The Link: Interpersonal Violence and Abuse and Animal Safekeeping

The Link: Interpersonal Violence and Abuse and Animal SafekeepingThe Saskatchewan SPCA, in partnership with STOPS to Violence and the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS), is pleased to announce the release of a new report called The Link: Interpersonal Violence and Abuse and Animal Safekeeping.

This report offers important knowledge regarding the barriers for individuals leaving situations involving interpersonal violence and abuse, who have concern for animal care and safekeeping. The information gathered throughout this project offers increased knowledge and insight, and has instilled hope that much can be done to assist individuals leaving situations of violence and abuse to ensure the safety of both humans and animals. A collaborative spirit among animal welfare agencies and human service organizations is imperative, which will lead to positive change within the community at large.

The project followed a mixed methods approach, consisting of both quantitative and qualitative portions. The first portion of the project took place between July 2014 and August 2015, and involved gathering online quantitative questionnaire responses. Responses were obtained from 39 animal welfare representatives and 56 human service representatives in both urban and rural regions of Saskatchewan. Service providers were asked about their experience with working with individuals leaving situations of interpersonal violence and abuse who had concern for animal care and safekeeping.

The second portion of the project took place between October and December 2015. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with nine participants representing the knowledge and experience of human service and animal welfare providers. Utilizing thematic analysis, a number of important themes emerged. The quotes illustrated throughout the body of this report reflect the devastating barriers that individuals are faced with when seeking refuge from violence and abuse while having concern for animal safety and safekeeping.

Based on the information gathered, a list of recommendations was created:

  • Develop education and training workshops regarding the connection between interpersonal violence and abuse and concern for animal safekeeping to human service organizations, animal welfare agencies, and the general public.
  • 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 (e.g., develop a resource book, provincial registry).
  • Among 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 guidelines will remove ambiguity that may arise when working together.
  • 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 Saskatchewan.

Funding and research expertise for this project was provided by the Community Research and Action Fund through the Community Research Unit, Faculty of Arts at the University of Regina. These resources enabled our team to establish key groundwork in identifying issues and potential solutions to providing animal safekeeping supports for people who are leaving abusive relationships in Saskatchewan.

Frances Wach from the Saskatchewan SPCA and Tracy Knutson from STOPS to Violence will lead a discussion on The Link: Interpersonal Violence and Abuse and Animal Safekeeping at the Animal Welfare Conference in Saskatoon from September 23-25, 2016.

Please click here for the full report.

UPDATE: Animal Rescue Registration and Certification Program

A Working Group has been established to oversee the development of a registration and certification program for animal rescues.

A Working Group has been established to oversee the development of a registration and certification program for animal rescues.

Work has begun on the development of a new registration and certification program for animal rescue groups.

The first meeting of the Working Group was held March 18th in Saskatoon. The group worked on a vision, code of ethics, and standards of care guidelines for the program.

The draft code of ethics and care guidelines will be reviewed at the next meeting of the group, scheduled for June.

A broader input and review process is planned for this fall.

The Saskatchewan SPCA thanks the Working Group members for the commitment they have shown to the development of this new program.

Cupcake Day Fundraiser at Dreen’s Catering

National Cupcake DayWant to take part in National Cupcake Day but don’t want to do the baking? We’ve got a wonderful solution for you!

Dreen’s Catering in Saskatoon is hosting a Cupcake Fundraiser on Thursday, February 18 from 3:00 6:00 p.m.

Stop by Dreen’s kitchen at 119 Avenue B South and get 6 delicious cupcakes for a minimum $10 donation to the Saskatchewan SPCA. If you’d like to pre-order your cupcakes, call Josh at 306-382-7726 to place your order.Dreen's Catering & Kitchen Socials

And be sure to keep on top of all things Saskatchewan SPCA and National Cupcake Day by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

If you’d like to bake your own cupcakes and host a Cupcake Day party, there’s still time to register to receive your host kit on time. Visit and register before Monday, February 22. Everyone who registers online will be entered in a draw to win a pair of tickets to see The Offspring at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon on March 23, or two tickets to see City and Colour in Regina on June 12. A special thanks to ROCK 102 and C95 for donating the ticket prizes.

