Blog

Staying Connected. May 15

May 15, 2020

Hello Friend of the Animals

Yesterday, Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford announced Phase 1 of the opening of Ontario’s services and businesses. The times of COVID-19 are changing and the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA is getting ready. I want to let you know what this means for your local animal welfare charity and the service to community you support.

Taking care of our people and the public we serve

We are mindful that the state of emergency in Ontario remains in place until June 2nd. And we are mindful too that the Premier stated that businesses  – including veterinary services – should open only when they are ready. The health and safety of our Staff are the priority, as is the safety of the public we serve. We are confident too that our donors who have supported the animals generously these past two months expect no less of us.

The HBSPCA has already started working on a post COVID-19 Emergency State recovery plan. We are guided by distancing, local and Provincial public health directives and the evidence based practices evolving among our colleagues across Ontario and Canada.  Our focus on safety for all compels us to ensure a robust supply of personal protective equipment, re-assess patient flow in our Companion Animal Hospital, and modify staff and public pathways in the building.

Protective barriers are being installed in the hospital and adoption center. Web cams will enable meaningful staff meetings without face-to-face gatherings.  Classes, clinics and fundraisers will resume only when it is safe for the public to gather in numbers greater than 5 persons.

Service to community – still active, every day

For the next while, the HBSPCA will remain closed to the public. Service to community continues as it has for several weeks. These services include

  • Receiving animals at risk identified by Provincial Inspectors and as asked.
  • Receiving animals requiring emergency care.
  • Receiving surrenders of animals otherwise at risk for neglect and abandonment.
  • Supporting pets and their families with end of life support to alleviate pain, distress, and discomfort at the end of life.
  • Offering compassionate boarding for pets belonging to persons who might be hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment and for whom there are no pet care alternatives.
  • Providing no contact adoptions for pet companions ready for their forever home.
  • Supporting our customers with telemedicine and pet behavioural advice to keep people and pets together.
  • And
    As reported last week, safe spay/neuter for street cats in our City, already over populated with cats on the street.

It takes a village to make a difference 

As you may be finding in these times of COVID, we are distant yet not alone. We are grateful for the support community members show every day. This week, community members provided hand made washable masks for our Staff. What a fabulous support, helping to fill a safety need that will go on for some time yet.

 

 

Holy Cannoli!  Yesterday, a donation of cannoli was received from Katie’s Cannoli as a way to say thanks.  Yummy!

 

 

 

And our colony caregivers continue to be supported with cat food. Thank you.

I am reminded everyday of what I have come to think of as the Canadian way. Among our animal welfare colleagues across Ontario and Canada, we are connected and collaborative. We share our insights and plans to sustain a humane future. Learning together, no one is left behind, and this can only serve the animals, pet families and our communities well.

Looking Ahead

We are exceptionally grateful for your support, especially since the advent of COVID-19. As donors and supporters, you are helping build innovative service, new service, and the requisites for safe service and keep people and pets together. And for this we sincerely thank you.

I invite you to share some of the ways people you know can help support innovation, all for the animals.

Help the HBSPCA win $5000.  Vote Daily here https://www.nutram.com/ca/vote

Be a local hero and become a monthly donor /donate/monthly-gift/

Purchase Spring Lottery tickets at /donate/lottery-tickets/

OR, if you and others are able, please support the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA with a donation of any size.

As our “bubbles” expand and our communities open up, I wish you, your families and your friends health and safety.

Sincerely,

Marion Emo
President and CEO
Keeping Distance Staying Connected.

Press releases

The Times of COVID are Changing and the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA is Getting Ready.

The Times of COVID are Changing and the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA is Getting Ready.

Hamilton, ON (Thursday May 14, 2020) – The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA is readying new ways of work as Ontario communities open up for services and business.

“The Premier stated today that businesses should open only if they are ready,” stresses Marion Emo, CEO. “and we are getting ready. The health of our Staff is a priority, as is the safety of the public we serve. We are confident too that our donors who have supported the animals generously these last two months expect no less of the charity they support”.

For the next while, the HBSPCA will remain closed to the public. Service to community continues as it has for several weeks given the HBSPCA has been a priority service. These services include  Receiving animals at risk identified by Provincial Inspectors and as asked.  Receiving animals requiring emergency care.  Receiving emergency surrenders and surrenders of animals otherwise at risk for neglect and abandonment.  Supporting pets and their families with end of life support to alleviate pain, distress, and discomfort at the end of life.  Offering compassionate boarding for pets belonging to persons who might be hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment and for whom there are no pet care alternatives.  Providing no contact adoptions for pet companions ready for their forever home.  Supporting our customers with telemedicine support and pet behavioural advice to keep people and pets together.

