animal welfare cruelty News/Blog

Tell stores to drop cruel glue traps

Mouse in glue trapImagine walking to the store. Suddenly, you can’t lift your feet from the ground – they’re mired in glue so sticky that you can’t lift them out. You scream and fight to get loose, but nobody helps you. You get thirsty and hungry, but there’s nothing you can do. After hours, maybe even days, you eventually succumb to dehydration, starvation, exhaustion and/or exposure. Can you think of a more inhumane death?

Glue traps are the method of choice for removal of rats and mice, because they’re pesticide-free. But they are extremely cruel, causing an agonizing death. And they’re indiscriminate – they can capture birds, squirrels, and other small animals.

They are also unsafe for humans. Mice or rats will void their bowels when they’re caught. This exposes humans to dangerous diseases like Hantavirus which are carried by rodents.  Even Health Canada says they shouldn’t be used.

The best way to deal with rodent infestations is to alter the habitat so it’s no longer attractive to them. This means carefully closing off every possible entry point (after you’ve safely removed the animals) so it’s inaccessible.  We recently had mice in our small cottage, and we waited until night when they were outside and used fine wire mesh to seal every hole in the crawl space and the entire house. We then installed an inexpensive sonic repeller on each level and we haven’t had mice inside since. These electronic devices are available everywhere, even on!

Mice and rats are social, intelligent creatures and every bit as capable of experiencing pain as the dogs and cats we have in our homes. Excluding wildlife is the kindest way to live alongside them. But as an absolute last resort, a snap-trap is less inhumane than a glue trap or poison (which also causes an excruciatingly painful death). Snap-traps kill instantly.

Unfortunately, glue traps are available everywhere. Please contact these stores who sell them and tell them to remove them from the shelves:

Home Depot Canada: Sold online and in stores
Mouse and rat glue traps
Bill Lennie, President
Home Depot Canada 1 Concorde Gate, Ste. 900 Toronto, Ontario M3C 4H9
Head office phone number (416) 609-0852
(No email address available.)

Canadian Tire: Sold in stores
Mouse glue traps
Stephen G. Wetmore, President/CEO
Canadian Tire
PO Box 2000, Station Main
Welland, Ontario
L3B 5S3

Wal-Mart: Sold online and in stores
Mouse and rat glue traps
Shelley Broader, President/CEO Wal-Mart Canada
1940 Argentia Rd. Mississauga, Ontario
L5N 1P9
Email address:

Amazon Canada:
Sold online
Mouse and rat glue traps
Jeff Bezos, CEO
Amazon Canada
1200 12th Ave. South, Ste. #1200 Seattle, WA
(Headquarters for Amazon Canada and USA.)
Email address:

Home Hardware:
Sold in stores
Mouse and rat glue traps
Paul Straus, President/CEO
Home Hardware
34 Henry St St Jacobs, Ontario
N0B 2N0

Sold online and in stores
Mouse and rat glue traps
Alan Huggins, CEO
Lowe’s Canada
5160 Yonge St.
Suite 200
Box 25 North York, Ontario
M2N 6L9

animal welfare cruelty News/Blog rodeo

VHS response to horse death at Stampede

July 13, 2013

VHS is extremely sorry to hear of the death of another horse at the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races.

It is getting harder for the public to believe that these deaths are just coincidence or bad luck. There is something inherently unsafe about the race.

Nothing the Stampede has done has stopped horses dying.

VHS is reiterating its call for the Stampede to suspend the chuckwagon race and have an independent panel of experts review the event to determine if anything can be done to make it safe.

More than 50 horses have died at the Stampede since 1986.


advertising cruelty News/Blog rodeo

VHS response to steer death

Steer death at Calgary Stampede

VHS has issued the following news release:

Steer killed at Calgary Stampede rodeo
Vancouver Humane Society calls for event to be suspended


The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) has called for the suspension of steer-wrestling at the Calgary Stampede rodeo after an animal was badly injured in the event and had to be euthanized.  Another steer died in the event during the 2009 Stampede.

“Why should animals suffer and die just to entertain a crowd,” said VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker.  “If these events are so hard on the animals that it can kill them, it’s obvious they are suffering pain and stress.”

Fricker said that rules changes made by the Stampede to make steer-wrestling safe had obviously not worked.  He said the event should be suspended and reviewed by an independent panel of experts to determine if it could be made humane and safe.

VHS says that steer-wrestling has no historical connection to ranching and was invented for rodeos.  “It has nothing to do with agricultural heritage,” said Fricker.  “It’s just a cruel and dangerous circus act.”



animal welfare cruelty News/Blog rodeo

VHS launches ad against calf-roping

Vancouver Humane Society ad against calf-roping

The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is running a full-page ad calling for a ban on calf-roping in a Calgary newspaper.  The ad, shown above, appears in the July 4 edition of Fast Forward Weekly on page 3.

The ad contrasts the compassion of basic human kindness with the cruelty of calf-roping and calls on the Calgary Stampede to “have a heart for animals” and ban the rodeo event.

A high-resolution pdf version of the ad is here.

animal welfare cruelty News/Blog rodeo

Who opposes rodeo?

Events like steer-wresting are cruel.  That's why VHS opposes rodeo.