Saskatchewan SPCA Working with Partners on Certification Program for Rescues

Earlier this month, Saskatchewan SPCA Executive Director, Frances Wach, and Board President, Dr. Sandra Neumann, were interviewed by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS). The interview highlighted the work being done on the Registration & Certification Program for Rescue Groups in Saskatchewan. Read the full interview below.

friendsCanadian Federation of Humane Societies: First, I want to commend you on starting this project to certify rescues in your province. You’re on track to be the first province in Canada to put this kind of program in place.

Frances Wach: Thank you. Yes, it’s something that we’ve wanted to implement for a long time and, now that we no longer handle enforcement of the Animal Protection Act, we can focus on prevention and education.

CFHS: Well, it’s fantastic. Can you tell us what the impetus was behind creating a program to certify animal rescues in Saskatchewan?

Dr. Sandra Neumann: Right now, anyone in Saskatchewan can say they’re a rescue group, and nobody knows whether they provide even basic care for their animals. Over the years, a lot of rescue groups and SPCAs have come to us, asking if we could help with regulation. Also, we enforced the Animal Protection Act for many years, and our own protection officers came across a lot of so-called rescue groups that were basically glorified hoarders.

CFHS: And how long have you been working to develop this?

FW: We announced the program in September at our animal welfare conference. It was something the Society has wanted to do for a long time, but we didn’t have the resources to start developing a program.

CFHS: And where are things at right now?

FW: Right now, we’re forming a working group made up of SPCAs, rescue groups, Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association. The first working group meeting will be held in March. We’ve also contacted every stakeholder we know of in the province—rescue groups, SPCAs, veterinarians—talking about what we’re doing and the process that we’re going to be following.

CFHS: How long do you anticipate it will take to create the program?

FW: Well, that’s tough to say because one of the things the working group will be tasked with is developing timelines. This is a huge undertaking, and it’s going to take time to do it right.

SN: We need to make sure we understand what stakeholders think would work best, what the concerns are and how to address them.

CFHS: What issue are you most concerned about when it comes to rescues in Saskatchewan?

SN: We’re only concerned with rescues that are not providing proper care to their animals. There are individuals or groups who are basically hoarders—they have 35 dogs in crates in a garage, and they call themselves a rescue group. Animals often don’t get any vaccinations or parasite treatments, and they get adopted out right away. There can be behavioural issues, as well. Other groups import animals from the States or other foreign countries while also providing minimal or no care and, in addition to the problems I already mentioned, they may also introduce diseases into Saskatchewan.

CFHS: How has this idea been received so far?

FW: The feedback we’ve had from rescue groups has been very supportive. When we announced this program on Facebook, one rescue responded, “Long overdue.” They understand this is an important step in ensuring all rescues provide the best possible care for their animals. And because it’s a voluntary program, rescue groups will be able to opt in. It’s a way to demonstrate to the public that they’re meeting certain standards.

CFHS: Overall, what do you hope to achieve with this process?

FW: If everything goes as planned, we should end up with a rescue code of ethics, operational guidelines, best practices and a certification process. I think it’s important to mention that we’ll be creating all of this in collaboration with the provincial animal welfare sector, so we’re not going into this with a pre-conceived notion of how it will all work. We have our own ideas, of course, but we really want to work with everyone to develop the best possible program for our province.

CFHS: What do you think this certification program will do for Saskatchewan?

SN: By becoming a certified rescue group, a rescue organization is demonstrating that they are working to provide the best possible care. The certification program is also a useful tool for potential donors and volunteers to identify reputable rescue groups. And, most importantly, this is a way to improve the welfare of rescued animals.

CFHS: If people want to learn more about this, Saskatchewan SPCA will be presenting on this topic at the 2016 CFHS National Animal Welfare Conference, which is happening April 16-19 in Toronto.

FW: That’s right. We’re presenting about our process on Tuesday, April 19th at 10:30am as part of the Sheltering for Change learning track.

To read up on the Saskatchewan SPCA’s rescue certification program, click here. Registration for the 2016 CFHS National Animal Welfare Conference opens on Friday, January 29th. Keep your eye on Humane News for updates!

This appeared in the January 28, 2016 edition of Humane News, the CFHS weekly newsletter. Click here for the original article.

News Release: National Cupcake Day 2016


Medium Rectangle StaticSaskatoon, SK – The Saskatchewan SPCA is thrilled to announce our participation in National Cupcake Day on Monday, February 29th, 2016. National Cupcake Day is the most delicious way to show your support for animals in need of your help!

