For the animal lovers, this post may be especially hard to read. Each year, in communities across Canada, animals are being abandoned, injured, or endangered in huge numbers. Approximately 45,000 people complain about animal cruelty annually, reporting things like the neglect of dozens of cats living in homes, the heinous practice of dog fighting, and thousands of other sad and horrifying cases.
Why animal welfare is important
Both domesticated animals and wildlife need attention and protection locally, provincially, nationally, and around the world. In Canadian cities and towns, tens of thousands of dogs and cats end up on streets or in shelters because of lack of spaying and neutering. In rural areas from Nunavut to Nova Scotia to British Columbia, coyotes, bears and other wildlife wander into garbage dumps and backyards only to get tormented or shot. Along the shores of the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic and Pacific oceans, whales, and other marine mammals bump up regularly against shoreline communities, usually resulting in injury or death. And around the world, lax laws and predatory behaviour – human predators, that is – endanger animals, wildlife, and their habitats.
A lack of education, awareness, and funding makes these situations worse. Not only do lost and abandoned animals and birds need food, shelter, and wellness services, such as veterinary and spay/neuter services, they also need compassion and space to alleviate their suffering, pain, or distress.
How animal welfare charities in Canada are addressing the issues
Canada, however, is lucky to have hundreds of charities that address these issues, ensuring individual animals are healthy, fed, and loved, as well as focusing on saving and protecting species in danger of being hurt or wiped out. Charities are involved in a mind-boggling number of initiatives, including:
- running animal-shelter systems across Canada;
- returning thousands of lost animals to their families;
- setting up emergency care and other services for animals;
- helping during crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, to supply urgent food and veterinary care;
- creating sanctuaries for individual animals needing to heal, or for entire species –even the unexpected ones like donkeys, marmots, and pot-bellied pigs – needing room to survive;
- protecting species diversity and preserving their natural habitats;
- educating Canadians about companion and domestic animals;
- and advocating for animals and species in various parts of Canada and the world.
You can help save the animals
Because these and other programs need support, CanadaHelps has created the Animal Welfare Fund, an easy way to support more than 400 charities dedicated to the wellbeing of animals in a single transaction. Gifts made to this Fund are pooled together to achieve wide-reaching impact and to help Canadian charities continue their important work.