2016 Christmas Lottery Winners

winner-list-2

Congratulations to everyone who won with 2016 Saskatchewan SPCA Christmas Cash Lottery.

On behalf of the Board and staff of the Saskatchewan SPCA, thank you to everyone who supported the Society through this season’s lottery!

Draw Date: Winner’s Name City: Amount: Ticket:
November 12
Early Bird Draw 1
Syanne Hilbig Wadena $1,000  10368
November 19
Early Bird Draw 2
Dale Johnston Wynyard $1,000  12251
November 23
Early Bird Draw 3
Shelley Duxbury Shaunavon $1,000  22509
December 1 Alice Porter Conquest $100  21254
December 2
Festive Friday
Chris Harold Saskatoon $500  16080
December 3 John Gunn Brock $100  06150
December 4 Marcia Green Saskatoon $100  09644
December 5 Ruth L. Nergard Bengough $100  02239
December 6 Tonalee Rusnak Melville $100  02272
December 7 Charles Simpson Saskatoon $100  00767
December 8 Veronica Nontell Dinsmore $100  22124
December 9
Festive Friday
Larry & Lucy
Schroh
Unity $500  12536
December 10 Joan Fallis Estevan $100  06995
December 11 Clint & Nadia
Yarie
Kamsack $100  01430
December 12 Leslie Hicks Outlook $100  01542
December 13 Blanche White Nipawin $100  19323
December 14 Donelda Gorniak Wolseley $100  04672
December 15 Darcelle Lemaire Canora $100  15771
December 16
Festive Friday
Linda Schopfer Marsden $500  08760
December 17 Ron Vick Weyburn $100  22589
December 18 Marcus Koeberlin Prince Albert $100  04938
December 19 Doreen Richaud Forget $100  11811
December 20 Robert Solie Regina $100  04598
December 21 Viola Illingworth North Battleford $100  14961
December 22 Carmen Thompson  Saskatoon $100  12813
December 23
Festive Friday
Julien & June Prevost  Archerwill $500  02693
December 24 Ken Dresser  Unity $100  18379
December 25 Wendy Schlamp  Grenfell $100  20257
December 26 Brad & Karen Beutler  Wapella $100  17523
December 27 Judy Hogg  Saskatoon $100  02324
December 28 Carol Minty  St. Walburg $100  05275
December 29 Verol F. Smith  Abbey $100  20619
December 30
Festive Friday
Charlene Goodwin  Christopher Lake $500  17586
December 31
Grand Prize
Nicole Rewuski  Saskatoon $25,000  23978
December 31
Huge Supporter
Rob & Chris Hopkins  Elrose $10,000  18359
December 31
50/50 Kitty Pool
Richard & Eileen Sword  Unity $27,462.50  013988

Notice of Annual General Meeting

The Saskatchewan SPCA Annual General Meeting will be held:

Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
Concorde Room, Travelodge Hotel, 106 Circle Drive West, Saskatoon

Everyone is welcome. The AGM is open to the public.

If you have questions or comments, please contact us at 1-877-382-7722 or email info@sspca.ca.

Empty Our Shelters Adopt-A-Thon

In a first for Saskatchewan, SPCAs and humane societies throughout the province are joining together for the Empty Our Shelters Adopt-A-Thon.

The plan is to find a forever home for as many animals as possible. The Saskatchewan SPCA encourages people interested in expanding their family through animal adoption to contact their local SPCA or humane society to learn more about Empty Our Shelters and to find out how to get involved.

Empty Our Shelters runs from Friday, August 19 to Sunday, August 21.

Contact information for SPCAs and humane societies in Saskatchewan:

Battlefords Humane Society
306-446-2700

Humboldt & District SPCA
306-682-5550

Lloydminster & District SPCA
780-875-2809

Moose Jaw Humane Society
306-692-1517

Prince Albert SPCA
306-763-6110

Regina Humane Society
306-777-7700

Saskatoon SPCA
306-374-7387

Swift Current SPCA
306-773-1806

Weyburn Humane Society
306-848-7387

Yorkton SPCA
306-783-4080

When Animals Save Lives: The Story of Rex

The Hawman Family

The Hawman Family

On Christmas Eve 2015, Santana Hawman and her family left their Aberdeen-area acreage to meet her husband Mitch for a family gathering in Saskatoon. Although that night would change their lives forever, it would reveal a canine hero.

Rex, a malamute-shepherd cross, was adopted from the Saskatoon SPCA in September 2007. The Hawman family was attracted to Rex because of his size and breed; however Rex did not bond with Mitch immediately. According to Santana, “Rex didn’t seem to like being around men for the first year he was with our family.” Eventually that would change and the bond between Mitch and Rex would see them become the best of friends. Over the next eight years, Rex would develop a strong relationship with all members of the Hawman family, serving as a guardian for the couple’s young children.