Saskatchewan SPCA supporters are invited to register today at and start planning their Cupcake Day party. Simply plan to supply some delicious treats and then invite your co-workers, friends, and family to attend in exchange for a donation to the Saskatchewan SPCA. Your Cupcake Day party can be held at your workplace, home, school or local community centre – anywhere you think people will enjoy a treat! It’s a super fun and easy way to “bake a difference” for animal welfare in your community.

Within 10 business days of registration, participants will be mailed their official Cupcake Day Host Kit containing a fundraising guide, donation box, balloons, a poster and other stuff needed to host a successful event. The last day for online registration is Monday, February 22.

National Cupcake Day is the first-ever, Canada-wide event to support local shelters, SPCAs, and Humane Societies. The event, now in its fourth year in Canada, has a long successful history in other countries, namely in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

2016 is the first year that the Saskatchewan SPCA will be participating in this national event. “We’re excited to be part of such a fantastic program. National Cupcake Day has been a tremendous success, both in terms of raising awareness and funds for a great number of SPCAs and Humane Societies across Canada and around the world. The Saskatchewan SPCA is proud to be involved,” said Frances Wach, the Saskatchewan SPCA’s Executive Director. Proceeds raised through National Cup Cake Day will be used to fund programs currently being developed by the Saskatchewan SPCA, including the Animal Rescue Certification Program and the Interpersonal Violence and Animal Abuse Project.

To register visit the Saskatchewan SPCA website at or

About the Saskatchewan SPCA:

The Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been working to ensure the humane treatment of animals since 1928. Based in Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan SPCA serves the entire province. The Society is a registered charity dedicated to the welfare of animals.

Although the Saskatchewan SPCA does not operate a shelter, we promote the humane treatment of animals through education and prevention programs. As an animal welfare organization, the Saskatchewan SPCA promotes empathy, compassion and respect for all living animals.


For more information:

Josh Hourie, Community Relations Coordinator
Saskatchewan SPCA
Phone: 306-382-7726 | Email:

Certification Program for Rescue Groups in Saskatchewan

By Dr. Sandra Neumann

Over the past few years the Saskatchewan SPCA has been approached by several rescue groups as well as SPCAs asking us to develop a program to ensure a minimum standard for rescue organizations in the province. Having been responsible for the enforcement of the Animal Protection Act for Saskatchewan until spring 2015, our Animal Protection Officers have also encountered their share of so-called rescues that provided insufficient care.

Rescue organizations come in many forms. They range from those operating a shelter to those working solely within a framework of foster homes. What unites them all is their desire to help homeless animals.

The concern is the existence of organizations calling themselves rescue groups without even providing a minimum of care for the animals they are taking in, thereby misleading the public and giving legitimate groups a bad name.

Right now anyone can stack a hundred cats in crates in a garage, or keep thirty-five dogs in a basement and call themselves a rescue group. In reality, these are hoarders valuing quantity of life over quality of life and showing total disregard to animal welfare.

Members of the public supporting these organizations believe they are dealing with a legitimate rescue group when in reality they are dealing with hoarders who neglect their animals’ needs to fulfil their own.

Therefore it is imperative to develop a system to ensure that rescue groups adhere to a minimum standard of care to ensure the welfare of animals they took responsibility for.

Ensuring the humane treatment of animals has been the Saskatchewan SPCA’s mission since 1928 so this is certainly a worthwhile undertaking for us. At the last animal welfare conference, Executive Director Frances Wach announced that we are now prepared to embark on this major project.

Right now we are in the process of researching existing programs in North America and worldwide to gain a better understanding of how such a program can be structured and developed to work best for our province.

The intent of such a program is to:

  • Acknowledge rescue groups that provide proper care to their animals.
  • Provide guidelines to ensure that such care is consistent and follows the most current standards.
  • Provide a code of ethics and best practice resources for rescue organizations.
  • Encourage more collaboration and improve the cooperation between rescues.
  • Assure the public, including adoption event hosts, businesses, donors, adopters and potential volunteers that certified rescue organizations operate according to the standards set by the certification program.
  • Assure donors and animal welfare funders of the organizations’ credibility.
  • Improve the welfare of animals.

Who benefits from such a program?

Having certified rescue organizations is a win-win-win situation. The group wins, the public wins, and the animals win.

For the rescue group, it’s a great way to let everyone know it strives to provide the best possible care for the animals it has taken responsibility for.

