It’s been a tough year.
Headline after headline showing us a world of anxiety and unrest, division and despair. All with a global pandemic lingering in the background. And now, a new variant has seemingly taken us a step back, with many forced to cancel their holiday plans, while businesses prepare for another round of restrictions.
But 2021, despite the headlines, was a year of hope for many. It was the year the world came together for the largest mass vaccination campaign in history. The year of new and important conversations — from social justice to a ‘Great Resignation’ calling for better working conditions for all. People are rethinking what matters most – and setting the stage for positive change.
Things can and will get better.
For Toronto Humane Society, 2021 was a year of exciting new developments which energized our pursuit and mission to improve the lives of animals. Thanks to the unwavering support of our community, here is what we accomplished in 2021:
– Over 1,500 animals were adopted into new homes.
– That same number were given temporary shelter through foster care.
– More than 3,000 pet parents were supported through our Pet Parent Support Network.
– Nearly 500 families were helped through our public training services.
– Over 200 animals were cared for through our Urgent Foster Care Program while their parents got back on their feet.
Thanks to our supporters, we were able to provide pet parents in-need with over 42,000 pounds of pet food, and over $400,000 worth of subsidized and free veterinary care. This includes preventative wellness services, dental, and spay/neuter surgeries. These essential services keep animals at home where they belong and out of the shelter system.
In 2021, our Science and Advancement Division put out a number of research papers, 5 of which have been published in veterinary journals. This included a review on alternative, accessible heartworm treatment. It was published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, and has been read by over 7,000 people from around the world. Another study, published in the same journal, focuses on identifying, and better understanding, social injustice and inequities in animal welfare.
Most recently, our experts have been working with, and providing recommendations to, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians as they launch their first-ever Animal Shelter and Community Medicine Journal.
After months of careful deliberation and strategic planning, we underwent a major rebrand. More than just a fresh new website, it was a complete overhaul of our tone, our voice, and our look. The rebrand will help us better tell the story of Toronto Humane Society and the life-saving work that takes place at our organization each and every day.
We also introduced our new mission statement: Improving the Lives of Animals. This reflects the work we have already been doing to become a more inclusive and encompassing organization. One that connects and aligns us with all animal advocates.
In July 2020, Toronto Humane Society launched a formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Program. The program has been eye-opening, enlightening, and inspiring for all. Phase 2 of the program, the Current-State Assessment, was completed in March 2021.
With our foundational research now complete, Phase 3 – “Creating a DEI Strategy” has begun. We will continue working on this phase into the new year to ensure that our workplace and environment is more inclusive, diverse, and welcoming moving forward.
Despite the year’s many challenges, we have continued to improve the lives of animals and support pet parents in our community. Staff, volunteers, foster parents – everyone has gone above and beyond. I thank them all for everything they’ve done to make this year at Toronto Humane Society so impactful.
Most importantly, I thank you – our community of supporters. None of what we do would be possible without you. You stood by us, despite the uncertainty and array of challenges. You are what’s behind the accomplishments of 2021. You are what’s behind the excitement and feelings of hope for the coming year.
Thanks to your support, things can and will get better.
I offer you my best wishes, happiness and good health to you and your families as we all look forward to a successful 2022.
Thank you and have a Happy New Year,
Jacques Messier, DVM, MBAChief Executive Officer, Toronto Humane Society
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