Companion Animals

Research and Reports

Companion animals play a huge role in the lives of Canadians, and Humane Canada is dedicated to developing projects, programs and research focused on companion animal welfare.

Humane Canada conducts vital companion animal research, publishing reports on key issues affecting companion animals.

In 2017, Humane Canada reconvened the National Cat Overpopulation Task Force and completed a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder report on cat overpopulation. This is a five-year update on our ground-breaking 2012 analysis of cat welfare in Canada – the first report of its kind. Read the Cats in Canada 2017 report. It is available in English and French.

In 2016, Humane Canada released Humane Societies and SPCAs in Canada. This is the first comprehensive analysis of Canada’s sector of humane societies and SPCAs. It uses data from a cross-Canada survey and the Canada Revenue Agency’s Registered Charity Information Returns to look a:

  • The sector’s contributions to Canadian society
  • The volunteer and financial support it receives 
  • Some of the challenges it faces.

Read Humane Societies and SPCAs in Canada: A Comprehensive Look at the Sector 

Humane Canada gathers annual statistics on Canadian shelter animals, which measures outcomes at Canada’s humane societies and SPCAs and provides a national picture of shelter animal welfare. This information provides a national picture of the important role shelters play in their communities. We publish this data annually in the Animal Shelter Statistics Report. 

In 2013, Humane Canada brought together animal shelter thought leaders and stakeholders from across the country to establish Canadian animal shelter standards. The group accepted the principles of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ (ASV) Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters as a foundational document and contextualized the document for use in Canada. The Canadian document must always be read as a companion to the ASV Shelter Standards. Download both documents.

Projects and Programs

Humane Canada partnered with the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program to bring Capacity for Care (C4C) to six pilot shelters between 2013 and 2016. C4C is an operations and management model that helps shelters better meet the needs of the animals in their facility, which significantly improves outcomes. 

Programs like C4C change the way shelters do business and saves lives in the process. Recent statistics show that, depending on the shelter, we have seen a decrease in the number of sick cats by up to 87%, decreased cats’ length of stay at the shelter by 51% and decreased euthanasia due to illness by 63%.

Read about our three-year Capacity for Care pilot project (2014-2017), in which we implemented C4C in six animal shelters across Canada.

Committees and Councils

As Canada’s trusted voice for animal welfare, Humane Canada advocates on behalf of animals to the public, industry, and government by sitting on multiple committees and councils.

Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association  Animal Welfare Committee

Humane Canada is an Ex-Officio member of the Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association (CVMA) –  Animal Welfare Committee. This committee promotes key animal welfare issues within the animal industry to government and the public. We also advise the CVMA on animal welfare issues and aid in the development of pertinent position statements.

The National Companion Animal Coalition (NCAC)

Formed in 1996, the NCAC promotes socially-responsible pet ownership and enhance the health and well-being of companion animals. In 2004, Humane Canada was instrumental in the NCAC’s harmonization of microchip systems for companion animals in Canada. Read more about harmonized microchip systems.