Rodeo promoters like the public to think that it’s just a few animal rights activists who oppose rodeos.  In fact, mainstream animal welfare agencies throughout the civilized world are opposed to rodeo events like calf-roping and steer-wrestling, as these position statements show:

Canadian Federation of Humane Societies 
Calgary Humane Society 
British Columbia SPCA
Ottawa Humane Society (pdf file – see pg. 9)
American SPCA
Australian RSPCA
Royal New Zealand SPCA (pdf file – see 6.4)
Humane Society of the United States


cruelty News/Blog rodeo

Help us fight rodeo cruelty at the Calgary Stampede

cruelty of calf-roping at Calgary Stampede
Photo – Joanne McArthur


If you think what’s happening in this photo is wrong then help us stop it. 

Support our campaign against rodeo cruelty at this year’s Calgary Stampede.




compassion cruelty News/Blog plant-based diet

Two ways of looking at animals

photo of animal Goat


With compassion

This heart warming video about a goat sanctuary demonstrates animal sentience and capacity for emotion.

As a commodity

This CBC story shows how the same animal is viewed as just a product, whose only value is economic.

Humans can choose not to treat animals as commodities by moving to a plant-based diet.  







cruelty News/Blog rodeo

Protest against the Luxton Rodeo

steer is killed in Luxton Rodeo

Please join with local animal advocates to protest against the Luxton Pro Rodeo in Langford, near Victoria, BC.

Peaceful protests will be held on:

Saturday, May 18th from 1pm to 4pm

Sunday, May 19th from 1pm to 4pm

Location: 1040 Marwood Avenue in Langford.

(A preparation/information meeting will be held at 12:30 to 1 pm at the nearby Happy Valley School at 3291 Happy Valley Road to answer any questions.)

More info on Facebook Event links: Saturday and Sunday

For additional information contact:

Melissa de Meulles
Twitter @vcare2013


News/Blog Uncategorized

No justice for sled dogs

The sentence given to Robert Fawcett for his animal cruelty conviction in the case of the slaughter of 56 sled dogs, shows that our justice system still places a low value on the lives and welfare of animals.

Fawcett received three years probation and a fine of $1500 despite being convicted of “causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals” in a case that shocked and outraged people around the world.  The maximum penalty for the offence is five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

VHS believes a heavier sentence, including jail time, would have been appropriate and would have sent a signal to the public that animal cruelty is a serious crime that will not be tolerated in our society.

It is equally disappointing that, despite the public outcry over the massacre of the Whistler sled dogs, it is still perfectly legal for sled dog operators to shoot unwanted dogs.  It is also still legal for sled dogs to be tethered or chained outdoors for long periods, a practice that is clearly inhumane.  While new regulations have been applied to  the sled dog industry, no new resources have been made available to the BC SPCA to enforce them.

The B.C. government’s decision to increase the penalties for convictions under the provincial Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (prompted by the case), was welcome.   However, this does nothing to prevent healthy sled dogs from being shot when they are surplus to an operator’s requirements and there are no homes available for them.

The sad truth is that sled dogs will continue to be commodities open to exploitation for profit by an industry that is not known for putting their welfare first.  It should be remembered that Mr. Fawcett was not just some rogue operator or bad apple.  He served as vice-president on the board of Mush with Pride, a leading international sled dog industry group, until he was voted off when the Whistler massacre became public knowledge.  He was a well-known and leading figure in the sled dog world.  Surely, that says something about the industry as a whole.

In our view, dogs should be companions, not commodities.  They should only be euthanised when they are too old or too sick to live comfortably – and euthanasia should be by lethal injection carried out by a vet.  They should not be left tied to posts for long hours or pushed to their physical limits in races just to entertain people.  They should be cherished for their intrinsic value, not their economic value.


News/Blog Uncategorized

Sled dogs always at risk

Following the revelations in February about the horrific slaughter of 56 sled dogs in Whistler B.C., various defenders of the sled dog industry insisted that it was an “isolated incident’ and that the industry’s reputation should not be tarnished by the actions of one “bad apple.”

While the Whistler massacre may be an extreme example, there are certainly other instances in which dogs have been put in danger because of the failures of sled dog operators.

Most recently, 37 sled dog were left homeless when an operator in Quebec went out of business.  A former employee tried to care for them but ended up living in a tent in the woods with the dogs tied to surrounding trees.  Animal welfare groups are now trying to find homes for the dogs.

In 2009, also in Quebec, nearly 100 malnourished sled dogs, some blind and many pregnant, were seized by the SPCA from a sled dog business in financial difficulty.

In the same year, about 100 starving sled dogs were seized from an operator in Colorado.  Eight dogs were found dead.

Back in B.C., 34 badly-neglected huskies were seized from a sled dog business in Tumbler Ridge in 2008.

Those are just the incidents that get reported.  Who knows what happens at the many sled dog operations in isolated rural locations that are rarely subjected to scrutiny?

These cases support the Vancouver Humane Society’s contention that whenever a business depends on exploiting animals for profit, those animals will be put at risk.  When equipment is obsolete it can be sold or dumped.  When employees are no longer needed they can, at worst, be laid-off.  When animals are surplus to requirements they become commodities with no rights, leaving them vulnerable to methods of disposal that are at the whim of business owners.

That’s why VHS called for a ban on sled dog operations following the Whistler massacre.  The B.C. government rejected that option and instead imposed greater legal penalties for animal cruelty in the province.  It also established a “working group” to produce a new “standard of care” for sled dogs in B.C.  VHS is urging the working group to at least recommend a ban on the tethering of sled dogs for long periods and take other measures to protect their welfare.  VHS’s full submission to the working group can be seen here.

The sled dog working group is due to report its recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture on September 7th.  VHS, and, no doubt, the public, await the report with interest.