Canadian Federation
of Humane Societies
2017 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 elevate animal welfare in Canada and 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.

TOP 10 Highlights of 2017


The year 2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS), and our work to create meaningful change for animals in Canada. Here are just some of what we achieved for animals in that time:

1960: Creation of Humane Slaughter Act
1968: Founding of Canadian Council on Animal Care
1970: Creation of the Animal Transport Act
1980s: Founding of Canada’s Codes of Practice for Farm Animals
1985: Founding of McGrand Lifetime Leadership in Animal Welfare Award
1993: Launch of annual national statistics on Canada’s shelter animals
1994: Regulations on import of puppies from the US
1995: Founding of National Companion Animal Coalition
1995: Harmonized pet microchipping systems across Canada
2005: Founding of National Farm Animal Care Council
2007: Revisions to animal cruelty provisions in Criminal Code
2012: First-ever national report on cat welfare in Canada
2013: Release of Canadian Shelter Standards
2014: Launch of CFHS National Animal Welfare Conference
2014: Launch of National Capacity for Care Pilot Program
2015: Secured greater protections for police, military & service animals
2015: Founding of National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty
2016: First-ever national report on Canada’s SPCAs and humane societies
2016: Launch of Canada’s first-ever bilingual animal cruelty case law database
2017: Canada’s first-ever national conference on the violence link
From St. John’s to Haida Gwaii, from Niagara to Baffin Island, we represent and advocate for the organizations that shelter and protect Canada’s animals. As the national voice for animal welfare, we drive positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals on behalf of our members, associates and other stakeholders. We work to advance the welfare of Canada’s animals to federal and provincial governments, policy makers, industry and the public, driving sector-wide initiatives to put in place evidence-based, innovative practices and national standards. CFHS facilitates a community of like-minded organizations to address the root causes of issues that individual humane societies and SPCAs face on a daily basis. We advocate for legislative improvements to protect animals, advance and strengthen animal cruelty case law through the National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty, conduct research on issues of national importance to provide a foundation for policy development and convene an annual National Animal Welfare Conference that brings together stakeholders with an interest in animal welfare from across the spectrum, including international, national and regional animal welfare organizations, academic researchers, government, enforcement, the veterinary community and industry. Here’s to all the critical change we’ve ushered in for animals during our first 60 years – and all the change still to come!


“Animal abuse does not inevitably lead to interpersonal violence, but we must come to a better understanding of the circumstances in which it does – for the sake of both animals and people.”

– Keynote speaker, Dr. Frank Ascione, PhD, Scholar-in Residence, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver

Violence against animals and violence against people are not distinct and separate problems. Rather, they are part of a larger pattern of violent crimes that often co-exist. Research shows a significant correlation between animal cruelty and domestic violence, the physical and sexual abuse of children, sexual assault and other violent crimes. This relationship between violence against animals and people is known as the violence link, and the first-ever national Canadian conference on the violence link brought together 204 professionals from 10 key sectors to learn from sought-after experts on how to better address the violence link in their respective fields, including law enforcement, prosecution, social services, community services, violence against women advocacy, animal welfare, the education sector, government services, the veterinary sector and child welfare. Click the button below to download our final report on the conference, which outlines the most urgent issues to address, actions coming out of the conference and recommendations and next steps.

Read the Report


After months of intensive industry research, the CFHS National Cat Overpopulation Task Force released a nation-wide study about how the issue of cat overpopulation has evolved since the release of our ground-breaking 2012 research, which was the first report of its kind in Canada. In our 2017 research, we’re seeing evidence that cats are starting to be treated with the level of care they deserve. Attitudes are shifting, spay/neuter rates are going up and we’re seeing more cats with permanent ID, like tattoos and microchips – which help them to find their way home if they ever get lost or separated from their owner. Overall, we seem to be shifting to a more proactive approach to cat ownership in Canada, which is encouraging. The good news is that we’ve taken some giant leaps forward in cat welfare since 2012. The bad news is that it’s not happening quickly enough to overcome Canada’s cat overpopulation crisis. We still have a long way to go. Shelters in your area are likely still overwhelmed with the number of cats in crisis – just like almost every other SPCA and humane society across the country. And, they need the help of CFHS today, more than ever. As our members deal with these issues in their local communities, CFHS is working at the national level to develop new and innovative programs to help them address overpopulation and its impacts, tracking how well these initiatives are working. While the situation may be improving, the pace of change is still too slow. That’s why CFHS is working to engage even more stakeholders in this next phase of our work to overcome the cat crisis. Download your copy of this important report by clicking the button below.

