Canadian Federation
of Humane Societies
2016 Annual Report

About Us

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies. We bring together those who work with and care for animals to promote respect and humane treatment toward all animals.


Animals possess intrinsic value, remarkable complexity and inherent dignity and, as such, are deserving of respect and moral concern. As Canada's voice for animal welfare, we will make meaningful change happen for animals in this generation.


To end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals by bringing our community's concerns to government, policy makers, industry and the public with a bold, rational voice that elevates the status of animals.


That all animals used by humans be provided with high levels of care to ensure their health, comfort and behavioural needs are met in all circumstances and contexts. We aim to increase the value of all animals and to build a truly humane Canada.

2016: The Year in Review

Year end Video

TOP 10 Highlights of 2016

2016 was a landmark year for the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. Here are the top ten highlights.


In 2016, we introduced new national awards to celebrate the leadership and innovation in Canadian animal welfare. The National Animal Welfare Leadership and Innovation Awards recognize shining examples of the good things that are happening in Canada. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies was proud to recognize the following 2016 award winners, who have helped to create progress in the areas of shelter programming, media, academia and the prosecution of animal cruelty.

Innovation in Animal Welfare Innovation in Animal Welfare Recipients: Dr. Kate Hurley, Dr. Cynthia Karsten and Dr. Danae Wagner from the University of California Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program

Honoured for creating the Capacity for Care (C4C) program, a care model that optimizes intake, housing, adoption and overall operations at animal shelters to improve feline lives and outcomes. CFHS partnered with the C4C team and, at one of our pilot shelters, cat euthanasia decreased by 69% in just one year.

Leadership in Reporting Leadership in Reporting Recipients: The Toronto Star

The Toronto Star was chosen to be honoured with this award for its consistent leadership in covering key animal welfare issues with excellent, well-researched reporting. The Star’s critical analysis of government, the animal welfare sector and the corporate community is of great benefit in holding Canadians accountable when it comes to animals, breaking stories that have led to major shifts in public perception and awareness.

Leadership and Innovation in the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty Leadership and Innovation in the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty Recipients: Alexandra Janse, Administrative Crown Counsel in BC, and Marcie Moriarty, Chief Prevention and Enforcement Officer for the BC SPCA

Honoured for their work in helping CFHS to create and steer the National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty (NCPAC). Thanks to their tireless commitment and strong leadership, prosecutors across the country have access to the resources that they need.

Dr. David Fraser
Frederic A. McGrand Lifetime Leadership Award in Animal Welfare Recipients: Dr. David Fraser, Professor, NSERC Industrial Research Chair In Animal Welfare, Director Of The Applied Biology Program at the University of British Columbia

Dr. David Fraser was honoured with this award for his life-long commitment to improving animal welfare as this country’s pre-eminent thinker in the field of animal welfare science. Dr. Fraser has been active in the field for 45 years and has worked with countless organizations in Canada and around the world to find practical ways to improve the lives of animals. He is personally responsible for many innovations in animal housing and management, ranging from designing better pig pens to reducing highway accidents involving wildlife.


Bill C-246 Press Conference

Bill C-246, The Modernizing Animal Protections Act, was a vision for a new way of approaching animal protection in Canada. CFHS was instrumental in the drafting of this Bill, providing expert consultations that gave it the potential to be the strong, focused law that we need. CFHS was proud to collaborate on the draft Bill and to mobilize our member societies across the country to engage Canadians in helping make real change for animals.

Brought forward as a private member’s Bill by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Bill C-246 made it to second reading before being voted down by 198-84 in the House of Commons on October 5, 2016. But the goals of C-246 did not die with it, and we must remember the triumphs that resulted from this setback.

Our hard work put animal welfare and animal protection back on the federal government’s agenda, and we secured a commitment from the federal Liberal party to address two particularly egregious legal loopholes related to bestiality and animal fighting. The fight for stronger federal anti-cruelty provisions is not over, but we’ve won an important battle.

CFHS Member Societies in 2016


Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society
Alberta SPCA
Association of Animal Shelter Administrators of Ontario
Burin Peninsula SPCA
Burlington Humane Society
Calgary Humane Society
Canadian Association for Humane Trapping
Charlotte County SPCA Inc.
Cochrane & Area Humane Society
Edmonton Humane Society
Exploits Valley SPCA
Fort McMurray SPCA
Fredericton SPCA
Gander & Area SPCA
Guelph Humane Society
Hamilton Burlington SPCA
Happy Valley Goose Bay SPCA
Humane Society Dawson
Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society
Lakeland Humane Society
Lanark Animal Welfare Society
Medicine Hat SPCA
Miramichi SPCA
Moncton SPCA Inc.
Montreal SPCA
New Brunswick SPCA
Northwest Territories SPCA
Nova Scotia SPCA
Oakville & Milton Humane Society
Oromocto & Area SPCA
Ottawa Humane Society
Prince Edward Island Humane Society
Red Deer and District SPCA
Regina Cat Rescue
Regina Humane Society
Royal City Humane Society
Saskatchewan SPCA
Saskatoon SPCA
Société protectrice des animaux de Québec
SPA de l’Estrie
Spayaid PEI
SPCA Péninsule Acadienne Inc.
St. Johns SPCA
Stratford - Perth Humane Society
Toronto Humane Society
Winnipeg Humane Society


