Have your say on proposed hunting & trapping regulations in B.C.

The B.C. government is seeking public feedback on a long list of suggested changes to hunting and trapping regulations. Now is your chance to see proposed changes in your area and across B.C. and speak up for wildlife. Their website is open for comments until January 23, 2022 at midnight.

Potential changes include:

  • A ban on the use of trail cameras for hunting
  • A ban on feeding or baiting ungulates such as deer near human dwellings to prevent human-wildlife conflict
  • Expansions and additions of no hunting and no shooting areas

How to register & comment

To participate through the government’s engagement website, you’ll need a Basic BCeID account.

  1. If you don’t have a BCeID account, register for a “Basic BCeID” account online. If you have a BCeID account and have not logged in for a while, you may need to reset your password.
  2. Go to the “Hunting” page and click “Login”.
  3. If you are prompted to complete your registration, fill out the required fields and submit the form.
  4. Once you’ve logged in, it will return you to the main “Hunting” page.
  5. You can now scroll through the proposed regulations and click or tap each regulation title to comment.

Note: You must be logged in and select one of the three cells (“Support”, “Neutral”, “Oppose”) under “Level of Support” to comment.

Some regulation changes to consider commenting on:

TitleProposed “Level of Support”
Wireless Trail CamerasSupport
Black Bear No Hunting Area Within the Primary Range of Kermode BearsSupport
Squamish River Valley No Shooting AreaSupport
Prohibit Feeding of Ungulates Within 200m of a Dwelling HouseSupport
No Hunting Zone – Highway 3 – Loop Bridge to Alexander BridgeSupport
Compulsory Inspection for Black BearSupport
Woodhus Slough No Hunting AreaSupport
Close Pink Mountain Caribou General Open Season (Bow Only) and Limited Entry Hunting OpportunitiesSupport
Minimum Distance Between Exposed Bait and TrapsSupport
Compulsory Inspection for Bobcat and Lynx in the OkanaganSupport
Mayne Island – HuntingNeutral
*3 options are suggested. Be sure to comment and indicate your preferred solution.
Rescind Downie Creek Motor Vehicle for Hunting Closed Area RegulationOppose

Trouble logging in?

If you have difficulty obtaining a BCeID, please make your concerns known to the Honourable Katrine Conroy directly at

A community-led initiative is available to support residents in participating in this feedback process. For further information, please email

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on policies that impact wildlife.

Opinion Editorial

Employee injured by jaguar at Greater Vancouver Zoo highlights welfare issue

Article originally published on Daily Hive.

Last month, a Greater Vancouver Zoo employee was injured when a jaguar climbed up a feeding chute and gripped the worker’s hand in his mouth. This incident is incredibly unfortunate, but for the many Greater Vancouverites who have been raising concerns about the zoo for years, it may not be surprising.

The incident exemplifies the inherent problems of keeping wild, exotic animals in captivity, including putting workers’ safety at risk. Receiving meat through a feeding chute is not a natural way for a jaguar to eat. The zoo’s own website acknowledges that jaguars “prefer to hunt with surprise attacks from a concealed location. They are great … tree climbers which aid[s] them in their ambushes.” Dropping food down a metal chute deprives the jaguars of their natural hunting behaviour—and puts an employee at risk of being bitten by an animal that the zoo has recognized to be an excellent climber.

Of course, the zoo has few other options under its model of keeping captive exotic animals in enclosed, unnatural environments. The zoo is not equipped to meet the needs of the jaguar. With an instinctual inclination to spend his day hunting wild prey, a jaguar’s natural territory covers hundreds of square miles, an area thousands of times larger than the entire zoo.

Being confined to a single space can cause feelings of frustration and helplessness, a reality that many of us may have a new appreciation for after two years of COVID-19 restrictions. Like humans, animals feel the desire to roam, to socialize, to play; to be free. Exotic animals retain the natural behavioural and biological needs that they would have in the wild, even when they are bred in captivity.

Because wild animals’ needs cannot be fully met in captivity, there have been instances of escapes and injuries as long as zoos have existed. Jason Hribal’s book Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance recounts dozens of incidents, including an elephant named Babe who attacked his trainer in 1915, causing fatal injuries. The Toledo Zoo responded by sawing off his tusks and, eventually, building a concrete pit in which to keep him in miserable confinement for his last two decades of life.

The Greater Vancouver Zoo in particular is no stranger to these welfare-related problems. This most recent incident is the latest in a series of issues that have garnered media attention in recent years. In 2019, a toddler was bitten by a black bear and had to be flown by air ambulance to hospital. Concerns about animal welfare at the zoo were later raised in public protests when a zoo visitor shared disturbing photos of an emaciated moose named Oakleaf. The moose was euthanized soon afterwards and the photos prompted an investigation by the BC SPCA.