Read the Report


The year saw progress on an incredible number of animal welfare bills, all of them coming from the Senate, and all of them still alive as the year drew to a close. Bills dealing with animal cosmetic testing, shark finning and a strong bill on whale and dolphin captivity all passed out of committee in a year when the animal welfare movement found new friends on Parliament Hill and was re-energized by a government that was willing to listen and learn.

Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act

The Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act (Bill S-214), introduced by Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen, would bring Canada in line with Europe and many other countries by stopping animal cosmetic testing in Canada and banning the import of new cosmetics tested on animals anywhere else in the world. CFHS provided expert testimony before the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology to help legislators understand how backward and downright dangerous to human health a reliance on out-dated animal testing can be. CFHS has kept the pressure on federal decision makers to help ensure that Bill S-214 will pass when it gets to the House of Commons.

Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act

CFHS has worked closely with esteemed Senator, and former Chair of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Murray Sinclair to fight for the passage of the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act (Bill S-203). CFHS provided testimony before the Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to share our expertise on cetacean captivity, catching, importation and breeding. A bill to end cetacean captivity has since been introduced in the House of Commons and CFHS is working with the Minister’s office to ensure the new bill will be as strong as its Senate counterpart.

Bestiality in the Criminal Code

Throughout the year, CFHS has been vocal in the effort to strengthen the bestiality provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada. In early December we drafted a joint letter to the Justice Minister for which we obtained the co-signature of ten major farm groups, including the national chicken, pig and cattle associations. On the heels of our letter, federal Conservative MP Michelle Rempel introduced a private member’s bill (C-388) in Parliament, which seeks to strengthen the bestiality provisions of the Criminal Code using the same language that we set out in our joint letter.

Welcome Legislative Affairs Manager Pierre Sadik

Welcome Pierre Sadik, who is our new Manager of Policy and Legislative Affairs. In May 2017, CFHS hired a full-time legislative and regulatory expert to lead our government relations team, as well as our policy work. A seasoned veteran with almost two decades of experience in government relations in both Canada and the US, including with the David Suzuki Foundation, Pierre understands how to speak to legislators and senior government decision makers about issues that typically involve powerful industry opponents. CFHS is ramping up its legislative efforts at an ambitious pace, and Pierre’s insights and leadership will help us accelerate our successes for animals. It’s an exciting time to join CFHS. Welcome, Pierre!


Introduced by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies in 2016, the CFHS Animal Welfare Leadership & Innovation Awards celebrate the heroes of Canadian animal welfare – to shine a light on the good that is happening and recognize inspiring work to improve the lives of animals in Canada.

The 2017 CFHS Animal Welfare Leadership & Innovation Award winners

Leadership and Innovation in Public Engagement Leadership and Innovation in Public Engagement Recipient: Edmonton Humane Society

The Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) was awarded the CFHS Animal Welfare Leadership and Innovation Award for Public Engagement for being one of the first shelters in the country to create an engaging initiative that transformed the popular trend of Pokémon Go into a successful adoption and fundraising opportunity.

EHS utilized traditional and non-traditional media to increase awareness of the campaign and launch an adoption event where users who travelled to EHS’ PokéStop and Pokémon Gym were also given the chance to adopt a rabbit or an adult cat for a reduced rate of $10. EHS raised more than $20,000, nearly doubled the adoption rates for cats and rabbits and increased the shelter’s overall adoption rate.

Leadership and Innovation in Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership and Innovation in Corporate Social Responsibility Recipients: PetSmart Canada and PetSmart Charities of Canada

PetSmart Canada and PetSmart Charities of Canada were presented with the CFHS Animal Welfare Leadership and Innovation Award for Corporate Social Responsibility for their work in providing life-saving services and charitable funding that ensures that Canada’s companion animals get the care they need and are matched with loving forever homes.