The HBSPCA has already started working on a post COVID-19 Emergency State recovery plan guided by distancing and other directives of local and Provincial public health authorities. The HBSPCA is ensuring a robust supply of personal protective equipment, re-assessing patient flow in the Companion Animal Hospital, and changing up staff and public flow pathways in the building. Protective barriers are being installed in the hospital and adoption center. Web cams will enable meaningful staff meetings without face-to-face gatherings for the time being. Classes, clinics and fundraisers will resume only when it is safe for the public to gather in numbers greater than 5 persons.

“There is no time like the present to make changes that may have been contemplated and are now demonstrated to work well.” M. Emo goes on to say. “For instance, no contact adoptions
P. (905) 574-7722 | W. www.hbspca.com | E. info@hbspca.com 245 Dartnall Road, Hamilton, Ontario L8W 3V9

will be a feature of our service going forward. They will not replace on site adoptions; however, the outcomes have been positive for both adopters and re-homed pets”.

“We are exceptionally grateful for the support of our donors especially since the advent of the COVID-19. Donors are supporting innovative service, new service, and the requisites for safe service, all to advance a humane community, at all times. And for this we sincerely thank them”.

To learn about access to programs, including spay/neuter surgery, our new online e-boutique, online dog obedience classes and no contact adoption, please message info@hbspca.com or visit our website at www.hbspca.com

Media Contact: Marion Emo, CEO. 905-574-7722 ext. 310

About the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA: The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA (HBSPCA) keeps people and pets together, helps pet owners be the pet parents they want to be and rehomes neglected and abandoned animals for second chance lives. Activities include, among others, education, pet visiting for people’s well-being, low cost spay neuter services, and pet companion health checks and surgeries for pets belonging to some of the most vulnerable citizens in our community and for whom their pet is their best or only friend. We invite you to check out the miracles that happen every day at www.hbspca.com Charitable Registration # 11923 6750 RR0001.

Blog

Staying Connected. May 7

May 7, 2020

Hello Friend of the Animals

Friends and supporters like yourself have asked how our staff and volunteers are doing, what life is like at the shelter in these times of COVID-19, and importantly, how are the animals.  Your support is keeping service to community active.

Pet companions going home

Last week, I shared the launch of “no contact” adoptions and the positive experience that adopters shared with us early in the new process. In just a week, 15 pet companions have been rehomed with their forever families. Pet families include singles, couples, and families with children of all ages. We are delighted that cats of all ages too are being adopted including those at 1, 2, 7 and 8 years of age.  An additional 24 adorables  – guinea pigs, kittens cats, puppy and dogs – are being readied for their forever families.

Safe surgeries

Health checks and surgeries have required the development of new ways of work or revised standard operating procedures. These are guided by health and safety practices – physical distancing among staff and animals, and effective personal protective equipment (PPE) worn at all times. Early in the pandemic, surgeries for animals in care and those living in the community were not possible. Then, we piloted neuters for street cats, without which cat overpopulation only increases. And now, with a final review underway of robust procedures allowing for drop off and pick up of owned animals requiring surgery, the Companion Animal Hospital will do about 9 surgeries a day. While hospital capacity is 15-20 surgeries a day, this is a good beginning.

Our People

Most importantly, our staff, whether on site or at home, are healthy.  The shelter itself is quiet.  A handful of volunteers are walking dogs and keeping the fundraising office active. The staff team on site is lean and safe in their zones. Some of us rotate working at home. And some have been on more ZOOM meetings in the past month than in the past 5 years! We are all missing the banter, the face to face collegiality, the corridor discussions, and the number of miracles every day. But “no contact” adoption, end of life care, street cat support, help on the phone, and emergency response continue to make a difference every day, all for the animals and their families.

Looking ahead

There is no time like the present for innovation. No contact adoptions are here to stay and will offer an alternative approach for adopters in the future. Physical distancing will shape our service to community for a long time, and still, leave no animal behind. Telemedicine and help on the phone and by video are amplifying our efforts to keep pets and their people together, prevent unnecessary admission to shelter, and shape curricula for coop students and veterinarians in training. It’s the right thing to do.

You can help

Innovation is shaping the critical ways your local shelter is serving community, and making safe the provision of compassionate support, emergency response, and the rehoming of animals at risk. Here are some of the ways you can help support innovation, all for the animals.

Sew some masks.  Find details and instructions here /donate/wishlist/

Be a local hero and become a monthly donor /donate/monthly-gift/

Purchase Spring Lottery tickets at /donate/lottery-tickets/

OR, if you are able, please support the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA with a donation of any size.

