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

Holidays Hours

Season’s greetings from all of us at the Saskatchewan SPCA.


Thursday, Dec. 24:  open 8 a.m. to noon

Friday, Dec. 25 to Monday, Dec. 28 inclusive:  closed

Tuesday, Dec. 29:  open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 30:  open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 31:  open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 1 to Sunday, Jan. 3 inclusive:  closed

Monday, January 4:  open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you are calling to report suspected animal cruelty, please see the following for information about which agency to contact:  Reporting suspected animal neglect or abuse

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.

Congratulations, Winners!

Congratulations to the following winners in this year’s Christmas Cash Lottery.

DAILY cash prize draws continue throughout the month of December; YOU could be our next lucky winner! (Ticket info:  https://www.prairieadtickets.ca/SSPCA/)

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

K-9 Calendar Makes a Great Gift

For the animal lover on your gift list … why not give the 2016 Saskatoon Police Service K9 Unit calendar. This unique 13-month calendar features photos of the hard-working members of their canine unit.

Proceeds in support of the Saskatchewan SPCA Stryker K-9 Care Fund, providing veterinary care for retired police dogs throughout the province.

Just $10. Get your copy today at the following locations:

  • Early’s Farm & Garden in Saskatoon (both locations)
  • Arlington Animal Hospital, Saskatoon
  • Saskatoon City Police Headquarters (at the front information desk)
  • Saskatchewan SPCA office (519 45th St W, Saskatoon)

OR Call:  1.877.382.7722.

Continue reading

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.

It’s Time to Win!

It’s time to win … with the Saskatchewan SPCA’s Christmas Cash Lottery.

  • Grand prize draw:  $20,000
  • Daily cash prize draws throughout December
  • Huge supporter draw:  $10,000
  • Early bird draws for $1,000

PLUS the amazing 50/50 Kitty Pool. Last year, the Kitty Pool winner took home $30,675.

Get your tickets today by calling 1.877.577.7220 or see https://www.prairieadtickets.ca/SSPCA/

Your support helps us continue our work to prevent animal cruelty and ensure the humane treatment of animals. We are working to assist the animal and human victims of family violence … provide support for retired police dogs … and expand humane education programs for children. We host an annual educational conference attended by shelters and rescue groups from across the province. As well we are in the planning stages of an exciting new initiative to help protect homeless animals by through the registration and certification of rescue groups. Thank you for your generous support!

All lottery prize draws will be held at 588 1st Avenue, Regina, SK

  • Early bird draws:  Nov. 13, 20 and 27 at 4 p.m.
  • Daily draws:  Dec. 1-31 at 4 p.m.
  • Huge supporter draw:  Dec. 31 at 4 p.m.
  • Grand prize draw:  Dec. 31 at 4 p.m.
  • 50/50 draw:  Dec. 31 at 4 p.m.

Lottery licence #RR15-0396 and LR15-0057.  Tickets available for sale to Saskatchewan residents only.


Saving Fluffy to Changing Society: The many faces of animal welfare


By Dr. Sandra Neumann

Tuesday morning. Media are exploding with the story of Fluffy. Found in a dumpster Fluffy is seriously injured and needs major veterinary care. Unfortunately, we’re all too familiar with this or similar scenarios. Abandoned, neglected, abused pets left to die and rescued at the last minute.

These stories grab the headlines and touch our hearts. Animal welfare in action. Thinking about a topic for this article I thought it may be a good opportunity to give some recognition to the countless individuals who improve the welfare of animals but are rarely the focus of such media attention. They work behind the scenes and usually do not make the headlines. For them there are no spotlights, no interviews on Oprah, no going viral. They work quietly. Stubbornly. And sometimes at personal and professional risk, questioning the status quo.

They are the ones who butt heads with their colleagues and superiors trying to offer alternatives to things that “…we’ve done like this for over fifty years.” They are the ones who shift societal values, setting new directions that will improve the welfare of hundreds of thousands of animals in the future. They are the ones who propel society forward to a new level of animal welfare. They are a hundred people changing the minds of a thousand, changing the minds of ten thousand, changing the minds of a hundred thousand.

Who are these relentless fighters for animal welfare? And where can we find them?


Animal welfare advocates work in the most likely and the most unlikely of places. They can even be found amongst groups that are often attacked for their lack of animal welfare. And they are active in some areas we may not even directly associate with animal welfare in the first place.

They are:

  • The many employees of SPCAs and Humane Societies who, often underpaid, work so very hard trying to improve the lives of animals in their care and spend hours taking care of them the best they can with often very limited resources.
  • Individuals who volunteer their time at a shelter or a sanctuary or provide expertise as a member of a board, a committee, or a working group.
  • Researchers changing testing protocols so fewer and fewer – and maybe at some point in the future, no animals at all – need to be used to get results.
  • Producers who recognize that if they treat their animals well and keep them healthy and happy their animals will provide for them and their families.
  • Hunters who ensure an animal is killed with a clean shot and sometimes spend hours tracking a wounded animal to minimize its suffering.
  • Trappers working on the development of more humane traps that kill instantaneously so animals are spared the panic they experience in live traps.
  • Members of the entertainment industry who are slowly moving away from animal-based performances and look toward groups like Cirque du Soleil for inspiration on how to entertain people without the use of animals.
  • Individuals working for pest control companies trying to find the most humane way of removing so-called “pests.”
  • Social workers who understand the link [between domestic violence and animal abuse] and try to encourage interagency cooperation and reporting.
  • Legislators who try to change the status of animals in law so they are no longer considered “property.”
  • Animal Protection Officers who enforce animal welfare legislation, often removing animals from impossible situations and laying charges so that these crimes can be appropriately punished.
  • Prosecutors who take animal abuse seriously, recognizing it as a both a legal and a community safety issue.
  • And yes, even some politicians (though few and far between) have been known to brave the ingrained opposition to propose changes that benefit animals.

For some animal welfare is part of their job or profession but many more go above and beyond because animal welfare is their passion. Their fight continues long after the spotlight has been shut off and the media frenzy has died down.

Let’s not forget these individuals who work quietly and tirelessly to improve the lives of countless animals, one day at a time, one project at a time. If you have a minute, think of them. If you meet any of them, thank them.

“The most important legacy you will ever leave is your vision planted in the minds of your disciples and a passion as strong as a storm in their hearts.” – Shannon L. Alder