PetSmart Canada and PetSmart Charities of Canada are the largest funders of animal welfare organizations in the country, having distributed $10 million in grants to Canadian animal welfare groups in its lifetime. Together, they have helped more than 232,000 pets find forever homes in Canada through their In-Store Adoption Centres, community adoption events, Rescue Waggin’ disaster relief program, granting program and funding for spay/neuter services to help combat pet overpopulation.

Leadership and Innovation in Farm Animal Welfare Leadership and Innovation in Farm Animal Welfare Recipients: Mr. Geoff Urton and Dr. Ian Duncan

Mr. Geoff Urton and Dr. Ian Duncan were awarded the CFHS Animal Welfare Leadership and Innovation Award for Farm Animal Welfare for their work in helping to secure better lives for millions of Canada’s egg-laying hens through their work on the National Farm Animal Care Council’s code committee for layer hens.

Dr. Ian Duncan is the Emeritus Chair in Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph’s Poultry Welfare Research Group and a former president of the Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada. Dr. Duncan specializes in poultry welfare and is one of the foremost experts on farm animal welfare in Canada.

Mr. Geoff Urton is the Senior Manager of Stakeholder Relations for the BC SPCA and has represented the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies on several NFACC code committees as a key negotiator. Geoff has led multiple advocacy and outreach teams, successfully negotiating important hen enrichments, the national phase-out of confining sow stalls in the pig industry and ensuring mandatory pain relief for piglets and cattle.

Leadership and Innovation in Humane Legislation Leadership and Innovation in Humane Legislation Recipient: The Honourable Senator Wilfred P. Moore, QC

The CFHS Animal Welfare Leadership and Innovation Award for Humane Legislation was presented to The Honourable Senator Wilfred P. Moore for his work in bringing the issue of cetacean captivity to the Senate.

Leading up to his retirement, Senator Moore focused his work on a number of marine conservation issues. In December 2016, he flew to Cancun to witness Canada sign the Hamilton Declaration in which we commit to the protection and conservation of the Sargasso Sea, a critical birthing place for eel stocks. Most notably, in 2015, he introduced Bill S-203, which aims to prohibit the captive breeding, import, export and live capture of all whales, dolphins and porpoises in Canada, while allowing for the rescue and rehabilitation of injured animals.

Bill S-203, which is endorsed and supported by CFHS, has encountered significant opposition, but Senator Moore has fought valiantly to keep it alive and moving forward so that the suffering of cetaceans in Canada can come to an end. Senator Moore’s work on Bill S-203 has put the importance of cetacean welfare in the minds of Canada’s leaders and the public.

Leadership and Innovation in Emergency Response Leadership and Innovation in Emergency Response Recipients:
Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society
Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force
Alberta SPCA
Alberta Veterinary Medical Association
Calgary Humane Society
Edmonton Humane Society
Fort McMurray SPCA
Meika’s Bird House
Red Deer & District SPCA (now Central Alberta Humane Society)
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

We presented the Leadership and Innovation Award for Cooperation in Emergency Response to a committed team of governmental and animal care agencies who came together to achieve the largest cooperative animal rescue in Canadian history during the Fort McMurray fires. Forward-thinking emergency response planning allowed Alberta’s animal welfare community to respond to the fires swiftly, rescuing 1,100 registered animals from Fort McMurray homes, triaging them and transporting them to Edmonton, where they received critical veterinary care and were reunited with their families.

These organizations banded together to combine resources and to create makeshift shelters for the animals in their care, doing their utmost to ensure pets would find their way home. And, although they endured tremendous adversity in achieving that goal, ninety three percent of Fort Mac’s rescued animals were reunited with their humans.

Tremendous thanks goes to these organizations for their role in the rescue, evacuation and sheltering of the animals during the fires that devastated Fort McMurray. We are continuously inspired by your generosity, your professionalism, your willingness to work together and your steadfast commitment to animals.

The Frederic A. McGrand Lifetime Leadership in Animal Welfare Award The Frederic A. McGrand Lifetime Leadership in Animal Welfare Award Recipient: Dr. David Suzuki

Created in 1985, the prestigious CFHS Frederic A. McGrand Lifetime Leadership in Animal Welfare Award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to animal welfare in Canada.

Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster and author. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the Inamori Ethics Prize, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award and UNEP’s Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 29 honorary degrees from universities around the world. In 1990, he co-founded The David Suzuki Foundation with Dr. Tara Cullis. His written work includes more than 55 books.

