Media Release

Have you experienced the loss of a pet due to surrender or seizure?

Humane society researching how animal service agencies can help at-risk populations

The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) wants to hear from people who have experienced the loss of a pet due to surrender or seizure by an animal service agency. VHS is researching ways animal service agencies can better serve at-risk communities, including addressing cases in which people have had to give up a pet or have had the animal removed from their care.

“Unfortunately, the current way that animal services operate is not necessarily sensitive to trauma that people may have experienced, which can be triggered by fear, judgment, and stigma that often occurs when services are provided to at-risk communities,” explained Celeste Morales, VHS’s Lead Researcher. “Through this research we hope to hear from people who have gone through the surrender or seizure of their pet in order to understand how animal service agencies can better provide services to those in similar situations, and to provide tools to support these agencies in combatting the cycle of re-traumatization.”

The research project, titled ‘Taking a Trauma-Informed, Decolonized Approach to Address Animal Neglect Within At-Risk Canadian Populations,’ is in partnership with Thompson Rivers University. The project, which is being funded by the Government of British Columbia, aims to improve the ways services are delivered in the animal services sector.

“If you have experience with the loss of a pet through surrender or seizure, we invite you to be a part of this project,” said Morales. “Your participation would include a one-hour interview and you will receive a one-time payment of $50 CAD for your time.”

To learn more about the project, visit: Those interested in participating in this study or who have questions about the research can contact VHS’s Lead Researcher Celeste Morales at or at 236-521-7742.