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.

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.

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 p.m.to 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 NationalCupcakeDay.ca 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

THE SASKATCHEWAN SPCA INVITES YOU TO “BAKE A DIFFERENCE” WITH NATIONAL CUPCAKE DAY

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 www.nationalcupcakeday.ca 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 www.sspca.ca or www.nationalcupcakeday.ca.

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.

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For more information:

Josh Hourie, Community Relations Coordinator
Saskatchewan SPCA
Phone: 306-382-7726 | Email: josh@sspca.ca