Toronto Humane Society Receives $500,000 Grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada to Improve Accessible Veterinary Care

| March 14, 2024

TORONTO, ON. – March 14, 2024 – Nearly 1 in 5* pet parents in Canada have wanted or needed preventive care for their pets but have not been able to access it due to affordability or inability to get an appointment. Without regular veterinary care, minor pet health issues often become bigger, costlier problems; and preventable diseases can be passed on to people and other pets. Rising costs and other barriers mean these pets struggle to access services such as spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations, and critical medical and preventative care. With as many as 60% of households now including pets, this issue affects families in nearly every community.

In 2023, PetSmart Charities of Canada committed $18 million over the next five years toward improving access to veterinary care. The “Accelerator” low-cost veterinary care grant program is a key part of this effort.  These grants support the expansion of low-cost veterinary care by funding growth and operations for up to four years for nonprofit clinics looking to expand their services, serve their communities better and inspire other veterinary providers by sharing their experiences.

The grant made to Toronto Humane Society in the amount of $500,000 over three years, will support the expansion of their Public Veterinary Services program. The anticipated impact on local pets and families includes expanding access to care by offering more wellness appointments, spay and neuter surgeries, and dental care appointments. “As Toronto residents grapple with the harsh consequences of cost-of-living increases, many families are being torn apart, forced to make heartbreaking decisions that leave beloved pets without homes or access to veterinary care. This grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada enables us to expand our reach, ensuring more animals receive crucial care. With this support, we are empowered to continue our mission to improve the lives of animals in our community,” said Phil Nichols, Chief Executive Officer at Toronto Humane Society.

Overwhelmingly, people consider their pets important members of the family. Pets make a significant impact on the health and wellness of the people they love. This grant will enable more families to get the preventative and standard care that ensures their pets thrive at home and stay out of shelters.

“The veterinary system is in crisis,” said Kate Atema, director of community grants and initiatives at PetSmart Charities of Canada. “Rising costs are putting standard veterinary care out of reach for too many pet-owning families across Canada. We need innovative solutions that make veterinary care affordable for the families in every community who want the best for their four-legged companions but struggle to meet the cost of vet care. We’re inspired by the incredible work Toronto Humane Society is doing to create solutions that will build strong families and a healthy 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 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 knew she could 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 was not 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

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

About PetSmart Charities of Canada®

PetSmart Charities of Canada is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the country, PetSmart Charities of Canada helps thousands of pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities of Canada also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter, and emergency relief. Each year, thousands of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities of Canada directly at, while shopping at, and by 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 the leading funder of animal welfare in Canada, granting more than $25 million since its inception in 1999. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities of Canada is a registered Canadian charity. To learn more visit

Media Contacts:
Lucas Solowey, Manager, Public Relations
Toronto Humane Society
416-392-2273 ext. 2196

24-Hour PetSmart Charities of Canada
Media Line:  623-587-2177

Canadian Animal Health Institute