Pets and Their Families are Being Torn Apart

| October 4, 2023
Toronto Humane Society Addresses Growing Need for Pet Care Services in Toronto, Calls for Urgent Appeal to Keep Pets and their Families Together 

TORONTO, ON. – October 4, 2023 – The City of Toronto faces an unprecedented crisis as both pets and their families endure the heart-wrenching consequences of an economic downturn. Families, already grappling with the harsh realities of challenging financial times are being torn apart by impossible choices, and beloved pets are losing their homes. 

“The cost of living in the city has skyrocketed, making access to affordable pet care increasingly scarce. This dire situation has left many community members in the painful position of choosing between feeding themselves or providing for their loyal companions. As a result, Toronto Humane Society has witnessed firsthand the agonizing sorrow that grips guardians when they are forced to part with their cherished pets due to the unbearable burden,” explains Toronto Humane Society’s interim CEO, Phil Nichols. 

Toronto Humane Society, an organization which has been working to improve the lives of animals in the city for over 135 years, believes that no one should have to endure such a heart-breaking situation and are turning to compassionate individuals for help. The organization urgently seeks support from the community to be a lifeline for both pets and their families during these challenging times. 

The organization explains that this is not just about our pets. It is about the societal challenges mirrored in their plight. Toronto Humane Society has launched a four-part series at that addresses a variety of issues, from the skyrocketing costs of basic pet care to the housing crisis that is displacing both pets and their guardians – and how they are all intertwined. It is a stark reminder of how animal welfare is inextricably linked to broader societal concerns. 

“By donating today, you can be a lifeline for both pets and their families in our community. Your support is essential, as it will provide vital pet care services to those caught in a cycle of vulnerability. Your contribution ensures that families will not have to make the heart-wrenching decision to give up their beloved pets during times of crisis,” appeals Phil Nichols.   

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

Interviews can be booked for Thursday October 5, and Friday October 6 with the following spokespersons:

Phil Nichols, Interim CEO, Toronto Humane Society – Available for remote interviews. Phil can speak to the crisis and the overall situation, as well as share information about what Toronto Humane Society is doing to help.

Dillon Dodson, Manager of Social Work, Toronto Humane Society – Available for in-person interviews. Dillon can speak to how the crisis is impacting the human-animal bond and the Urgent Care Program at Toronto Humane Society.

Lauralee Dorst, Division Manager of Public Veterinary Services, Toronto Humane Society – Available for in-person interviews. Lauralee can speak to the growing demand for veterinary services and what Toronto Humane Society is doing to help more pets see vets in Toronto.