The solution to these issues is clear, and yet the zoo has chosen to ignore it. A 2019 report commissioned by the Vancouver Humane Society recommends that where the zoo can’t satisfy an animal’s physical, psychological, or social needs, the animal should be relocated to a suitable sanctuary facility in a habitat more appropriate for their species. The report also highlights concerns surrounding the keeping of wild, exotic animals in a climate that is vastly different from their natural habitat; sub-optimal enclosures that are in some cases too small or lack shelter and privacy areas; as well as a lack of enrichment to encourage the expression of natural movements and behaviours.

The Greater Vancouver Zoo has not responded to these recommendations. Instead, its responses to incidents have continually failed to meet the needs of the animals it keeps. After the most recent incident, WorkSafeBC said that the zoo has “weld[ed] bars in at the bottom of the feeding chute”. The response is sadly reminiscent off Babe’s sawed-off tusks in 1915. While the bars help to protect workers from future injuries, they do nothing to address the root cause of the incident: the clear inability to meet the needs of the jaguar.

The zoo’s lack of action is, frankly, unacceptable. As a society, we know far more now about animal well-being and sentience than we did a century ago. We are long overdue to progress beyond the band-aid solutions of the past. We must do away with the archaic tradition of keeping wild animals on display in captivity.


A better world for animals in 2022

The new year is here, and with it comes an opportunity to build on last year’s great progress for animals! Here is a look back on some of the amazing highlights and achievements that were made possible in 2022 because of animal allies like you. 

Wins for wildlife

B.C. permanently restricts deadly rodent poisons

In July 2021, the provincial government introduced an 18-month partial ban on some of the deadliest rodent poisons. Animal advocates continued to speak out throughout the temporary ban about the dangers of rodenticides to wildlife and pets—more than 2,500 British Columbians signed the Vancouver Humane Society’s petition in support of a comprehensive rodenticide ban, and more than 1,300 individuals participated in the provincial government’s public consultation! The VHS also submitted a report in support of a comprehensive rodenticide ban. 

On October 28, 2022, the government announced it would be implementing permanent restrictions on second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides. This was a momentous first step in protecting wildlife and companion animals from dangerous rodent poisons—but it is not the last step. Concerned animal supporters can continue to advocate to address gaps in the regulations by following these tips.

Province updates hunting regulations

In early 2022, the VHS shared information to help animal allies to voice their support for stronger hunting and trapping regulations during the government’s public consultation period. Many advocates participated, and following the consultation the Ministry of Forests introduced updated regulations that included the introduction of new No Hunting areas as well as region-specific restrictions on baiting, using wireless cameras for hunting, and more. 

Advocacy for animals in entertainment

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals Media

Thousands speak out against rodeo cruelty at the Calgary Stampede

Last year, the Vancouver Humane Society collaborated with concerned Calgarians to create, a website that aims to expose the evidence-based realities of rodeo and other animal events at the Calgary Stampede. More than 9,600 people visited the website in 2022 to learn about the realities of rodeo cruelty, and more than 2,900 people took the #SayNoToRodeo pledge. 

Following a tragic chuckwagon incident that claimed the life of a horse, the VHS spoke out against the Stampede’s continued hosting of the deadly event in interviews with media outlets including City News, CTV Calgary, and the Daily Hive.  

A Research Co. poll commissioned by the Vancouver Humane Society during the Stampede revealed that the removal of the rodeo and chuckwagon events from the Calgary Stampede program would have virtually no impact on attendance rates and would bring in new crowds. 

British Columbians rally against a new rodeo

After several years that saw the decline of cruel rodeo events in B.C., a new rodeo event was sadly introduced in Langley Township in 2022. The VHS spoke out against this inhumane and unnecessary event in interviews with the Langley Advance Times, Global News, the Jill Bennett Show, and more. Nearly 3,000 members of the public signed the VHS’s petition calling on decision-makers to prevent the new rodeo.  

Video footage captured at the rodeo shows stressed and frightened animals being roughly handled and deliberately agitated into fleeing and bucking. Following the event, the VHS launched a quick action that all British Columbians can take to help prevent inhumane rodeo practices from coming to their community. 

Change for animals in captivity

Provincial decision-makers agree to meet to discuss captivity regulations 

89% of British Columbians oppose the international trade of exotic animals to be kept on display in permanent captivity in zoos and aquariums, yet provincial regulations continue to allow the keeping, breeding, and import of wild and exotic species. These outdated regulations have enabled ongoing issues to continue, as highlighted in video footage of abnormal behaviour from animals at Metro Vancouver’s two major animal attractions, and by two recent high-profile incidents at the Greater Vancouver Zoo which put animals and humans at risk. 