A certification program protects members of the public from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous hoarders by providing them with a useful tool to be able to recognize a legitimate and reputable rescue group.

And it benefits the animals.

Everyone wanting animals treated with respect and dignity should be embracing and supporting such an initiative.

This is a huge project that requires input from many stakeholders. We look forward to putting a program in place that will ensure all rescued animals in Saskatchewan are treated humanely.

Christmas Cash Lottery – Final List of Winners

Congratulations to everyone who won with this year’s Christmas Cash Lottery. Be sure to check back in the summer for the Saskatchewan SPCA Summer Cash Lottery.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Saskatchewan SPCA through this year’s lottery!

November 13, 2015 Marie Nadeau Davidson  $1,000.00 11387
November 20, 2015 Rosemarie Schmaltz Sceptre  $1,000.00 05257
November 27, 2015 Jane Wilmot Regina $1,000.00 29407
December 1, 2015 Julie Mazur Canora $1,000.00 25385
December 2, 2015 Roger Belton Candle Lake $200.00 12937
December 3, 2015 Kevin James Peepeetch Melville $200.00 10179
December 4, 2015 Diane Runn Star City $200.00 28510
December 5, 2015 Eva & Trent Brewster Prince Albert $500.00 22600
December 6, 2015 Brenda Holo Rose Valley $200.00 18104
December 7, 2015 Daryl & Cindy Hoyseth Saskatoon $200.00 16950
December 8, 2015 Shawna Kilgore Outlook $200.00 04477
December 9, 2015 Sarah Becker Eatonia $200.00 18110
December 10, 2015 Gloria Haight Unity $200.00 04040
December 11, 2015 Bob & Janice Dougherty Abernethy $200.00 09351
December 12, 2015 Larry Wallace Langenburg $500.00 00618
December 13, 2015 Alois Hazelwanter Saskatoon $200.00 07120
December 14, 2015 Dale Hartl Preeceville $200.00 25951
December 15, 2015 Gary Keller & Betty Swanson Craik $200.00 02116
December 16, 2015 Denise Brown Unity $200.00 04038
December 17, 2015 Danae Mack Saskatoon $200.00 22670
December 18, 2015 Mel Smith Maple Creek $200.00 05170
December 19, 2015 Linda Johnson Nipawin $500.00 01867
December 20, 2015 Darlene Browatzke Whitewood $200.00 08030
December 21, 2015 Mary Cusitar Prince Albert $200.00 27154
December 22, 2015 Bob Johnson Abbey $200.00 00018
December 23, 2015 Laurie Ducheminsky Kamsack $200.00 09768
December 24, 2015 Phyllis Hanson Assiniboia $200.00 23265
December 25, 2015 Larry Wallace Langenburg $1,000.00 00616
December 26, 2015 Carey Hrycak Kuroki $500.00 00600
December 27, 2015 Emile Desnoyers Coderre $200.00 02855
December 28, 2015 Judy Metcalfe Saskatoon $200.00 16090
December 29, 2015 Patricia Abbate Domremy $200.00 03681
December 30, 2015 Sharon Bozek Wynyard $200.00 26033
December 31, 2015
Grand Prize
Bruce, Trevor, & Amanda Brownlee Kelvington $20,000.00 00568
December 31, 2015
Huge Supporter
Mila Herauf Watrous $10,000.00 13563
December 31, 2015
50/50 Kitty Pool
Mitch Hamilton Ruthilda $31,520.00 08810F

Stryker K-9 Care Fund Featured in the Saskatoon Express

The December 7th issue of the Saskatoon Express featured an article on Saskatoon police officer, Cst. Lorne Ingram and the Stryker K-9 Care Fund. In the article, Cst. Ingram talks about Stryker and the health issues that ultimately lead to the retired police dog’s passing. Cst. Ingram also talks about his new canine partner, Jet.

Learn more about Cst. Ingram, his canine pals, the Stryker K-9 Fund for retired police dogs, and the calendar fundraising initiative spearheaded by Ingram in the latest issue of the Saskatoon Express.

HUMANEnews – An E-Bulletin for Organizations Interested in Animal Welfare


The Saskatchewan SPCA is coordinating the distribution of a monthly e-bulletin containing a collection of facts, figures, and material for organizations with an interest in animal welfare in Saskatchewan.

HUMANEnews will contain information provided by partners in Saskatchewan’s animal welfare community. If you would like to receive HUMANEnews, please click here to sign up.