Established in 1966, then as the local branch of the Ontario Humane Society (Known as the OSPCA today), the Northumberland Humane Society (NHS) has been serving the local community for 50 years, and remains the only registered charitable animal shelter in Northumberland County. Although many aspects of the NHS have changed over the decades, our goal remains the same, protecting and serving the animals that call Northumberland County home.
Our current shelter is located at 371 Ward Street in Port Hope and was built in 1981. The construction of the shelter was funded entirely through proceeds raised from donations and income from our Thrift Shop, which is now located at 46 Covert St in Cobourg. The shelter provides a temporary home to hundreds of animals each year as they pass through on their way to new homes. Everything from mice, rabbits, cats, dogs and even farm animals have spent time at the shelter while awaiting adoption.
Animals come into the care of the NHS in a variety of ways. Some are abandoned by their owners, and are in desperate need of care when they arrive at the shelter. Others are surrendered by owners who are sadly no longer able to provide care to their beloved pets. We also accept transfers from other humane societies and pounds.
The NHS, as the local affiliate of the Ontario SPCA, is legally responsible for all animal cruelty investigations in Northumberland County, and is the only organization in our community with the right to enforce animal cruelty laws. Sadly, on average over 250 animal cruelty complaints are received each year in our area. These cases not only involve cats and dogs, but other animals, such as farm animals and exotic pets. In many cases these animals are suffering in horrific conditions before our investigations team arrives. Puppy and cat mills are sadly all too common throughout Ontario, and our Northumberland County is not immune from these despicable operations. Another tragic example of neglect we often see is dogs who are tied outside without protection from the dangerous elements such as blistering heat or extreme cold. When it has been determined that these animals need to be removed from their current location, the NHS provides them with any necessary medical treatment, and a safe supportive environment.
The NHS is committed to our community and offers many programs to assist both pets and pet owners. Our Educational Outreach Program, Pet Food Bank, Pet Aid Spay and Neuter Assistance Program and Emergency Boarding Program are just some of the programs available to residents of Northumberland County. The NHS is continuously growing, with the goals of expanding the space and resources we have available for helping animals in Northumberland County.
The NHS is not the municipal pound and does not received financial support from any local government. Since its inception, the NHS has always relied upon the generous support of the local community, and that continues to this day. Community fundraising events, funds raised through sales at our Thrift Shop and generous bequests throughout the years, have allowed the NHS to continue its important work in the local community. Without this support, many animals would not have been given a second chance at a happy and healthy life. Throughout the years, many animals that would have had little chance anywhere else, have been saved at our shelter. Some of these animals had medical conditions that required extensive and prolonged care, but the NHS believes every animal deserves the chance at life.
With the rising costs associated with daily operations, we require the continuing support from the community to allow us to achieve our goals. Of course, community support comes in many forms, not only financial. More public involvement, such as adoptions and volunteering, is imperative to our future success. We also need help from the public to spread the word about the important work the NHS does in our community, and to help promote the values of the NHS.