More than 5,400 animal supporters signed a petition calling for the much-needed updates to captivity regulations. Thanks to this strong push for support, along with an in-depth report outlining key recommendations, the VHS was able to schedule a meeting to raise concerns and suggestions directly with provincial decision-makers! The meeting will take place today, January 12th

Care for companion animals

A record number of animals receive veterinary assistance through the McVitie program 

Between rising costs and a growing number of people experiencing barriers to veterinary care, more animal guardians than ever are needing extra support to keep their beloved companion animals healthy without surrendering them to the already-overburdened shelter and rescue system.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, the VHS’s McVitie program was able to provide urgent veterinary assistance to more companion animals than ever before! 629 animals received assistance through the program in 2022, enabling animals like Precious, Chipper, Shailoh, and Copper to stay with their families who love them. 

Animal heroes break down barriers at Because They Matter 

On July 24th, 22 participants took to the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to hand out much-needed pet supplies and share essential veterinary support resources with animals and their guardians who spend their days on the streets. In all, Because They Matter event participants handed out thousands of pet supplies and around 300 pamphlets about the Vancouver Humane Society’s veterinary assistance programs! Participants also raised more than $15,000 donated by generous supporters to help make these vital assistance programs possible. 

Protections for farmed animals

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals Media

Federal government begins enforcement of new animal transport regulations 

Every year in Canada, approximately 14 million animals suffer injuries and 1.6 million die during transport journeys that are often long-distance and in extreme weather conditions. Despite updates to farmed animal transport regulations being introduced in 2020, the federal government delayed full enforcement of the requirements for two years. More than 2,500 animal advocates pushed back against the possibility of further delays, and thanks to the strong call for action, the CFIA announced that enforcement of new regulations would begin on February 20, 2022. 

B.C. announces review of farmed animal welfare framework 

Following the release of undercover footage revealing egregious cruelty on a dairy farm in Abbotsford, the VHS launched a public campaign calling for greater protections for farmed animals. More than 2,400 individuals took the quick action to demand change from the B.C. government. The VHS also supported advocates in speaking up for animals in the dairy industry by providing a guide for submitting comments to the National Farm Animal Care Council’s (NFACC) “Dairy Codes of Practice”. The Dairy Code, which was last updated in 2009, serves as a guideline for dairy industry practices.  

In late 2022, the Country Life in BC agricultural newspaper confirmed that The Ministry of Agriculture would be conducting a review of the farmed animal welfare framework. This review is an important opportunity to push for real action to protect farmed animals from cruelty and suffering. Read the VHS’s open letter to the Ministry of Agriculture calling for true public transparency on farms and changes that would make a meaningful difference in the lives of the millions of sentient animals raised for food in this province.  

Donors make life better for animals with VHS & The Happy Herd on Giving Tuesday

On Giving Tuesday, the VHS partnered with The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary to raise funds for vital animal supplies, programs, and advocacy work. Animal lovers supported animals through both organizations by donating or shopping at participating businesses, including Panago Pizza, who offered discounted plant-based pizzas across B.C. and donated $1 for each plant-based pizza sold.

Wonderful supporters like you raised an astounding $22,900 for animals! These generous donations will help rescued farmed animals to stay healthy and safe in their loving forever home, enable companion animals to get the life-saving veterinary care they need, and ensure the work to create a more compassionate world for all species will continue.

Photo: Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

Canadians call for an end to inhumane live horse exports 

More than a year after the federal government committed to end the cruel live export of horses for slaughter, these gentle animals continue to be shipped on long, stressful journeys during which they can go 28 hours without food, water, or rest. In 2022, more than 19,000 Canadians signed onto a federal e-petition led by Jann Arden calling on the government to follow through on their promise to end this inhumane industry. Your support is needed to help push this change across the finish line! Read the VHS’s piece in the Daily Hive, Why hasn’t Canada stopped horses from being shipped to slaughter overseas?, to learn more about this urgent issue. 

A kinder future for all species

Thank you for helping animals in 2022! With your continued support, we can all continue to work toward a kinder future for animals in 2023. Can you keep the momentum going by taking action on the current campaigns to end animal suffering or making a donation toward vital animal programs and advocacy?

Take action
Donate now

Big wins for animals in 2021

Here are some of the ways you helped make our world a better place for animals this year! Click the links below to scroll to a section.

Working to protect wildlife

Habitat protection for owls and bears

Late last year, VHS launched a petition calling on the provincial government to stop planned logging in two important wildlife habitats: the Sunshine Coast and in the Fraser Canyon. The Dakota Ridge area on the Sunshine Coast is home to a concentration of black bear dens, while the Fraser Canyon is the last known habitat of wild spotted owls in Canada. More than 2,300 people signed the petition!

In early March, the B.C. government agreed to permanently halt logging in the Dakota Ridge area. Meanwhile, the Spô’zêm Nation and environmental groups leading the campaign against planned logging in the Fraser Canyon announced that the government has put the plan on hold.

B.C. implements a partial ban on rodenticides

This year, VHS worked with a strong team of animal advocates to call for a ban on inhumane and indiscriminate rodent poisons, also known as rodenticides. These baited poisons cause a slow and painful death for the animals that consume them, and can harm or even kill the animals that eat poisoned mice or rats. VHS’s petition to end rodenticide use in B.C. received more than 3,000 signatures!

