Vancouver council votes in favour of the human-animal bond

The impacts of Covid-19 on mental health, and the demonstrated positive impact of companion animals, led to a renewed call to Vancouver City Council to support an end to ‘no pets’ clauses in rental contracts.

The Vancouver Humane Society wrote a letter on October 5 to council, encouraging them to advocate for companion animals, noting that in Ontario the legislation is better worded.

The letter highlights that no pet clauses, as well as clauses that restrict weight, height, and breed, are arbitrary and unnecessary. Referencing Ontario, it also acknowledges the importance of a process for landlords to address issues related to aggression, noise, and allergies, should they arise.

On Thursday, October 15, 2020, Vancouver City Council voted unanimously to take two actions:

  1. To advocate for the province to end the prohibition of “no pets” clauses in rental contracts.
  2. For staff to look into what the city can do to curb landlords’ right to refuse rental on the basis of pet ownership.
Pets may finally be able to rest easy if action is taken by the Province as a result of the City of Vancouver’s motion

We congratulate the City of Vancouver for this progressive action and look forward to engaging with them to ensure safe homes for all citizens.


Webinar: Powerful actions to protect animal welfare

On July 22, 2020, Vancouver Humane Society’s executive director, Amy Morris, interviewed campaign director Emily Pickett. Emily highlights actions that we can take as individuals to protect animal welfare.

Powerful Actions to Protect Animal Welfare

1. Eat plant-based food 2. Be curious 3. Celebrate food victories 4. Visit an animal sanctuary 5. Petitions & political engagement 6. Apply the skills you ha…

Emily shared her personal journey from first learning about animal suffering to identifying actionable solutions to the ‘wicked’ problems. She shared about her personal decisions to improve the well-being of animals, as well as some of Vancouver Humane Society’s long-term goals when it comes to protecting animals.

To learn more, visit Our Work.


Save owls and bears

B.C. owls and bears threatened by logging

Black bears and owls in B.C. are under threat from logging plans that could damage their habitats. The plans, which affect forests on the Sunshine Coast and in the Fraser Canyon, have alarmed wildlife conservation groups, raised public concerns and attracted media attention.

Spotted owl habitat under threat

The online magazine The Narwhal reports that the provincial government has approved clearcut logging in the Fraser Canyon, which is a habitat for highly endangered northern spotted owls.

Citing maps produced by the Wilderness Committee, the Narwhal report states that the B.C. government has “issued more than 300 logging approvals — totaling almost 2,000 hectares — in the spotted owl’s range from October 2018 to May 2020…” The spotted owl has been listed as endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act since 2003.

Black bear dens would be destroyed

The Narwhal also reported that a plan by B.C. Timber Sales (the B.C. government agency that regulates logging on public land) to allow logging in the Dakota Ridge area of the Sunshine Coast could destroy black bear dens that are concentrated on the ridge. A study cited by the magazine concluded that logging in the area would destroy up to 28 dens in two cut blocks (areas authorized for logging).

The forest on Dakota Ridge has some of the oldest trees in Canada, which provide ideal dens for black bears when they rot out at the base. The area also provides the bears with plentiful blueberries and fresh water.

How you can help

Want to do more?

Sign a petition to urge the B.C. government to protect the black bears on the Sunshine Coast.

Send an email to the federal government asking them to hold B.C. accountable for protecting species at risk like spotted owls.


Anti-racism & decolonization

As an organization working to end the oppression of animals, we acknowledge that to advocate for social justice we must work together to challenge and dismantle oppression in all of its forms. We are committed to listening, learning, and standing against racism and colonization.

We recognize that our voice has not adequately considered other movements, including Black Lives Matter. We have put together a list of resources that we are using to learn. Please do reach out if you have ideas about how we can improve as an organization in being anti-racist and decolonizing our work.

Some resources we have been learning about/from include:


The big, challenging questions about plant-based foods with Peter Fricker

What plant-based foods are produced in Canada? Do you have to farm animals to produce enough food for Canadians? Would our economy fail if we stopped slaughtering animals? What’s the deal with vegan junk food? Learn about all of this and more by listening to our interview with VHS’ Projects and Communications Director, Peter Fricker.

Upcoming talk

On June 24, we are hosting an online presentation with Dr. Lisa Kramer, a behavioural economist at the University of Toronto, entitled Is the Future of Meat Plant-Based?. It is a free presentation and Dr. Kramer will be answering questions live! We have scheduled it for 12pm and 7pm to accommodate for different schedules.


Help Brittney and Puggy

Brittney and Puggy’s story

“Puggy came to me through a friend a few years ago, I have another cat named Jasper and they are buddies. I have always had a strong connection to my animals and they mean so much to me. I would do anything to make sure my cats are happy and healthy.”

Brittney, Puggy’s loving guardian

Last year Puggy had some health complications and ended up needing a surgery which was a very scary time. Brittney would visit him everyday at the vet and he was so happy to see her while he was healing.

“I am grateful the vet was so kind and let me make financial installments on his treatment because it was so expensive. Since then he has had to go back for several check ups and recently Puggy developed what seemed to be a bladder infection, which meant he needed further x-rays, urine samples, bloodwork and treatment.”

