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Double your impact to help Tank, and caring pets like her

Tank is an active, athletic 3-year-old American bully/old English bully cross who means everything to her loving family.

My son was born with only half a heart and has had three open heart surgeries and a stroke all before he was two and a half years old. Tank lets us know when he is off and helps keep him calm when his brain can’t handle his environment. Though she is not a registered therapy dog, she is my son’s therapy dog and his protector.

Julie, Tank’s loving guardian

When Tank injured her left leg, her owner Julie was told that she would need emergency knee surgery to fix the injury, costing $4,000; an amount she knew their struggling family could not afford.

My husband was laid off in August 2019 and due to COVID-19 he has only just gone back to work. I have also been out of work since February, as I teach first aid and have to be very careful with our high risk son. We have depleted our savings and that makes this $4000+ surgery an impossibility without some help. My boys are doing a bottle drive and I am drumming up some sales from my knitting and crochet hobby, but without help from organizations like yours we will be unable to get the surgery done for a long time, and she would be in pain without it.

That’s where our McVitie Fund comes in. It is only because of generous supporters like you that we are able to help Julie and Tank. So many people that find themselves in a similar situation when caring for their beloved companion, and we need your help to support them.

Matching grant alert

All donations received will be matched by an anonymous donor through our McVitie Fund matching grant. Could you help Tank and so many other sick or injured animals in need by making a donation today?

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Free Wills Month postponed until October 2020

Due to COVID-19, this year’s Free Wills Month has been moved from May to October 2020. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

You can support our work for years to come by leaving a legacy for the animals this Free Wills Month! If you’re an animal lover aged 55 or over, starting October 1, you have a unique opportunity to either make a new will or revise your current will, for free! VHS is participating in a campaign that allows you to provide for family and friends and make a significant contribution to charity, if you choose to do so. There is absolutely no obligation to include a charity in order to participate.

Free Wills Month brings together respected charities to offer people aged 55 and over the opportunity to have simple wills written or updated free of charge by using participating lawyers.

For more information, visit: www.freewillsmonth.ca. If you have any questions, contact Claire Yarnold claire@vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca or call 604 266 9744.

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A sneak peak at our new Go Veg ads

While COVID-19 has put a temporary hold on our work with schools to put more plant-based options on cafeteria menus, we’re continuing to speak out and work behind the scenes to support food system change that will benefit animals, the planet and public health.

We’re excited to share a sneak peek of our brand new Go Veg ads, which build on our popular “Food vs. Friend” bus ad campaign that we’ve run the last few years. The ads will touch on the benefits of a plant-based diet and will be running online and in public spaces (see billboard above) throughout Metro Vancouver in the coming months.

VHS also participated in the City of Vancouver’s Climate Emergency survey and advocated for climate actions that include transitioning public menus toward fewer animal products and more plant-based options. The consumption of food makes up nearly half of the City of Vancouver’s ecological footprint and animal products have a larger environmental impact than plant-based foods, making this an opportunity to change the food system to help protect both animals and the planet.

VHS executive director, Amy Morris and projects and communications Director, Peter Fricker also recorded a podcast in which they discuss local plant-based foods and food sustainability. You can hear their discussion here.

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McVitie program aims to keep people and pets together

VHS is now working with Terri Gillis, program coordinator, to administer the McVitie veterinary assistance program. Terri’s background working with people who have mental health challenges makes her perfectly suited for this part-time role. When Terri is not working with VHS, she is in school or snuggling with her rescue pup Schnitzel. Here Terri shares her experiences regarding keeping people and pets together:

Terri Gillis is VHS’s program coordinator for the McVitie veterinary assistance program

There are many stereotypes about low-income individuals with pets. The general public often asks why vulnerable populations have animals when they may not have homes or money to pay for vet bills or food.

Every person I’ve met who is classified as low-income will do anything in order to keep their pet. And yet, when their animals get sick or need veterinary assistance, they are often told to surrender their animal. While this may make financial sense, it makes no sense on any other level.

Animals help keep their humans safe; they help keep them warm at night; they help them from becoming overwhelmed with the stress of their daily lives. In return, the animals receive unconditional love; food, no matter what; and unending affection.

The goal, moving forward, needs to be how we keep animals with their humans, rather than encouraging them to surrender them due to financial deficiencies.

The Vancouver Humane Society continues to seek out sources of funding so that we can keep pets with the people they are bonded with.

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We’re fighting the wildlife trade

VHS launched two campaigns against the cruel and dangerous wildlife trade this spring.

The trade is not only cruel and damaging to biodiversity, but also poses a threat of zoonotic disease (diseases transmitted from animals to humans).

In April, we started an online petition calling on the B.C. government to strengthen regulation of the sale and ownership of wild and exotic animals in the province. The petition, which gained nearly 3500 signatures, has been forwarded to B.C.’s Wildlife and Habitat Branch, which is due to review the regulations this year. VHS had two opinion editorials published in local media to draw public attention to the issue.

