The bond between an animal and their human is significant. The joy, the trust, the unconditional love and more all contribute to the unique nature of this relationship. But for many loving pet owners, this precious bond can be broken by circumstances beyond their control. Sudden illness, housing issues, or domestic violence are just a few of the reasons why families are separated.
By providing shelter and safety for people’s pets during times of crisis or transition, our Urgent Care program gives people the reassurance that their animal is in good care and is safe until they can be reunited.
Urgent Care is a response-based, preventative program, offering temporary foster care for pet owners experiencing a short-term crisis which impacts their ability to care for their pet.
Some examples of Urgent Care might include a caregiver who is fleeing domestic violence or abuse; experiencing sudden housing instability and/or homelessness; or being admitted to a care facility to seek treatment for their own health.
The program is available to pet owners who have no other options, and do not wish to be separated from their animal.
We are currently experiencing a higher than normal interest in entering our Urgent Care program. With an increased number of inquiries, it may take up to 3 business days to receive a response from an Urgent Care staff member. We apologize for the delay in advance and will respond as soon as we can. Please note, the Urgent Care program is not an emergency service. The program relies on the generosity of foster homes, so we can only offer Urgent Care services to families as foster homes are secured.
Pet parents in-need can complete an online application here. Upon receiving a completed application, a member of the Urgent Care team will be in contact within 48 hours.
Once the online referral form has been submitted, and we have determined we can accept the animal into the Urgent Care Program:
Animals are an important part of our lives. They are our best friends, teammates, confidants and companions. They get us moving when we don’t feel like moving, help us smile when we don’t feel like smiling. They are there for us, we for them, and the bond we share creates memories that last a lifetime.
For many responsible, loving pet owners, this bond is threatened by larger systemic challenges. Intersecting oppressions and discriminations that impact marginalized populations, create economic disparities which lead to further barriers down the road. These issues can have direct impacts on pet owners’ access to, and ability to engage with, pet care.
No one, no matter their circumstances, should be denied the joy and comfort that comes from the human-animal bond.
Urgent Care offers an alternative to surrender, keeping people and their pets together, and furthering the human-animal bond in the community.
Toronto Humane Society is committed to championing and supporting the Human-Animal Bond, and supporting our community of colleagues in animal welfare to do the same. It is through our desire to help strengthen the industry that our team of experts created the Urgent Care Resource Manual to help guide and support like-minded agencies in starting and operating their own Temporary Care Fostering Programs.