Kitty Kare Thunder Bay
City of Hamilton Animal Services
Association québécoise des SPA et SPCA (AQSS)
Paws for Hope Animal Foundation
Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

CFHS member profile

Red Deer & District SPCA

Red Deer District SPCA Tara Hellewell

Speaking as the national voice of humane societies and SPCAs since 1957, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies brings the concerns and priorities of our members to the national stage. Our programs are informed by the experiences of our members, who work on the front lines of animal sheltering, humane education and advocacy in communities all across Canada.

CFHS members understand the importance of advancing animal welfare at the national level and that CFHS membership brings direct benefit to your organization, including the cohesion offered by a strong national voice for humane societies and SPCAs to advance Canada's animal welfare agenda, increasing visibility with national decision-makers through our presence on influential national committees and coalitions – not to mention exclusive funding opportunities and original, evidence-based research and resources and opportunities to connect with animal welfare organizations across the country.

These benefits are just some of the reasons organizations like Red Deer and District SPCA are members of CFHS. We spoke with Tara Hellewell, the organization’s Executive Director, to share why she chose CFHS membership.

Red Deer District SPCA Tara Hellewell

RDDSPCA: For a number of years, we felt there was this disjointed space between Humane Societies and SPCAs, between shelters and rescues – nationally, there was no connection. We wanted to support a national voice and be part of a national community. Our organization is very supportive of CFHS’ vision and mandate, and we’re grateful for the evidence-based work that’s happening within the organization. We were able to connect with our peers to share our ideas and other resources. For us, CFHS has been a great benefit. Our membership fee is very minimal considering the benefits we receive.

RDDSPCA: The connection to other humane societies and SPCAs, as well as other rescues and shelters. Breaking the isolation and joining a community of animal welfare organizations across the country that share the same goals. We also find a big benefit in public perception of our organization. They know that we are doing more than just taking care of animals in a shelter. We’re trying to change laws, change ideas and change attitudes at the national level. We get great feedback from our donors about wanting to support both the local and national program, so I think that speaks volumes.

RDDSPCA: Our donors are very engaged. They know the challenges locally and they know that there needs to be vast change at all levels. They feel that CFHS has a part to play in making those changes. We can’t do it alone; we need to all do it together. To have a voice that connects and promotes our needs at a federal level to government and industry is a valuable thing. A voice that is representative of our SPCAs, humane societies, shelters – and therefore our donors. It allows for better traction on these issues if we’re supporting the people who are going to make it happen.

RDDSPCA: It is absolutely worth the investment. One of the biggest challenges we face in this industry is funding, but investment in membership is a small price to pay in exchange for the benefits. We have the opportunity to give direct input about the advocacy focus that CFHS takes in a given year. So CFHS allows us to expand our horizons and influence. We’re connected across the country, and we feel like we’re part of the bigger picture. If we don’t connect in to that network, we’re never going to move ahead. Being part of CFHS increases your resource opportunities to help more animals. CFHS has some of the strongest leadership available, and there’s no reason that you wouldn’t want to be a part of it.


Sponsors & Partners

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is grateful to the following corporate partners that helped to fund our work in 2016.

Foundation Supporters

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is grateful to the following Foundations that helped fund our work in 2016.

Sylvia and Robin Cowan Foundation

Alan and Patricia Koval Foundation

Monthly donor profile

Salem and Sandy

Father, teacher and best friend to Sandy the Labrador Retriever, Salem Alaton has been a monthly supporter of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies since May 2016. A long-time supporter of our member, the Toronto Humane Society (THS), Salem was looking to make a national impact on animal welfare, specifically pertaining to animal cruelty laws. He knows changes need to be made federally, but was unsure of where to start. After speaking with THS, Salem was encouraged to support CFHS as a means of making that change happen.

CFHS gives me an opportunity to contribute at a national level, to be part of the national discussion. We have a long way to go in terms in legislative framework on the treatment and handling of animals. I wanted to support an organization that would be working towards systemic change.

Salem is a supporter of both THS and CFHS because he knows that there is value in supporting both local and national organizations.

“There is vital work being done locally, especially for so many organizations that struggle with resources. Humane societies, SPCAs, shelters and rescues work tirelessly on a daily basis to meet urgent needs,” said Salem. “But we also need to work at the national, political level to bring about change. That takes focused effort and time.”

As a monthly supporter of CFHS, Salem is able to keep an ongoing relationship and involvement with CFHS.

“The job is not done - there will always be more work to do,” said Salem. “We have to give all the support we can to proceeding with the mission of a kinder, more aware and compassionate culture and political culture for animals. There is no other organization like this; CFHS is the body that represents animal welfare on a national level.”