Following a meeting between VHS, other animal advocacy groups, and B.C. decision-makers, the provincial government announced a temporary restriction on second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides—the most toxic type of rodent poisons.

While the partial ban is a welcome first step, further action is needed to address the continued deaths of wildlife. You can support a permanent ban on all rodenticides by contacting the Ministry of Environment through our simple 30-second email tool.

Speaking up for animals in entertainment

New Westminster moves to repurpose the Queen’s Park petting farm

VHS shared a briefing note with the City of New Westminster about the Queen’s Park Petting Farm. The note highlighted evidence-based concerns related to animal welfare, public health and safety, and public education; we recommended a closure of the petting farm.

In July, the City launched a public consultation seeking ideas from residents for an alternative space at Queen’s Park. They have since recognized that the space is not suitable for housing large animals. We are pleased to see city programming moving in an animal-friendly direction.

Fairmont Hotels agrees to stop promoting and offering sled dog rides

In September, Fairmont Hotels announced it would no longer promote or offer sled dog rides! The announcement followed efforts by animal advocates to draw attention to the harms of commercial sled dog tourism, including a letter from VHS to Fairmont Whistler and an incredibly successful petition and campaign by advocates.

Chilliwack Fair Rodeo cancelled for a second year

The Chilliwack Fair’s rodeo event was again cancelled due to COVID-19, sparing animals from the suffering endured at rodeos. VHS plans to engage Chilliwack City Council next year, pointing to the fact that the Fair was able to go ahead as a more family-friendly event without the cruel rodeo.

Keeping companion animals with their loving guardians

More than 400 animals helped through veterinary assistance

Generous donors to VHS’s McVitie Fund and Helping Women and Pets program assisted more than 400 companion animals this year! These donations helped animals to access needed veterinary care while staying with their loving families. Learn more about how veterinary assistance helps animals and their guardians.

Because They Matter participants connect with animal guardians in the DTES

In July, volunteers gathered in Vancouvers Downtown Eastside neighbourhood to hand out harnesses, leashes, dog treats, and blankets. More than 60 people and their animals who spend their days on the streets visited VHS’s booth in Pigeon Park. The team also shared vital information about veterinary assistance with about 350 people!

Check out the photos of some of the happy recipients.

Community rallies to support animals impacted by flooding

As flooding in B.C. forced many residents out of their homes, the people impacted are doing their best to make sure their loved ones are healthy and safe—including their animal family members. VHS’s Flood Evacuee Veterinary Support fund has ensured that flood-impacted people can access care for their companion animals.

To date, VHS has assisted 37 individual companion animals and partnered with 6 veterinarians to support flood-affected farmed animals. We continue to receive applications as flood-impacted people recover and rebuild. Learn more about some of the flood-impacted animals who have been helped so far.

While this has been a very difficult time, it has also been a demonstration of the amazing power of community. We are grateful for the outpouring of support to help people and animals impacted by the floods.

Protecting farmed animals

City of Vancouver moves to decrease animal-based food purchasing by 20%

This year, VHS launched a new report, “Increasing Plant-Based Purchasing at the Municipal Level”. The report examines food purchasing for the City of Vancouver; it found that by replacing 20% of animal-based foods with plant-based alternatives, the City of Vancouver could save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save animal lives.

This shift would include all direct or indirect food purchasing at the City of Vancouver level; for instance, at catered city events, meetings, concessions, and through food-related funding that the city offers.

The report led to a motion that was unanimously passed by City Council! We look forward to working alongside the City of Vancouver to build a more animal-friendly future.

PlantUniversity supports people in transitioning to a plant-based diet

In August, VHS launched the PlantUniversity platform. This free online resource helps people find tasty recipes and handy resources at any stage of their plant-based journey. PlantUniversity also offers resources to institutions (like schools, hospitals, long-term care homes, and restaurants) that are looking to add plant-based options to their menu.

Adding more plant-based foods to our diets decreases the demand for industrial animal agriculture and reduces animal suffering. Even small changes like switching out a few meals each week for plant-based options can add up to a huge impact as we all work toward a more humane society for animals.

B.C. announces phase-out of cruel mink fur farms

Animal advocates and supporters across the province, including the Vancouver Humane Society, the BC SPCA, The Fur-Bearers, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and Ban Fur Farms BC, have been pushing for an end to unnecessary and inhumane fur farms for years. This year saw a public push for change after a COVID-19 outbreak was discovered at a third B.C. mink farm.

In November, the B.C. government announced that mink farms will be phased out completely by 2025.

While the announcement is a huge win, there is still more to be done. VHS will continue to monitor this situation and call for an end to all fur farms in B.C.

Animal champions surpass Giving Tuesday goal for VHS & The Happy Herd

On Giving Tuesday, November 30, VHS partnered with The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary to make life better for animals. With your help, we surpassed our $15,000 goal with an incredibe $18,277 raised! These funds will go toward providing a loving home for rescued farmed animals and working to prevent animal suffering in all forms.