In late May, we launched a similar campaign, this time urging the federal government to do more to combat the wildlife trade. We urged federal ministers to engage with international partners to ban the trade; devote more resources to fight the illegal wildlife trade; and to improve Canada’s systems for detecting imported wildlife diseases. 

The federal campaign is ongoing and supporters can join us in sending an e-message to the government.

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Animal rescue standards of practice – have your say!

The Animal Welfare Network of British Columbia (AWANBC) is currently seeking public feedback on draft standards for rescues. Follow this link for more information and to submit comments – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9G8NSQ7

The AWANBC, of which the Vancouver Humane Society is a member, aims to enable animal welfare organizations to work together and to support strategies around specific projects and initiatives associated with companion animal welfare.

One such AWANBC project is focused on creating rescue standards of practice. To date, there are no criteria required for groups to be involved in animal welfare or rescue and there is no accountability for these organizations. Meanwhile, the number of animal rescues and shelters across the province continues to grow. While many have high standards of care, others may have practices that put animals and the public at risk.

Without standards of practice, any group can self-identify as a rescue and it can be difficult for the public to determine if a rescue group is reputable or not. AWANBC has identified this as a pressing animal welfare and public safety issue and has worked to develop Animal Rescue Standards of Practice.

Follow this link for more information on the standards and to submit comments – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9G8NSQ7

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Larry’s Market: the new vegetarian grocery store with a mission to provide “Healthy Food Conveniently”

Larry’s Market owner Ryan Dennis has brought in chef Haley Parrent to prepare menus for specific dietary needs. Photo by Mike Wakefield/North Shore News 

Since opening it’s doors this July, vegetarian grocery store Larry’s Market, located at North Vancouver Shipyards, has been a big hit with Vancouverites looking to buy healthy food, conveniently!  VHS asked Ryan Dennis, the owner of Larry’s Market, what inspired his new venture, after spending the past 25 years in the grocery industry, before deciding to open his own store. 

What inspired the opening of Larry’s Market?

My wife was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2017.  We had to make some decisions on what healthy eating looked like for our family after this health scare.  After researching, we decided that a plant-based diet was the way to go.  We weren’t able to find a lot of options in grocery stores, so we decided we would create an option.  We are happy we did and now we successfully serve North Vancouver’s Shipyards District with Vegetarian groceries, coffee and grab and go restaurant food.  My wife is now healthy and is helping me run Larry’s Market.

Why do you think it’s a good time to open a plant-based business?  

We feel that communities are shifting to more plant-based diets.  People are eating less meat and seafood.  The timing is great because people are being educated by the many documentaries and reports that are continually being released that support plant-based diets.

What demographics will you be targeting? 

The demographic is all across the board.  We are seeing young people that are educating themselves and retired folks that are looking for “food as thy medicine”.  The professionals that are on the go and looking for a convenient meal are returning for their favourite salad, sandwich or pizza daily.

What has the response been so far from Vancouver consumers?

Vancouver has accepted us very well.  We are seeing people from all over the Lower Mainland that are making us a destination.  People are always asking us to expand to their neighbourhood so they don’t have to drive over to the North Shore.

Everything in your store is vegetarian or vegan, how will you win over carnivores?

Our store is all vegetarian and our menu is over 75% vegan.  We are accepting of all people.  We want to be the bridge between the vegan and the carnivore.  More people are looking to decrease the amount of meat they eat and we want them at Larry’s. 

What challenges do you think you will face?

Most commonly asked question at Larry’s Market.  How do I get enough protein?  We answer with the solutions that we have in store that have been designed to increase the amount of protein that a person gets in their diet.

What has been the biggest challenge in launching your business?

The biggest challenge in launching is providing the customer with different products than they can get in a regular supermarket.  The product range that we are building is very unique and we continuously get people telling us our products are very cool and unique.

Do you think the market for plant-based food will continue to grow?

We know that the market will continue to grow.  We know that this isn’t a trend it is a way of life that more and more people are taking on.  On the daily we have people coming in saying that they have just started their new plant-based way of life.

What’s on the menu in your store? 

Our store is famous for our salads.  We have teamed up with Brian Skinner, famous for the Acorn Restaurant and now in Kelowna for Frankie we Salute you, to get recipes that are amazing and taste great.  Vegetarian Pizza’s are unique and our best seller is our Spicy Cauliflower pizza.  Sandwiches are led by our Chickpea Tuna which outsells our other sandwiches by quite a bit.

If Larry’s Market North Vancouver is a success would you consider expanding to more locations?

We will be expanding Larry’s in the near future.  Stay tuned.

Larry’s Market is located at: 140-125 Victoria Ship Way, BC V7L 0G5
(604) 999-0998  https://www.larrysmarket.ca


 

 

 

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Help us build a kinder community for animals on Giving Tuesday!

The Vancouver Humane Society and The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary are partnering to raise funds to help animals now and in the future.

Every year in Canada, more than 800 million animals are raised on cruel factory farms before they are sent for slaughter. They suffer from confinement and from being denied the chance to live and behave naturally.  Yet science has shown that each animal, just like your pet cat or dog, has his or her own unique personality. That’s why we say every animal is someone, not something.

