FAQ | Winnipeg Humane Society
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About The Winnipeg Humane Society

Q: What does The WHS do?

A: The WHS is at the forefront of animal welfare in Manitoba. We are the largest animal welfare organization in the province and provide many services to the community from adoptions to animal advocacy campaigns.  We have spearheaded the following innovative programs:

– Subsidized spay and neuter program (SNAP)

– Specialized training and behavior programs for dogs

– At-risk youth programs

– Education programs

– EDAP (experienced dog adopters) program

Q: How many animals does The WHS take in?

A: We take in over 8,000 animals per year.  These include:

– stray cats & dogs

– owner-surrendered pets

– unsuccessful adoptions from other shelters/rescues

– lost pets

– injured animals rescued by The WHS

– emergency seizures by WHS Animal Protection Officers

– animals rescued by emergency drivers

– injured wildlife

Q: What is a no-kill shelter?

A: In order to operate a no-kill shelter, an organization must limit the number of animals it receives to those it has room to house.  In a world where there are many more animals in need of homes than there are homes available, a no-kill shelter can only maintain that status by turning animals away.  Those denied admission must be taken elsewhere.  These animals are brought to the Winnipeg Humane Society.

Q: How is a no-kill shelter similar to The WHS?

A: Like The WHS, no-kill shelters practice euthanasia for animals having untreatable behaviour or health issues.

Q: Does The WHS euthanize both dogs and cats?

A:  Dogs are never euthanized for space, only for untreatable behaviour or health issues.

For the majority of the year, cats are not euthanized for space. Space becomes an issue when incoming numbers skyrocket.

To prevent euthanasia of cats due to space, the WHS manages the admission of animals to the shelter. This means the WHS is managing its admissions and resources through the use of waiting lists, foster programs, care to adopt programs, and care to re-home programs.

Q: How many cats do you actually take in?

A: The WHS typically receives over 5,500 cats each year.  The WHS adopts approximately 2,500 – 3,000 cats each year and return 250 – 400 lost cats to their owners.

Q: How do you deal with getting so many cats?

A: We adopt as many as we can and on occasion, we use foster parents for short-term care.

Due to the constant need to make room for the never-ending numbers of homeless cats in our shelter, euthanasia for space is unfortunately inevitable. New programs and initiatives have helped reduced the euthanasia rate. This number could be even lower if no-kill shelters/rescues were able to take more cats, and more was done to reduce cat reproduction through spay and neuter.

The WHS does not like to have to euthanize cats and deals with heartbreaking decisions each and every day. This is our reality.

The fact is – there are too many cats and not enough space in shelters/rescues and adoptable homes. We could have doubled the size of our shelter and still have filled it with cats. We do not believe this is a humane option.

Our goal is to be a shelter where we do not need to euthanize cats for space.

The elimination of euthanasia cannot occur until the cat overpopulation crisis is eliminated.

Q: What does The WHS do to help with cat overpopulation?

A: Our efforts to address the cat overpopulation problem include:

– Adoption

– Partnering with local pet stores as satellite adoption agencies for the WHS

– Operating a highly successful foster home program – every year hundreds of pets are provided temporary care including nursing mother cats, and cats that required treatment for medical or behaviour issues

– Implementing Care to Adopt and Care to Re-home programs

– Maintaining the largest lost pet registry in Manitoba

– Offering a reduced cost spay/neuter surgery program (SNAP)

– Operating a trap neuter return program (TNR) to stem population growth in city feral cat colonies

– Providing a  low-cost spay/neuter and transportation service to inner-city clients

– Helping the public with their pet related behaviour problems, Yelp Line, in an effort to keep the pet in the home, and not surrendered to the shelter

Q: Do the animals in adoption have a time limit?

A: Once an animal reaches our adoption area, they remain there until they find a home – this can be days, weeks or months.  We may move the animal to foster care if they need a break from shelter life.  An adopted animal will only be euthanized if a severe behaviour or medical issue develops.

Q: What is your process for admitting animals?

A: Incoming stray cats are held for three days, and dogs for three days, allowing time for a lost pet to be reunited with its owner. We then assess their health and behaviour for adoption.

Owner surrendered animals are held for 24 hours.  We then assess their health and behaviour for adoption.

The WHS has a waiting list for surrendered cats and dogs and encourages the pet owner to explore all options before surrendering to the shelter.

Due to the waiting list for dogs, the WHS may not be able to receive any stray dogs. If you have found a stray dog, please take it to the City of Winnipeg Animal Services Agency.

Q: Do you accept older animals?

A: Yes, we do not turn any animal away because of their age.


Q: What do I do if I’ve lost my pet?

A: Read our guide on Lost Pets.

Q: Does The WHS have a veterinary clinic for the public?

A: We are able to offer subsidized spay and neuter services (SNAP) to low income families or people on social assistance. The WHS is restricted in its ability to operate a public clinic due to a lack of necessary resources. The clinic is only able to respond to an animal’s medical emergency if the owners surrender the animal to the shelter.

Q: How do I surrender an animal?

A: Call Animal Intake at 204-982-2025 to speak with an Animal Intake staff member, or learn more about surrendering your pet here.

Q: What do I do if I find a stray animal?

A: Bring the animal to The WHS. We will fill out the necessary paperwork and work through the process of trying to find the animal’s owner. If no owner is found, the animal will be entered into our adoption department.

Q: What do I do if I know of an animal being abused?