Animal protection recognized in federal platforms

Animal protection was recognized as an election issue this year! Issues related to the wildlife trade, farmed animals, companion animals, and more were included in the main party platforms. This year also marked the first-ever federal debate dedicated to animal protection, featuring representatives from the Green Party, Liberal Party, and New Democratic Party.

Thousands of voters across Canada tuned in to watch the debate hosted by the Vancouver Humane Society, Animal Justice, Montreal SPCA, Nation Rising, and World Animal Protection.

A cruelty-free future

Thank you for helping make so much progress for animals this year. Let’s celebrate the changes made in 2021 and turn this progress into momentum for 2022 and beyond. Stay tuned for advocacy on animals in captivity as well as continued advocacy and programming to support a cruelty-free future.

You can support continued advocacy on behalf of all animals today and for years to come by making an end-of-year donation. All donations made before midnight on December 31st will receive a tax receipt for the 2021 financial year.


Speak up for better protections for farmed animals

Please ask the B.C. government to introduce third party auditing; video monitoring systems; and emergency plans to better protect farmed animals!  

Email the B.C. government now

Recent news coverage shares disturbing footage from an Abbotsford-based dairy, Cedar Valley Farms, showing dairy cows being violently beaten, kicked and dragged. This case is a recent example of long-standing issues within Canada’s animal agriculture system. In the last few years, there have been several high-profile undercover investigations in B.C. alone that have documented egregious animal cruelty. 

Concerningly, rather than addressing the cruelty issues taking place within the industry, governments have begun introducing anti-whistleblower legislation (commonly referred to as ‘ag-gag’ laws) which effectively deters undercover investigations from taking place.

The VHS and other animal protection groups are calling for transparency and accountability within the animal agriculture industry. Specifically, change is needed to have government-mandated and proactively-enforced compliance with the National Farm Animal Care Council Codes of Practice, as well as third party auditing and video surveillance systems on farms across B.C.

In addition, the recent floods, along with the 2021 heat dome and wildfires, reiterate the importance of protections for farmed animals during disasters and emergencies. More than 651,000 farmed animals perished in the heat dome and more than 640,000 more are reported to have died in the recent floods. Emergency planning must include a feasible strategy for urgent animal evacuations to prevent the kind of mass suffering we have seen.

Take action

  1. Please join us in calling on B.C.’s Premier and the Minister of Agriculture to take these important actions to better protect farmed animals from cruelty and suffering.

2. You can raise awareness of this issue by sharing this recent op-ed featured in the Daily Hive.

Content warning: the op-ed contains photos and descriptions of animal cruelty in the dairy industry.

3. You can make personal changes to take a stand against dairy cruelty. The blog linked below highlights a few staff favourite dairy-free tips and products!

4. This t-shirt, which features a half cow and half dog face, reminds us to be kind to every kind. All proceeds go toward creating a kinder world for animals.

With your help, we can see a change for the better for dairy cows and other farmed animals.


Support for flood recovery saves animals

It has been more than two weeks since the first floods hit B.C., forcing people and animals from their homes and devastating our province. The effects are still impacting guardians and their pets who live in flooded areas, some of whom have told us they will be stuck in motels well into December. 

While these past few weeks have been a time of incredible tragedy, they have also been a demonstration of the amazing power of community.

We are grateful for the outpouring of support for those impacted by the flood, and have seen amazing action from our community in offering their time, sharing resources, and donating toward our flooding support fund. Through the generosity of people like you, we have been able to help many people and animals to begin the long recovery from this crisis.

Here are some of the stories of flood-affected animals getting assistance from the Vancouver Humane Society.

1. Veterinary assistance for flood evacuees: Finley’s story; Niwe and Sherman’s story

Our Flood Evacuee Veterinary Support fund has covered expenses for flood-impacted people and their companion animals, ranging from vet-recommended pet foods to medications to urgent surgeries. One of the animals whose care was covered through the program is Finley.

5-year-old Finley started urinating blood after evacuating from her home. Her guardian Chloe immediately reached out for help getting her veterinary assistance.

The veterinarian believed Finley could be suffering from stress-related cystitis, a urinary condition. She and her entire family had been incredibly anxious since the flooding hit. With two young children and one on the way, Chloe’s family is struggling to cope with the stress of being away from home.

With help from donors, VHS has covered the cost of Finley’s care so she can begin to recover from this tragedy with her loving family.

“Thank you so much! The help has relieved so much stress,” said Finley’s guardian, Chloe.

You can assist animals like Finley by donating to the flood evacuee veterinary assistance fund. 

Other guardians have reached out for assistance with veterinary care that would help them stay with their animal family members as they looked for emergency accommodations.

“We were evacuated due to the flooding. We were able to go stay with my cousin but they have dogs too and since our dogs don’t have their shots they needed us to get shots to stay with them.  I know the SPCA was offering temporary shelter for pets, but for us pets are comfort and safety in an emergency.”