On December 24th, Mitch’s mother, Noreen Lucas was staying with the family for the holidays. That evening, as the family left for dinner in Saskatoon, Noreen decided to stay home after coming down with an illness. Having trouble sleeping, Noreen took a sleep aid that would help her get some rest. As Noreen slept on the couch, a fire broke out in the Hawman house. Rex jumped into action attempting to wake Noreen from her slumber. Noreen initially ignored Rex’s panicked barking and turned over to fall back asleep. It was at this moment that Rex grabbed Noreen’s pajama pants in his teeth and pulled her off the couch and towards the door. The jarring bump to the floor was enough to wake Noreen, who realized the danger she was in. Noreen, along with Rex’s help, tried to save as many family pets as possible. Unfortunately, a cat, two rabbits, and a hamster succumbed to the fire.

Rex, the Hawman family dog

Rex, the Hawman family dog

While Noreen was able to make it out of the house safely, she was treated in hospital for smoke inhalation. It was not until the next morning that Mitch and Santana learned of Rex’s heroic actions. Noreen showed the family her pajama pants that had a small hole where the dog’s teeth had punctured the fabric, and a small bruise on her leg. After the terrifying ordeal, Noreen would be able to celebrate Christmas with her family thanks to the brave actions of Rex, the family dog.

In the days following the fire, Rex was still concerned for the safety of his family. Although he had seen each of the seven members of the family at one point or another, it was four days after the fire that Rex was able to see the entire family all together in one room. Rex’s familiar malamute howls of worry were traded for happy tail wags and friendly licks.

In May 2016, Rex was recognized for his actions as the latest inductee into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, an annual event “that honours life-saving pet heroes.” The Hawman family, including their four-legged hero, travelled to Toronto for Rex to take his place in the Hall among Canada’s animal heroes.

The Hawman home was a total loss; however, this disaster could have been a lot worse if Rex had not been there to save Grandma Noreen. As the family begins the process of rebuilding their lives and their home, Santana has one important reminder for those looking to add a furry member to their family: “Shelter animals aren’t just animals at a shelter. They are animals in need of a home. They need a family. They need to be loved.”

Report explores the link between violence to animals and humans 

The Link

Click the image for the full report

“She came into the shelter with her three children. Lots of physical abuse. She feels really guilty for having to grab her kids and leave the animals behind … it makes her feel even more guilty because not only have the kids lost their home, but they’ve lost the one thing that was comfortable to them and that was really important. It’s like they lost their home and they lost their friend, their pet.”

A new research study demonstrates how concern for the safety of animals serves as a barrier to individuals fleeing domestic violence in Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan SPCA worked in partnership with Saskatchewan Towards Offering Partnership Solutions (STOPS) To Violence and the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS) to complete the study.

Representatives from 39 animal welfare organizations and 56 human service agencies shared their experiences working with the victims of domestic violence where there were concerns about animal care and safekeeping.

Participants noted that abusers were able to exercise control over victims and children with threats to harm or kill animals. Victims were often afraid to leave, fearing that something would happen to the pets or livestock left behind.

The study revealed that there are only a limited number of options available to care for the animals of individuals fleeing domestic violence. Most women’s shelters do not allow pets. A small number of animal safekeeping programs are available to care for pets but these programs are typically short-term in nature.

Individuals living in rural areas are often dependent on livestock for their financial security and livelihood. Victims may stay in an abusive situation, feeling they have no other option.

Frances Wach, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan SPCA notes that it is important to help ensure the victims of domestic violence have better access to the resources they need to protect their pets and livestock.

“The Saskatchewan SPCA is seeking funding that will make it possible for us to move forward with the recommendations generated in this report,” says Wach.

Recommendations from “The Link:  Interpersonal Violence and Abuse and Animal Safekeeping”:

  • Develop education and training workshops regarding the connection between interpersonal violence and abuse and animal abuse.
  • Establish partnerships between animal welfare agencies and human service organizations to better provide services.
  • Provide information about services available for both animal welfare and human service providers in urban and rural areas.
  • Train service providers in supporting individuals to plan for animal safekeeping when leaving situations of violence and abuse
  • Create a list of resources and services for animal care and safekeeping currently offered within Saskatchewan
    • resource book, central registry
  • For domestic violence services, ensure that the intake process involves asking whether or not animal abuse is occurring/has occurred within the home.
  • Formulate policies among animal welfare and human service organizations to ensure a clear understanding of what each sector is responsible for. Establishing clear guidelines will remove ambiguity that may arise when working in collaboration.
  • Generate specific and focused action plans for individuals leaving situations of interpersonal violence and abuse who are concerned about animal care and safekeeping, in both urban and rural regions of the province.