Brittney contacted VHS last week as she was struggling to pay for Puggy’s veterinary care.

“I do not qualify for CERB (Canadian Emergency Response Benefits) and I’m a former youth in care living off of very little funding and school bursaries. I also have a disability which prevents me from being able to work and I can’t work during this time due to covid. Any assistance would be much appreciated as I can not afford a huge vet bill and have no other resources or people that can help pay.”

“Puggy is honestly the sweetest and most loving cat ever and he is very attuned to my emotions. We both love and support each other when we are in pain, and he loves to cuddle and is very social. I take him on walks in the garden and we sit in the sun together. I couldn’t imagine life without him.”

Could you help Brittney and Puggy by making a donation to our McVitie Fund today?

“Having help from the McVitie fund is a blessing especially during COVID-19. Animals are so special and because of programs like this one people can have support in making sure their animals are healthy and safe. No one should have to choose between their animal and paying for rent or groceries. Thank you from Puggy and I both, we are so grateful for the support!!”


Help Brutus in his time of need

When thirteen-year-old Brutus developed a persistent cough and began bringing up fluid, his worried owner Carol made several trips to their vet.

After two unsuccessful rounds of antibiotics, Brutus’ vet advised that he would need x-rays in order to diagnose the issue and prescribe Brutus with the medication he needed.

Carol is currently unable to work due to her own medical conditions, and is not yet receiving EI because of delays due to COVID-19.

“It is breaking my heart to think I may have to put him down because I do not have the funds to pay for his further tests and medication. Brutus is such an affectionate dog, sometimes I think he is human! We cannot imagine him not being part of our family. He could still have a few more years with us.”

Carol, Brutus’ loving guardian

Please consider making a donation today towards our veterinary care assistance program, the McVitie Fund, to help us cover the cost of Brutus’ x-ray. Thank you!


Help Bubba

Exuberant English Bulldog, Bubba, injured his leg while playing at the park.

When he began limping and showing signs of pain, his owner Holly took him to the vet, who confirmed he would need an x-ray, most likely followed by surgery for a suspected torn or broken ligament.

Holly, a single parent on disability, reached out to VHS for help.

Could you make a donation today to help us cover the cost of Bubba’s x-ray?


Spike kept his tail thanks to our generous donors

Spike means a lot to his family. The black and white tom cat was just a kitten when he was adopted by a single mother and her children following a difficult family break-up. Spike’s guardian Allyson said it was a hard time for her children. “I desperately wanted to bring some joy and comfort into their lives,” she says.

Spike was happy to oblige and quickly became “everyone’s friend.” He loves attention, “nudging and pushing against your legs” and even blocking your path until he’s noticed, says Allyson.

Unfortunately, Spike had an altercation with another cat (or possibly local wildlife) and had a bad bite wound on the underside of his tail. The wound became badly infected and required immediate treatment, as there was risk the tail would need to be amputated.

As a single mom on a fixed income, Allyson couldn’t afford the cost of the medical treatment Spike needed so she asked for our help.  We were able to provide financial support through our McVitie Fund and Spike was treated right away.  His infection was addressed and, thankfully, there was no need for an amputation.  Spike recovered well and his grateful family is breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Our McVitie Fund saves lives!

The McVitie Fund is one of our most important projects, which provides emergency medical care for sick or injured animals.

We receive several phone calls a week from worried guardians asking us for financial help. Unfortunately, there are very few options available for low-income guardians in emergencies, that’s where our McVitie Fund comes in. The fund aims to keep beloved animals in their forever home instead of being surrendered to over-burdened shelters or unnecessarily euthanized.

Once again, a wonderful anonymous donor has agreed to match all donations, up to a total of $25,000, received towards the McVitie Fund from now until April 30th 2020. Your donation will be doubled through our challenge grant, meaning we will be able to help even more animals!

You can donate here.

Thank you!


Wizard needed some medical magic

Wizard and his brother, Snowy, are inseparable. Since joining their guardian’s family they have been valuable members and a source of all things cute. When they aren’t cuddling the afternoon away together, they can be found cleaning each other or play fighting out a typical sibling rivalry.

Wizard and Snowy bring so much joy to their family members – two young girls and their mother, who live on a very limited income. The two cats had recently seen the vet for vaccinations, microchipping and neuters – a necessary vet visit, but one that can be pricey when on a limited income. So it was especially unfortunate when Wizard managed to get out of the house soon afterward and was found limping in pain, bleeding and crying. It seemed he had been struck by a vehicle and his family rushed him to the emergency clinic.

The vet determined Wizard had a badly broken leg and required corrective surgery. The timing couldn’t have been worse, given the recent vet bill his guardian had just incurred. His family was determined to do everything they could for their beloved Wizard, but they needed help. This led them to reach out to VHS for assistance and thanks to our generous supporters, Wizard underwent the surgery he desperately needed and has since made a full recovery, with Snowy by his side.

Donations to our McVite Fund (which currently will be doubled thanks to a challenge grant!) help animals like Wizard. There are few options available for low-income guardians in emergencies and the McVitie Fund aims to keep beloved animals in their forever home instead of being surrendered to over-burdened shelters or unnecessarily euthanized. Please help save a life today by contributing to the McVitie Fund!