Lena was evacuated from her home with her family, including young Niwe and five-year-old Sherman. She worried she would not be able to keep her two beloved dogs with her—she knew housing them temporarily in a shelter would place added stress on all of them.

Lena was grateful to find a temporary home moving in with a cousin, but needed to get Niwe’s first shots and update Sherman’s vaccines to keep the other dogs in the home healthy.

VHS’s flood evacuee veterinary assistance fund helped Niwe and Sherman to get the vaccines they needed and stay together as a family during this stressful time.

2. Partnerships with local organizations in flood-affected areas: Beauty’s story

With the help of donations, we have partnered with local organizations working on the ground in flood-impacted areas to cover the veterinary costs of animals rescued in the floods. One of those organizations is the Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team Society (ALERT). 

When flooding began to devastate parts of B.C., ALERT mobilized their team of local volunteers to rescue and care for animals like Beauty.

Beauty was on her way from a rescue in Manitoba to a veterinarian in the Lower Mainland when she was stranded by flooding. Once the floods hit, Beauty and the other dogs traveling with her had nowhere to go. ALERT stepped in to help these 76 animals and were concerned about Beauty’s rapidly deteriorating leg injury. A volunteer triaged Beauty and found she was showing signs of sepsis, a deadly infection if not treated.

The team at ALERT and the local community rallied to make sure Beauty and her travel companions had homes to stay in while they waited for the waters to pass. Beauty spent the night with Keith, a caring local resident. As soon as they could, ALERT rushed her to a veterinarian.

Her already injured leg had to be amputated; the quick thinking of ALERT’s volunteer team helped to save her life. Beauty is recovering with an experienced medical foster. Keith, who fostered her for the night she was stranded, indicated an interest in being Beauty’s forever guardian.

3. Financial support for veterinarians: Cascade’s story

A generous donor reached out to Vancouver Humane Society to help veterinarians who are caring for animals impacted by the floods. With this financial support, we have begun distributing gifts to veterinary clinics in need who are helping with the flood assistance, including the Cascade Veterinary Clinic in Princeton.

When flooding hit Princeton, the staff were faced with the challenge of how to stay open during the crisis. The clinic was cut off from many essential resources. Still, as the only emergency clinic in a two-hour radius, they knew it was essential they stay open to help the animals.

Since the flood, the owners and staff have been working hard to keep their doors open and their clinic safe for animals in need. That has meant sourcing clean water to maintain sanitary procedures, bringing towels and laundry home to wash, using space heaters when their furnace broke down, and dedicating extra hours to help out with the clinic’s needs while also dealing with flooding in their own homes.

We were able to distribute a gift to Cascade to cover a portion of their operating costs for the week of the flood. This donation is helping them to continue offering vital assistance at a time when it is needed most.

Donate toward flood evacuee veterinary support


No more delays for full enforcement of farmed animal transport rules


2579 individuals used the quick action tool to send an email directly to decision-makers. Thanks to this strong push for action, the CFIA announced that enforcement of new regulations will begin on February 20, 2022. VHS will continue to monitor the situation and advocate for more protections for farmed animals.

Tell the federal government to adequately enforce the farmed animal transport regulations

Farmed animals are among the most directly impacted by human activity, with more than 800 million land animals raised and killed for food every year in Canada. Transportation is one of the most stressful activities for farmed animals. Every year in Canada, approximately 14 million animals suffer injuries and 1.6 million die during transport journeys that are often long-distance and in extreme weather conditions.

In February 2019, the federal government announced updates to the farmed animal transport regulations, set to come into force a year later in February 2020. Unfortunately, the new regulations were hardly an improvement on the previous ones that had been in place since 1977. For example, only minor amendments were made to the food, water and rest (FWR) intervals for animals during transport.

Also concerning was the announcement that there would be a two-year delay (until February 2022) for full enforcement of the updated FWR intervals, including issuing large-scale fines, which is known to be the most effective form of enforcement when it comes to changing the actions of companies. This decision was intended to give the industry more time to adjust the shorter FWR intervals and to implement changes to infrastructure and marketing practices needed to meet the requirements. During this time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) took a soft approach, focusing on educating people about the new requirements.

As the deadline for this two-year delay in full enforcement approaches, it is possible that further delays are being considered. Please join the VHS and other animal protection organizations and advocates in calling on the federal government to prioritize full enforcement of the farmed animal transport rules.

Take action

Please tell the Minister of Agriculture; the Minister of Health; and the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to fully enforce the Transport of Animals regulations, including issuing appropriately sized fines.

This action has now ended

2579 people used this tool to send an email to decision-makers. Thank you for taking action!


Peanut receives care after flooding leaves him and family trapped at home

Earlier this week, Cultus Lake was hit by flooding and landslides, completely blocking road access into or out of the area. Some households had been given evacuation orders and some people were unable to leave their homes at all.