Click here to view the full report.

Euthanasia: A Difficult Decision

Euthanasia has been at the forefront of public discussions lately. While it has always been an emotionally charged topic within the animal welfare community, ever since human medicine began looking into end of life decisions and physician assisted death, euthanasia has been pushed further into the spotlight.

The word euthanasia originated in ancient Greece. It is a composition of Eu and Thanatos, meaning good death. What exactly does that mean? Is death ever good?

While most of us agree that a life should never be taken casually, there are circumstances where the decision to euthanize is the right one. But what is a legitimate reason and who decides? Me? You? Society? The law?

The fundamental questions are whether taking a life is ever justifiable, and whether death can ever be preferable to life, no matter what that particular life looks like. This is exactly where we reach the great divide, the Grand Canyon that separates different attitudes, beliefs, and convictions.

Does every living thing have an inherent right to live? Can we decide who lives and who dies? If so, on what basis? Objective science or subjective opinion? Ask the patient? This is possible in human medicine, yet impossible when we face members of the animal kingdom.

We cannot talk to our pets to find out what they consider a good quality of life. We are unable to ask them whether or not they are still enjoying their life if they cannot move around freely, cannot play, are incontinent, blind, and deaf. We can only try to assess their quality of life by watching them. Yes, in the end, based on our own experiences and our knowledge of what they enjoyed throughout their lives, we do make quality of life judgements for them. Then we make a decision that is, hopefully, based on empathy and compassion.

No one wants their pets to suffer and yet this is another dilemma. Just as quality of life is something different for everyone, so is suffering. In addition to physical suffering, mental suffering should also be considered.

On the physical level, we can all agree that uncontrollable pain qualifies as causing suffering. However, with enough drugs patients can be made pain free. They are unconscious and unresponsive, but they are still alive. Or are they? What about animals who are slowly suffocating and gasping for breath?

In regards to mental suffering, how distraught is a dog who was housetrained and suddenly loses the ability to let her owner know when nature calls and begins messing in her house, one she was trained to keep clean? We can’t know. And we never will.

When is euthanasia an option? I don’t have a universal answer. Actually, in this case, I don’t believe there is one. We all have to find our comfort zone within our own framework of philosophical attitudes, moral values, and ethical belief systems.

As pet owners we should not shy away from this decision and our pet’s best interests should guide us.

The decision to euthanize an animal, especially one we have shared our life with for years, is one of the most difficult decisions there is. I believe that in the end we owe them a good death. Just as we have provided them with the best possible life.

In my opinion, euthanasia is a viable end-of-life option. It is acceptable, and yes, even preferable if the alternative would be an unacceptable quality of life. As a veterinarian, if I cannot help my patients in any other way, I am very proud and, yes even happy, to at least be able to provide them with a good death.

Article submitted by Dr. Sandra Neumann

2016 Summer Cash Lottery Winners List

Winners List

Congratulations to everyone who won with 2016 Saskatchewan SPCA Summer Cash Lottery.

On behalf of the Board and staff of the Saskatchewan SPCA, thank you to everyone who supported the Society through this summer’s lottery!