This year, on Giving Tuesday, December 3rd, we are again partnering with The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary to make life better for farmed animals.  Giving Tuesday is the annual opportunity to put your dollars toward a cause that’s near and dear to your heart – this year, we hope you’ll make it the plight of animals on factory farms.  All donations will be split between both charities.

At VHS, we work year-round to draw public and media attention to the treatment of farmed animals. Our Go Veg campaign encourages people to try a plant-based diet, which reduces the demand that drives factory farming. We’ve recently launched our new Plant-Based Plates initiative which builds on the success of our Meatless Monday project. Our programs have helped institutions rethink the role of plants on the plate and improve access to climate-friendly, healthy and humane options on menus. Through menu planning and culinary support, we assist institutions, such as schools, businesses and healthcare providers, in incorporating new and trendy plant-based dishes that help them meet client demand and reflect their commitment to protecting the planet, public health and animal welfare.  And our rodeo campaign is exposing cruelty and showing that “livestock” are not just commodities to be brutalized for entertainment, but sentient animals capable of feeling physical and emotional pain.

Our partners at The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary have shown how rescued farmed animals, free of cruelty and confinement, can flourish as individuals. The sanctuary provides a forever home for all types of animals where they can live out their entire lives in a beautiful, natural setting where they are treated with kindness and respect. Visiting Happy Herd and meeting the animals can be a life-changing experience. You will quickly see them as “friends, not food.”

On December 3rd (and before!), you can donate directly to our joint appeal, but you can also help by supporting the generous (and cruelty-free) local businesses who are partnering with VHS and Happy Herd. On Giving Tuesday, they will be launching a variety of special offers and promotions, all raising funds to help us help animals.  Watch our website and social media channels for updates as we get closer to December 3rd– or sign up for our action alerts.

Giving Tuesday is your chance to make life better for farmed animals.  Don’t miss it!

 

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Introducing Our New Plant-Based Plates Program

Since the launch of our Meatless Monday program in 2015 we’ve worked with public institutions, including schools and hospitals, to introduce more veg and vegan options to their cafeteria menus.

As the demand for plant-based foods continues to grow, so has our work to improve public access to these humane, healthy and sustainable menu options. We’re excited to launch our new Plant-Based Plates program, which expands on our Meatless Monday work to bring plant-based dishes to daily menus.

Through presentations, culinary support, menu sampling and outreach, we aim to help food service teams and food policy decision-makers put more plants on plates and to educate and empower the public in making more informed food choices that are better for animals, the planet and public health.

Earlier this summer, we kicked off our new Plant-Based Plates initiative by offering a culinary workshop and guest chef pop-up at the BC Children’s & Women’s Hospital. The hospital’s food service team explored making a number of plant-based dishes, including a Pad Thai and a Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Burrito. Vancouver Humane staff offered samples of the dishes during the lunch hour and handed out information and free recipes to hospital guests. The dishes proved popular, selling out during lunch, and the recipes have since been added to the café’s menu rotation.

Guest Chef Andrea Potter of Rooted Nutrition leads BC Children’s & Women’s Hospital staff in a plant-based culinary workshop.

We look forward to continuing to support institutions throughout Metro Vancouver in bringing their menus into alignment with the growing body of evidence that concludes a global dietary shift toward a plant-based diet is not only one of the most effective ways to reduce our individual environmental footprint, but it’s also necessary if we are to meet our global climate targets. This is why Plant-Based Plates will also focus on government food and procurement policies, encouraging a shift toward prioritizing animal-friendly and climate-friendly plant-based foods.

We all have a role to play in protecting animals, the planet and public health, and a great place to start is with what we put on our plates. Looking for recipes? Take our Plant-Based Pledge and receive a weekly recipe sent to your inbox! If you’re interested in bringing more plant-based meals to your school/school district, workplace or community, we encourage you to check out our new Plant-Based Plates website and get in touch with us! Please also consider making a donation to help us continue this important work.

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The McVitie Fund save lives!

Meet Noah

Noah found his way into the home and heart of his current guardian nearly four years ago, after his previous family no longer wanted to care for him. His guardian describes him as a wonderful companion who brings her so much joy every day.

Back in 2017 Noah developed a tumour in his mouth, along with an ear infection and hot spots. His caregiver took him to the vet, but as a pensioner on disability her funds were limited.

Thanks to the McVitie Fund, VHS was able to step in to help and Noah underwent surgery to remove the tumour and receive medications to treat his ear infection and hot spots.

He’s since recovered and his guardian is grateful for the assistance she received in a time of need.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we are able to continue helping animals like Noah. Since the start of 2019 we’ve helped over 30 animals in need of veterinary assistance, whether that be through spay and neuters, emergency dental work, x-rays or even surgery!

Unfortunately there are very few options available for low-income guardians in emergencies. That’s why the McVitie Fund aims to keep beloved animals in their forever home instead of being surrendered to over-burdened shelters or unnecessarily euthanized.

Click here to find out more about the McVitie Fund and read more heartwarming stories of the animals we’ve helped thanks to donations from our supporters!