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies presented this award to Dr. David Suzuki for his decades of committed work for animals and the environment.

CFHS Member Societies in 2017


Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society
Alberta SPCA
Alliston & District Humane Society
Association of Animal Shelter Administrators of Ontario (AASAO)
Burin Peninsula SPCA
Burlington Humane Society
Calgary Humane Society
Canadian Association for Humane Trapping
Central Alberta Humane Society
Charlotte County SPCA
Cochrane & Area Humane Society
Edmonton Humane Society
Exploits Valley SPCA
Fort McMurray SPCA
Fredericton SPCA
Gander & Area SPCA
Greater Moncton 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
Lincoln County Humane Society
Medicine Hat SPCA
Miramichi SPCA
Montreal SPCA
New Brunswick SPCA
Nova Scotia SPCA
Oakville & Milton Humane Society
Oromocto & Area SPCA
Ottawa Humane Society
Prince Albert SPCA
Prince Edward Island Humane Society
Regina Cat Rescue
Regina Humane Society
Royal City Humane Society
Saskatchewan SPCA
Sault Ste. Marie & District SPCA
Société protectrice des animaux de Québec (SPA de Québec)
SPA de l’Estrie
SPCA de L'Outaouais
St. Johns SPCA
Stratford - Perth Humane Society
Thunder Bay & District Humane Society
Toronto Humane Society
Winnipeg Humane Society


Association québécoise des SPA et SPCA (AQSS)
City of Edmonton Animal Care and Control Centre
City of Hamilton Animal Services
Meika's Safehouse
Paws for Hope Animal Foundation
Second Chance Animal Rescue Society


Women Making a Difference

A message from the Chair of Women for Humane Canada: Dr. Jane Young

Across Canada, women fill more than 70% of the leadership positions in animal welfare organizations, and we represent the largest group of donors. It is vital that we join together as women to use our power, influence and resources to improve the lives of animals in Canada. After all, we are at the forefront of this movement and in the best position to make change for animals across political, social and economic landscapes.

The way I’ve chosen to step forward and make a difference is with Women for a Humane Canada, a national initiative of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies that is focused on the power of making change happen for animals in this generation. I am honoured to be the Chair of Women for a Humane Canada, and I’m excited to be a part of this incredible group of like-minded women who have banded together from across Canada to elevate animal welfare in this country.

By leveraging the sheer number of powerful and inspiring women in the animal welfare sector and investing our power, skill, resources and talent, this sector can become a launching pad for much-needed change. The making of such a powerful group of animal advocates is very timely. We are seeing a huge paradigm shift in our thinking as Canadians, which is reflected in the way we view animals – no longer seeing them as mere objects or belongings but rather as sentient, intelligent beings who have the capacity to feel joy, pain, fear and love.

Women for a Humane Canada is currently supporting the development of animal welfare indicators, which will identify current gaps in legislation and key animal welfare issues that most urgently need focused action, including lobbying at all levels of government, and encouraging Canadians to direct their attention, effort and donor dollars toward strengthening the humane movement. Animals in this country need a strong federal voice now more than ever, as most political decisions being made on animal protection law, particularly at the federal level, go against the views and values of the majority of Canadians. For example, a Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2016 narrowed the definition of bestiality, making animals even more vulnerable to sexual abuse.

As a member of Women for a Humane Canada, I know that my donation is being put toward research and programs that will make a real difference for Canada’s animals. As a group, we spend our time recruiting new members, mentoring young people to further professionalize and empower the sector, and amplifying the work of CFHS across Canada to make the national voice for animals even stronger.

Animals have enriched my life in more ways than I can count, and I owe them much in return. Because of this, I want to be part of building a humane nation, shaping this country into a fair and just place for the most vulnerable – the animals. Join me in making a commitment to advance the welfare of animals. Together, Women for a Humane Canada can take animal advocacy to the next level. We are already accomplishing so much, but we could go further with you.

Learn about becoming a member of Women for a Humane Canada here.