Two of those left stranded were Sylvie and her dog, Peanut.

“I’ve never seen such destruction in Cultus Lake,” Sylvie said. “There are huge holes in the road and they are filling with water. We’ve had landslides like this here before, but I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life. The parking lot at the community hall is now a big crater!”

But being homebound would become much more troubling for Sylvie. Peanut soon injured his dewclaw, leaving it bent all the way back. Sylvie said that he seemed like he was in such pain that his eyes and ears were turning red. While she would have normally rushed him to the veterinarian, she now had no way of getting there.

“The lake now has floating wood and debris in it all around the shoreline. At first we couldn’t leave the house at all for resources because it wasn’t safe or possible to leave.”

Sylvie was finally able to get Peanut to the vet yesterday where, with help from Vancouver Humane Society’s Flood Evacuee Veterinary Support fund, he had the claw safely removed and received pain medication.

Many stories like Sylvie and Peanut’s are now emerging; we know that more pet guardians will need assistance in the coming days and weeks. Of the thousands of flood evacuees, more than half of households have pets.

In a time when people are doing their best to ensure their loved ones are safe and healthy, we are working to eliminate the financial barriers that come with unexpected veterinary costs for their animal family members.

Vancouver Humane Society’s Flood Evacuee Veterinary Support is here to help any pet guardians impacted by the flood with costs related to veterinary care, including medications and vet-recommended food that may have been left behind in the evacuation, as well as treatment for illnesses or injuries. Those needing support are asked to reach out through our online form, by email at, or by phone at 604-336-1390.

We are truly grateful for the support of our community in this time of crisis. If you are able to donate toward veterinary support for flood evacuees, we welcome gifts through the form below. All donations toward our veterinary support fund are currently being matched 100% up to $25,000 by an anonymous donor.

B.C. Flood Evacuee Veterinary Assistance

Opinion Editorial

It’s time to boycott the dairy industry

Article originally published on Daily Hive.

The clock has been ticking in the dairy industry for a while, and a recent public scandal may be the time bomb that draws the dairy milk era to a close.

Footage leaked by Animal Justice shows cows being ruthlessly beaten and tormented allegedly at Cedar Valley Farms, a dairy farm in Abbotsford.

In the heartbreaking video, workers hit cornered cows in the face with canes; mother cows wail hauntingly and are kicked in the face by employees as their babies are roughly grabbed by their fragile legs, tossed into wheelbarrows, and rolled away to the slaughterhouse or to be raised for the same cruel fate.

While this blatant cruelty is the worst I have seen, it’s unfortunately nothing new. Animal abuse and suffering are endemic in the dairy industry. To fully understand why that is, we need to go back to the last headline-making video leak from a BC dairy farm.

In 2014, hidden cameras at Canada’s largest dairy farm in Chilliwack revealed horrific abuses. Video footage showed cows being punched, kicked, and beaten with chains and rakes; left to suffer with open wounds and without desperately needed veterinary care; and lifted up by their necks using chains and tractors.

In the ensuing public outcry, the eight employees involved were fired and many faced animal cruelty charges.

The incident prompted a more in-depth look into the dairy industry as a whole. Soon after, the National Farm Animal Care Council’s (NFACC) Code of Practice, which outlines appropriate treatment of the animals used on farms, was incorporated into legislation in BC. The industry also implemented a system of inspections to ensure farmers were complying with the regulations.

In droves, they weren’t.

Within the first 18 months of the new system being implemented, 27 percent of farms failed the inspections and required corrective action; 10 percent were still deemed non-compliant upon their follow-up inspection. Findings described farms with inadequate space for cows, including during the stressful birthing process; extremely limited access to feed troughs; wet and dirty pens; and cows showing such severe signs of lameness that they had to be euthanized.

At the time, industry leaders placated questioning consumers with supposed reasons for the non-compliance: farm owners simply didn’t know about the regulations or new methods. They floated goals of improved education, spot checks, and the ever-effective “peer pressure” to improve conditions.

It has been seven years since the dairy industry began conducting inspections with the goal of improving consumers’ confidence in the food they purchase. By now, the typical dairy buyer would expect the industry to have ironed out any kinks in their system. The most recent video leak has thrown a wrench directly into that carefully curated trust.

This year’s footage from Cedar Valley Farms is yet another reminder of what happens when sentient animals are treated as commodities for profit – “cash cows” in the most literal sense of the word.

It has revealed to consumers that cruelty is still rampant, that an organic label on an animal-based product doesn’t necessarily indicate an ethical purchase, and that ultimately the dairy industry cannot be trusted to self-regulate.

Consumer trust is hard to build when you can’t know if the animals whose bodies produced the milk were treated with respect. The milk used for commercial dairy products is typically “pooled” in BC, meaning if you purchase products like cheese, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, or butter from the grocery store, it’s virtually impossible to tell which farm they came from.

