Sheltering Our Most Vulnerable Pets

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ― Mahatma Gandhi


According to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies - the national voice for animal welfare - more than a quarter million dogs and cats enter Canadian animal shelters every year. Just under half are brought to shelters as strays while 34% are given up by their owners. Lost, sick, abused or abandoned, these are animals at their most vulnerable. So how can you help? You already have.

By purchasing your mandatory pet licence, animal shelters receive the funds they desperately need to provide quality care to vulnerable animals.

Shelters: stepping up when others have been let down

Like many organizations that rely heavily on volunteers and charitable donations to operate, (in Canada there is 1 staff member for every 13 volunteers), animal shelters are often underfunded, understaffed and overworked - yet the scope of their work keeps increasing. 

Shelters are responsible for the animals’ medical care, vaccinations, spay and neutering operations, behavioural training or rehabilitation, exercise, enrichment, adoption, advocacy and community engagement. 

For staff, the work can be physically and emotionally exhausting. For the animals, time at a shelter can be highly stressful – the longer the stay the greater the risk to their health, welfare and behaviour. 

Licences: clearing the path to forever families for every animal

In 2017, the average length of time in a shelter for dogs was 19 days. For cats it was 30 days. And while these rates continue to improve with the valiant efforts to make shelter stays a brief stop-gap to a happy home, every new animal that enters the shelter puts a strain on resources. When licensed pets become lost they are much more likely to bypass the shelter system. A pet licence, especially one linked to a Lost Pet Service like HomeSafe™ is insurance that your pet will be returned to you easily and quickly – and not become a burden to those animals who are still waiting to find a loving home of their own.

For every stray dog or cat that is returned to its owner, another one is looking for its forever family.

In 2017, 70% of stray dogs and 12% of stray cats admitted to shelters were returned home. 45% of shelter dogs and 60% of shelter cats were adopted out to new homes.
- Humane Canada, 2017 Animal Shelter Statistics

Shelters are dedicated to animal welfare – whether it’s through active care, adoption or community outreach – when humans neglect their duty of care, it is often shelters that can turn a potential tragic story into a happy one. Pet licensing helps fund the important work shelters do which means as a DocuPet member, you too are a part of every animal’s story. Because in a true humane society, everyone gets the chance to be loved.


Thanks for reading!