Women for a Humane Canada Members (2017)

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
Peggie Pelosi Peggie Pelosi Toronto, ON
Dr. Jane Young Dr. Jane Young Bracebridge, ON
Deanna Thompson Deanna Thompson Calgary, AB
Carrie Fritz Carrie Fritz Okotoks, AB
Sue Norton Sue Norton Ottawa, ON
Cheryl	Albuquerque Cheryl Albuquerque Toronto, ON
Shannon Giust Shannon Giust Ottawa, ON
Liz Torlee Liz Torlee Toronto, ON
Judith Goldberg Judith Goldberg Richmond Hill, ON
Sharon Campbell-Rayment Sharon Campbell-Rayment Kent Ridge, ON
Carissa MacLennan Carissa MacLennan York, ON



Linda Barber
Chair and Member Director
Ottawa Humane Society

Miranda Jordan-Smith
Vice Chair and Member Director
Edmonton Humane Society

Cindy Soules

Nadine Atkinson, CA

Lynn Cadigan

Dr. Alice Crook

Tara Hellewell
Member Director
Central Alberta Humane Society

Adrienne McBride
Member Director
Guelph Humane Society

Craig Naherniak
Member Director

Anne Sutherland



Barbara Cartwright, CEO of CFHS

In 2018, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies will be embracing significant change in our organization as we step into a new strategic plan and a bold mandate under a new name: Humane Canada. More than a vision or dream, Humane Canada is a necessity whose time has come. It is a strategic shift in which we all commit to making change now, in this generation, by stepping on a shared path. We will not be successful in making the changes that animals need without strong leadership from our community, the professional animal welfare sector, to engage an as yet unmotivated government and a non-committal, if sympathetic, public. We need to unite and act as one collective to create a cross-Canada paradigm shift for animals. Truly supporting a federated model under the banner of Humane Canada will give us the depth of power and focus we need to get the job done. Keep your eye out for changes to our websites and social media channels as we transition to Humane Canada.

On the heels of the first-ever Canadian Violence Link Conference, hosted by CFHS in Ottawa in December 2017, CFHS and our violence link partners across Canada will be taking action on the most urgent issues that were identified at the conference, including the need for education across sectors on how to recognize the links between interpersonal violence and animal cruelty, the integration of animal welfare into cross-sectoral, coordinated domestic violence response systems, funding for the fostering or co-housing of pets for individuals or families fleeing violence, the need for legislation that would require all animal professionals to report suspect animal abuse or neglect and the need for standardized protocols on the violence link for mental health, child welfare and animal welfare agencies. In addition, we’re excited to announce that 10 of our Canadian Violence Link Conference attendees have put their names forward to begin building a National Violence Link Coalition in Canada. We look forward to convening our first meeting of this Coalition in April of 2018.

In 2018, we will also be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the CFHS National Animal Welfare Conference. To mark this momentous occasion, we will offering five concurrent learning tracks for each day of conference. We’ll be covering all the critical topics in animal welfare, like cat overpopulation, dog management partnerships in First Nations communities, new developments in animal welfare science, wildlife in captivity, how animal shelters can better help wildlife, farm animal welfare policy and practice, humane “pest” control, animal testing, humane education and the process of mainstreaming our movement. This conference is a core part of the training and professionalization of our movement, and we are proud to be at the forefront.

We are thrilled to have a number of animal welfare and protection bills in play heading into 2018 and, over the next year, we’ll continue our razor-sharp focus on progressing legislation and regulations for all animals.

CFHS has been campaigning heavily for the release of long-awaited animal transportation regulations, which have been ten years in the making. Our community has been pushing hard for these regulations, which were shared with the public in draft form in December 2016. Strengthened protections for farm animals in transport is a critical issue that must be resolved with strong, modern and science-informed regulations to prevent the estimated 1.6 million deaths of farm animals on Canadian roads each year. We will ensure that these regulations finally see the light of day in 2018.

We will also work strategically to keep the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act (Bill S-203) and the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act (Bill S-214) on track in the Senate so that both pass third reading as strong pieces of legislation that will create meaningful change for animals and elevate their welfare. And CFHS will continue to work closely with the Office of the Minister of Justice on the development of Criminal Code amendments to strengthen provisions on animal fighting and bestiality, among other issues.

2018 promises to be a powerful year for advancing animal welfare! Stay tuned for some exciting announcements in the months to come.

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


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

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102-30 Concourse Gate
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2E 7V7
1-888-678-CFHS (2347)
Tel: (613) 224-8072 Fax: (613) 723-0252

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