There is also increasing awareness about the suffering inherent in the production of dairy. Cows don’t produce milk all the time; they produce it for their young, like humans and any other mammal. In order to ensure a consistent milk supply, the dairy industry repeatedly impregnates cows and removes their calves as early as just after birth. Calves reared without their mothers experience unnatural behavioural changes and drink far less milk from a bottle than they would otherwise. Their mothers experience an increased risk of mastitis when suckling is not allowed. Then, when the cows are no longer productive, they are typically sent to be slaughtered for meat between two and six years old. Their life expectancy outside of the industry is 15 to 20 years.

The dairy industry has been given endless chances to change for the better, and they have failed to do so again and again. Of course they have – there is money to be made in the status quo.

What this industry fails to realize is that humans do not need animal-based dairy. It is not a necessary part of the human diet, and all the nutrients it provides are found in other foods. With the increasing shift toward plant-based eating, there is a wider variety of delicious animal-free alternatives than ever.

Time is up for the dairy industry’s endless journey of supposed self-improvement. In a consumer society, only consumer action will spark a change. Only when people start reaching for oat milk instead of 2% or canola oil instead of butter will we see a breakthrough in the treatment of farmed animals. It’s time to vote with our wallets. It’s time to boycott animal-based dairy products.

Opinion Editorial

Government support needed to help resolve veterinary care crisis in B.C.

Article originally published on The Georgia Straight.

Veterinary care in British Columbia has reached a point of crisis, and veterinary staff, pets, and guardians are all feeling the strain.

Pet guardians report months-long wait times seeking care for their animals, who are suffering due to staff shortages.

Meanwhile, veterinarians are more than twice as likely to experience suicidal thoughts when compared with other Canadians. Some aging veterinarians in B.C. worry that they will feel guilty leaving their work to their colleagues when they retire.

So how did we get here, and, more importantly, how do we fix it?

To start with, there are simply not enough veterinarians to handle the sheer volume of pets who need help. In Canada, there is about one cat or dog for every two people. In British Columbia, there is just one veterinarian graduating into the workforce each year for every 102 doctors—an especially bleak statistic considering there is also a doctor shortage in the province.

Anyone who wishes to become a veterinarian in this province must vie for one of only 20 spaces with financial aid, which would allow them to study at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon for a reduced tuition fee of $11,000 per year. Those who cannot find a coveted spot must cover the entire tuition themselves—a whopping $67,000 annually.

The time, difficulty, and expenses incurred in becoming a veterinarian and maintaining a veterinary practice can drive up the cost of care for pet guardians.

Since veterinary care is not subsidized by the government, this can spark a vicious cycle that leads to stressed pet guardians, less than ideal communication between guardians and veterinary staff, and animals not getting the care they need until their health is in a severe state of crisis.

All those factors can contribute to veterinarians and veterinary technicians taking on even further mental and emotional burdens.

recent research article from the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) and Dalhousie University assistant professor Haorui Wu proposes steps that would help break this cycle. The research delves into recommendations from pet guardians who experienced barriers to veterinary care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It ultimately finds that changes like financial support for low-income pet guardians and training for veterinary staff on a trauma-informed approach could reduce the stress of both guardians and veterinarians while improving the lives of animals.

The link between the health of animals and the well-being of the humans around them is common sense to many people who share their home with a pet. When a guardian is unable to afford needed care for a beloved pet, the guardian often experiences stress, guilt, and shame. When a veterinarian euthanizes a pet that was unable to receive preventive care for financial reasons, the loss of that animal can take a severe emotional toll on all who are involved.

The interconnectedness between human and animal well-being has been explored in recent years under the moniker “One Health, One Welfare”. VHS’s research highlights this approach as a best practice.

One local example of this practice in action is Community Veterinary Outreach (CVO). “Our group utilizes the One Health approach,” says Doris Leung, veterinarian and regional director of CVO in Vancouver. “We recognize that by improving an animal’s health and well-being, you can improve the pet guardian’s health and well-being as well. Our volunteers support marginalized pets and their owners in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES).”

With CVO events, pet guardians have access to caring, trauma-informed veterinary services in concert with human health services. For instance, they can learn about the importance of tooth brushing to promote good oral hygiene for their pets and to prevent pain and suffering with periodontal disease. At the same time, they can get support for their own oral health from volunteer dental hygienists at the clinic.

When pet guardians have positive experiences in seeking care for their animal—whether that means finding care with a holistic model similar to CVO, being supported through payment plans, or speaking with a veterinarian who has received training in trauma-informed care—they are more likely to prioritize veterinary care in the future.

These services help to ensure that animals will receive preventive care and decrease the need for euthanizations performed due to a lack of funds. A trauma-informed approach improves the communication between veterinarians and their clients, transforming normally stressful interactions into productive partnerships. If implemented now, these changes can even begin to decrease burnout in the veterinary sector.

Note: If you’re thinking about suicide, or are worried about a friend or loved one, you can call the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention at any time.