A: Our WHS Animal Protection Officers can only respond to reports of abuse that have been witnessed first-hand, not suspected. If this is the case, then please call 204-982-2028 to make a cruelty and abuse complaint.

Q: Where does The WHS’ funding come from?

A: We are primarily funded by donations from individuals and by grants from other charitable foundations. The WHS receives a fee for service from the City of Winnipeg towards sheltering cats.

Q: How many people work and volunteer at The Winnipeg Humane Society?

A: The WHS employs about 130 staff and over 700 volunteers.


Q: How does the adoption process work?

A: We recommend you visit The WHS in person and discuss your adoption wishes with an adoption counselor. Please see our Adopt a Pet section for animal listingsadoption fees, and other information.  Keep in mind that not all of our adoptable animals are listed online. Please call our adoptions department at 204-982-2035 for the most current information on adoptable animals.

Q: Do you call potential adopters who are seeking a specific animal if the animal comes to The WHS?

A: Unfortunately not. Due to an overwhelming demand for certain breeds and/or characteristics, it’s not feasible to maintain a list of potential adopters based on such specific criteria.

Q: Training

A: Please see our Yelp Line for help with any issues you may be experiencing with your pet.  You can also register for dog obedience classes or puppy socialization classes.


Q: How can I volunteer?

A: Please see the Volunteer section of our website.

Q: How many volunteers are needed to operate the shelter?

A: The WHS is a volunteer-based organization. About 700 volunteers help us on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis, in over 100 volunteer positions. The WHS is always looking to recruit more volunteers. Visit the Volunteer section of our website to learn more.


Q: How do I become a monthly donor?

A: Monthly donations are a convenient way for you to contribute to The WHS, and they play a vital role in our ongoing need to protect animals from suffering and to promoting their welfare and dignity. To become a monthly donor, visit the Donate section of our website.

You can also donate monthly through your chequing account by mailing in a VOID cheque and note indicating the amount you wish to contribute monthly. All monthly donations are processed on the last business day of the month. Don’t forget to give us your name, address and telephone number. Sign up for monthly donations online.

You can also donate by mailing, faxing or phoning in your Visa, Mastercard, or American Express number along with the expiry date, your name, address and telephone number indicating the monthly amount you wish to have charged to your credit card.

Tax receipts are issued annually for the full amount contributed over the year and are sent out before the last day in February.

To e-mail your information or to ask for further information on monthly donations, you can call 204-982-2041 or email our donations department.

You can also make a secure online donation. Visit our Donations page to access the form.

Q: Can I make a donation in honour of a person or special event?

A: Yes! Through the commemorative giving program, you can celebrate a special friend or special occasions such as birthdays, holidays, and weddings.

An acknowledgment card will be sent to the recipient. Cards can even be sent on behalf of pets to humans and other furry friends. Now, dogs can send birthday cards, and cats can send holiday cards!

For more information call 204-982-2041.

Q: How do I make a donation in memory of a family member or pet?

A: An in memoriam gift is a meaningful way to honour the memory of a person or pet, while helping to protect all animals. There is no minimum donation required. The WHS will send a sympathy card to the designated person or family acknowledging your donation.

As a tribute, the name of the deceased will be added to The WHS’ website, in our Commemorative Giving section. For additional information, call 204-982-2041.

Q: I love my address labels. Can I order more?

A: You can order labels by calling 204-982-2041.

Q: How do I update my address for the mailing list?

A: You can email, phone, mail or fax your change of address to Donor Relations and they will make the update for you. Be sure to give your name as it appears on your mail, as well as your old address, so they can locate you in the database. Phone 204-982-2041 or email our donations department.

Q: How can I get on your mailing list?

A: Our mailing list is our member list. To become a member simply make a donation to The WHS in any amount. Tax receipts are issued automatically for donations of $10 or more. Tax receipts must be requested for donations under $20. There is more information in the Donate section of this website.


Q: How can I get a job at The WHS?

A: See our Careers page.

Birthday Parties

Q: Can I host parties at The WHS?

A: You certainly can. See our Birthday Party page for details.


Q: Can my group have a tour of The WHS?

A: Tours of the shelter can be arranged during the school year, all of which contain an educational component.  A minimum donation of $25 is required.


Q: Does The WHS offer programs for children?

A: Click for info on our day camps.

Q: Can I get The WHS to do a presentation at my school?

A: Yes!  We can come to your school, visit: Classroom programs.


Q: Does The WHS have a store?

A: You can shop at The WHS Gift Shop, located inside The WHS at 45 Hurst Way or online.

Social Media

Q: How can I stay connected with The WHS online?

A: The WHS is on TwitterFacebook, YouTube and Instagram. Below is our online posting policy:

We are committed to creating a community that encourages self-expression and mirrors the values of The WHS, including respect for the rights, dignity, and property of others. We ask all fans to do their part to help us achieve the goal. In doing that, we ask you not to post content that:

– is threatening, abusive, obscene, indecent, or objectionable;

– is deceptive, false, or misleading;

– violates the intellectual property rights of other people;

– is illegal;

– references a third party website or is self-promoting spam;

– is inappropriate, offensive, or hateful.

We reserve the right to remove any content or block users that violate our community guidelines, or that we determine are otherwise offensive to our community. All content must also comply with Facebook’s policies as well.

Questions and comments may be forwarded to communications@winnipeghumanesociety.ca.