Draw Date: Winner’s Name City: Amount: Ticket:
June 19, 2016
Early Bird Draw
Janet Beck-Trofimenkoff Weyburn $2,000 11131
July 1, 2016  Thomas  Grywacheski  Norquay $500  08100
July 2, 2016  Dennis E. Kopp  Qu’Appelle $500  03351
July 3, 2016  Laurent St. Cyr  Ponteix $100  02353
July 4, 2016  Susan Thiessen  Langham $100  19299
July 5, 2016  Walter Dupin  Beatty $100  11201
July 6, 2016  Judy Meier  Star City $100  13111
July 7, 2016  Paul Housen  Saskatoon $100  05263
July 8, 2016  Lionel & Helen  Bolen  Lestock $100  00997
July 9, 2016  Bert Stueck  Abernethy $500  03405
July 10, 2016  Doreen Anderson  Estevan $100  04462
July 11, 2016  Myrna Sand  Birch Hills $100  01297
July 12, 2016  Mary Martinka  Middle  Lake $100  05549
July 13, 2016  Rob MacDonald  Saskatoon $100  16791
July 14, 2016  Ken Faltermeier  Lloydminster $100  19894
July 15, 2016  Lillian Forster  Outlook $100  12570
July 16, 2016  Susan Davidson  Wawota $500  13742
July 17, 2016  Dale Gerhardt  Regina $100  13758
July 18, 2016  Wendy Humenuik  Rosthern $100  07932
July 19, 2016  Blanch E. Pott  Shell Lake $100  12637
July 20, 2016  Larry Mullis  Eston $100  00689
July 21, 2016  Charlene Pierce  Weyburn $100  06754
July 22, 2016  Maureen Hughes  Lashburn $100  16638
July 23, 2016  Jake Siemens  Saskatoon $500  16525
July 24, 2016  Terry Toews  Swift Current $100  18259
July 25, 2016  Paul Housen  Saskatoon $100  05273
July 26, 2016  Trudy Mahussier  Bjorkdale $100  19820
July 27, 2016  Doreen & Frances  Gourley  Regina $100  17570
July 28, 2016  Marcus Koeberlin  Prince Albert $100  12416
July 29, 2016  Laura Klassen  Saskatoon $100  11841
July 30, 2016  Adam Fletcher  Pilot Butte $500  02291
July 31, 2016
Grand Prize
 Blanche White  Nipawin $15,000  17051
July 31, 2016
Huge Supporter
 J & J Toles  Saskatoon $5,000  19138
July 31, 2016
50/50 Kitty Pool
 George Perry  Wynyard $21,737.50  F013095

Pet Allergies and the Myth of the Hypoallergenic Pet

Submitted by Meaghan West, RVT

The prevalence of pet related allergies has risen dramatically in recent years, with most reported sensitivities related to cats and dogs. These allergic reactions can range from mild discomfort to anaphylaxis; hair, dander, saliva, and urine can all be sources of allergens. The misconception of “hypoallergenic” and “non-shedding” pets may seem to provide hope to those who love the company of cats and dogs, but this is nothing more than a lucrative marketing ploy.

Allergens are proteins that cause an immune system response. An allergic response may result from the ingestion or inhalation of these proteins, as well as direct skin contact. The immune system is not static and the severity of reactions may decrease over time from regular exposure; however, it is also possible for allergic reactions to become more severe from continued exposure.

Unfortunately, when it comes to pets, “hypoallergenic” does not mean the animal is allergen free. Rather, it means fewer than average allergens are produced by the animal. The concept of a “non-shedding” animal is a clever marketing ploy, as all animals with hair, fur, and feathers must shed. However, this does not mean that those who suffer from pet allergies are out of luck, only that finding the right pet may take some time, effort, and out of the box thinking.

Prior to getting a dog or cat consider a breed with hair rather than fur, as these breeds tend to shed less and have shorter coats. Dogs (e.g., Poodles, Bichon Frises, and Portuguese Water Dogs) and cats (e.g., Cornish Rex and Devon Rex) with hair also lack the dense undercoat that is often shed seasonally in other breeds. Mixes of these breeds also tend to have fewer allergens than average as well. It is important to note that genetics and breeding are not simple equations; keep in mind that every puppy or kitten in a litter is neither a copy of their siblings nor their parents. A pet may not trigger an allergic response, while a littermate or parent could produce a very different effect.

Younger animals produce fewer allergens than adult animals, which could result in an increase in allergic symptoms as the animal ages. Adopting an adult animal decreases the chance of causing an unexpected reaction. Surprisingly, female cats and dogs, and males who have been neutered, also produce fewer allergens; another excellent reason to spay and neuter!

Daily brushing and routine bathing can help minimize allergens in the home by removing dust, pollen, dead hair, and dander from your pet, while also promoting a healthy coat. Proper hygiene after handling pets (e.g., routine handwashing) can eliminate many allergens from being transported to the eyes and nose. Limiting a pet’s access to human sleeping areas, using HEPA filters, and regular vacuuming will also reduce allergens. Keeping cats inside also ensures that they are not bringing in extra dust and pollen, which may trigger additional allergic responses. Antihistamines and medication may also alleviate the symptoms of pet allergies.

While cats and dogs may be the most common source of allergens for potential pet owners, there are many species other than cats and dogs that can make wonderful companions. Rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds are all social animals that enjoy human interaction (e.g., cuddling, grooming, agility, and learning tricks), and may be an alternative for those with specific allergies to cats and dogs. Hand friendly reptiles such as bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and crested geckos can be a great alternative to pets with fur or feathers. It is important to remember that those animals marketed as 100% allergen free are marketing scams aimed to take advantage of you and the animal. Do not fall victim to these clever marketing schemes and false claims; a wonderful pet is waiting for you whether it has fur, feathers, or scales.