CEO Blog: Shelter Capacity and How You Can Help | Winnipeg Humane Society
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Jessica Miller with the WHS Team at a recent Remote Spay and Neuter Clinic in Little Saskatchewan, MB.

As the world changes once again to what we can refer to as the new normal, so does shelter life. The WHS is filled to the brim with friends from all walks of life. Every nook and cranny shelters our animals – strays, surrenders, injured animals, critters and so on.

Our last few months of adoptions have slowed and are mirroring pre-pandemic numbers; what does this mean for us – we don’t know. What we do know is other shelters across Canada are experiencing similar setbacks.

The key to our success is to continue to adopt animals into loving homes. Barriers to having a successful happy ever after with companion animals during the pandemic was seemingly access to behaviour resources and effective socialization. Lock downs and the continued disruption to in person behaviour classes, has had an impact on the surrender profiles we are seeing.

We want you to know, our goal is to help each adopter have success in the home, and work towards this goal before ever feeling they are in a position to want to surrender.  

Our Behaviour Department offers in person classes, a help line, one-on-one assistance when required, and will continue to work with clients as they see their animals through to success. We urge our community to keep trying – humans and animals alike are learning how to re-socialize after two years of some of the strangest, loneliest times we’ve seen in our lifetime. (Learn more about all available Behaviour resources here.)

As supporters and friends of the WHS, it may feel like there is not a lot some of you can do, especially if you are not able to adopt, but I am here to tell you that is a false statement.

We are very close to hitting our fundraising goal for our fiscal year – you can donate to help us reach our goal which enables us to care for our animals in increasing amounts every year. You can share the stories of our adorable adoptables looking for their next chance at an amazing life, and you can continue to help us move forward our additional program endeavors.

Let me tell you about a few of them:

  1. The WHS, Brandon Humane Society and national animal law organization Animal Justice have voiced concerns (for several years in a row now) over upcoming pig and calf scrambles scheduled during Brandon’s Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. Animal scrambles subject young animals to distress, fear and potential injury, as groups of children and youth rush towards them to chase, grab, and pull at them in a competitive manner. You can help us by clicking HERE to sign and share our petition, letter template, and more. Together we can stop unnecessary and inhumane animal scrambles.
  2. We also recently participated in supporting access to veterinary care, vaccinations, and spay and neuter services in a remote community with rescue partner Manitoba Underdogs Rescue. This time I had the opportunity to experience this myself as I hopped in the car and joined the team; I must say, what an incredible experience (and you will hear more from me on this in the future.) To help us continue to reach out to the north and provide access that ultimately aids the funnel of animals coming into shelter, donate today.
  3. And lastly, although I could write forever on all the ways you can help us move the animal welfare needle forward, help us ban the practice of horses being live exported for slaughter. Recently animal advocates witnessed six livestock trailers containing horses arrive at the Winnipeg airport, and this is not an uncommon practice. Footage shared with the WHS shows reluctant horses forcibly prodded and jabbed to have them offload from the trailers. As is standard practice, horses were then loaded into wooden crates, placed on the deafeningly loud tarmac, and awaited their prolonged journey to slaughter. It is time for Canada’s Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, to carry out her mandate and place a federal ban on live horse exportation immediately, as directed in earlier months by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.  We are again urging supporters to continue calling and writing to Minister Bibeau, and ask she implement the ban immediately – no other horse should fall victim to this senseless and inhumane industry.

Thank you for reading and together we will move forward in all aspects: shelter life, welfare life, and a straight up burning passion for the living beings on this planet that together we will serve as a voice.

Thank you in advance for your love and support.


With compassion,

Jessica Miller