Women for a Humane Canada

We are Women for a Humane Canada, and we believe in the power of making change happen for animals. That is why we are joining forces with like-minded women across Canada – women who are thought leaders in animal welfare and willing to invest in change. We need to improve the laws, improve enforcement and elevate public thinking about the role of animals in society. We know what we want to achieve, but we need bigger thinking and bolder ambitions to get animal welfare on the national agenda. We are committed to investing in this future by developing a Canadian Animal Welfare Indicator Report to determine current welfare gaps and guide our goals to create a life worth living for all animals.

Linda Barber Linda Barber Ottawa, ON
Tara Hellewell Tara Hellewell Red Deer, Alberta
Amber Mack Amber Mack Red Deer, Alberta
Dianna Flannery Dianna Flannery Hamilton, ON
Miranda Jordan-Smith Miranda Jordan-Smith Edmonton, Alberta
Melissa Devlin Melissa Devlin Red Deer, Alberta
Anne Sutherland Anne Sutherland Toronto, ON
Charlene Weiss Charlene Weiss Edmonton, Alberta
Dayna Rose-Desmarais Dayna Rose-Desmarais Ottawa, ON
Jennifer Rose Jennifer Rose Ottawa, ON
Karen Laing Karen Laing Ottawa, ON

Our Legacy Society

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies would like to acknowledge those people who have notified us that they will be leaving a bequest to the Federation in their will. Our Legacy Society donors will ensure that their commitment lives on in our work.

Linda Barber, Ottawa ON
Patricia E. Dobson, Wheatley ON
Margaret Grace, Fonthill ON
Marion Kerr, Ottawa ON
Gustav Norra, Canada
Frances Wood, Vancouver BC
Anonymous, Langley BC

We would also like to acknowledge those who passed away in 2016 and left a donation to us. Our sympathies are extended to their family and friends. Their final gift to our work will be respected and used to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all of Canada’s animals.

Irene Oscilowski, Laval QC
Jean Louise Rhody, Hanover ON
Mary Anne Tschappat, Kinston ON
Frances Molly Henderson, Ottawa ON

CFHS Board of Directors

Linda Barber

Craig Naherniak
Vice Chair

Lynn Cadigan

Nadine Atkinson, CA

Dr. Alice Crook
Director at large

Dianna Flannery
Director at large

Nicholas Gilman
Montreal SPCA
Director at large

Tara Hellewell
Red Deer & District SPCA
Member at large

Miranda Jordan-Smith
Edmonton Humane Society
Director at large

Jack Kinch
Director at large

Jacques Messier
Toronto Humane Society
Director at large

Denys Pelletier
SPA de Québec
Director at large

Cindy Soules
Director at large

Anne Sutherland
Member at large


A message from our CEO

Barbara Cartwright, CEO of CFHS

In 2017, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies celebrates its 60th anniversary. In this special anniversary year, we’ll be taking the opportunity to strike out in bold new directions and launch several new projects to secure progress for Canada’s animals, including a new strategic plan that focuses on nurturing our three pillars of change: a strong, professional animal welfare industry, an active and engaged government and a committed public.

In 2017, we will launch a brand-new national event called the Canadian Link Conference as part of our National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty. This educational conference will focus on the link between violence against animals and humans, looking at the vulnerabilities in both populations and how enforcement, social services, community organizations and animal welfare organizations can more effectively work together to address preventable violence in communities across Canada.

In the upcoming year, we will also see four years of negotiations with Canada’s egg industry come to fruition with a new code of practice for the care and handling of egg-laying hens released. This code introduces the most stringent hen welfare standards in North America, begins a phase-out of the use of cruel battery cages and introduces progressive cage-free standards that rival the EU’s.

The year 2017 will also see a re-launching of our national task force on cat welfare as we gear up for an update on our 2012 report, Cats Count in Canada. Our national survey and resulting report will help us see how far CFHS has moved the needle on Canada’s cat overpopulation crisis after five years of committed, national work.

We will also continue our work with the Office of the Minister of Justice to ensure they hold firm to the commitment they made in 2016 to create new and stronger laws to address bestiality and animal fighting at the federal level. We will also work closely with the Liberal Animal Welfare Caucus, continue to meet with MPs and Senators to discuss the importance of ending marine mammal captivity in Canada and help to modernize the relationship between charities and the federal government through a new consultation process that will make it easier to advocate for much-needed change. In 2017, we will also be taking part in a national research project on political activity by charities in Canada.

Finally, we will grow the CFHS family through our national philanthropy circle, Women for a Humane Canada, and our ever-expanding network of members, associates and community partners. CFHS is already the biggest animal welfare community in Canada and, as our numbers grow, so does our capacity to make a real difference for animals. But to make significant change, we need your support. A Humane Canada is within our grasp, and it will take all of us standing together as a community to make it happen.

ADDRESS: 102-30 Concourse Gate,
Ottawa, Ontario,
Canada K2E 7V7


PHONE: (613) 224-8072
1-888-678-CFHS (2347)