Like you, we are grateful in these uncertain times for our health, the gifts of family and friends, the advent of Spring, and the bonds we have with pets, ours and those in other families.

I wish you health and safety.

Sincerely,

Marion Emo
President and CEO
Keeping Distance Staying Connected.

 

Blog

Staying Connected. April 30

April 30, 2020

Hello Friend of the Animals

It feels a long time ago since daily life changed dramatically the week of March 16th; it is just week 7. Like many of you, we too at the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA are missing face to face banter with each other, with our volunteers and most importantly, the individuals and families we serve. And perhaps like you, our eyes are screen weary from meetings on ZOOM, Skype, and Google Meet.  The good news is these tools are in place to help us keep distance, and stay connected in the time of COVID-19.

These times compel us to adapt and serve the animals in new ways. I want to share with you one of the ways your shelter is adapting.

The No Contact Adoption

Last week I shared with you the number of animals in care both in the shelter and with foster families. And while abandoned and neglected animals are already in a better place when they find their way to the shelter, a forever home is the goal for every one of them.

Our adoption process has been modified to re-home pet companions ready to bond with their new family, and, keep adopter candidates and staff safe. In just a few easy steps, Bandit and Coco went home on Wednesday, April 29.

Adopter candidates are invited to view adoptable pets and their story on line at www.hbspca.com. When their heart is touched by a look, a character trait, a story or a video of them in action, the candidate begins the process by emailing our adoption team. Then, the candidate and Staff indulge a conversation about care requirements, any special needs, and behaviours known to staff and volunteers, and how these are a fit with the candidate’s lifestyle, preferences, and means. The goal? A doggone purrfect match.

Both Bandit and Coco were picked up by their new pet parents just inside the shelter doors.

Bandit had been on the hunt for a forever home that would keep him busy.  This rambunctious boy loves a good play session.  Luckily, his new pet parent, Josh, was up for the task and had been following Bandit on our website and social media for a few weeks, waiting for the opportunity to provide him a forever home.

 

Our sweet, petite Coco could not wait to find a forever family that she could share her big personality with.  This mini panther had been with us since early March and we are thrilled that she has found her people.

 

 

Evaluation will be ever important over time.  Bandit’s new parent – Josh – shared his feedback

“This whole process was so quick and easy, and you’ve been so incredibly helpful! I really don’t see any negatives to this process to be quite honest, any risks of infection through contact have been mitigated while still being able to provide a loving home for Bandit and others during this time. I so appreciate this no contact option being available due to the fact I was considering adopting for awhile and was initially discouraged to discover all my local adoption services had been shut down due to the COVID outbreak.”

These times compel us to adapt, and our donors expect no less. Our Mission holds steady. The means to re-home and keep people and pets together is changing. This only makes sense.

Rehabilitating and re-homing surrendered and neglected animals is one of the critical ways your local shelter is serving community in the times of COVID-19 alongside compassionate boarding preventing pet emergencies, fixing pet emergencies and ensuring no animal leaves this world in pain and distress. You can help.

Here are some of the ways you can help

Purchase Spring Lottery tickets at /donate/lottery-tickets/

Follow us on Social Media – Keep tabs on all that we’re up to and share with your friends.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Order your pet supplies and accessories online through our NEW online boutique.  Email Michelle at mmacnab@hbspca.com to get started

OR, if you are able, please support the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA with a donation of any size.

In these uncertain times, I thank you for sharing our stories and continuing to support pets and their families.

In the words of Dr. Bonnie Henry in British Columbia – be kind, be calm and be safe.

Sincerely,

Marion Emo
President and CEO
Keeping Distance. Staying Connected.

Blog

Staying Connected. April 23

April 23, 2020

Hello Friend of the Animals

It has been a tough week for Canadians, and more so for Nova Scotians. Our hearts go out to the families and communities in and around Portapique. The weight of an incomprehensible tragedy amidst the pandemic is almost unfathomable. May the millions of virtual hugs warm the hearts of affected families, friends and communities.

 

It is National Volunteer Week and even in the times of COVID-19, HBSPCA volunteers are keeping distance, staying connected and making a difference every day, all for the animals.

 

20 foster families are sheltering 25 pet companions, soon to be on their way to forever homes.  Some 150 registered colony caregivers are keeping an eye on street cats, checking health and safely feeding and watering; supporters rallied and have sent or hand delivered cat food for colony caregivers for pick up at curbside. Dog walkers are socialising and exercising Hana, Genie and Mimi in care at the shelter. And  Wendy, Lorraine and Barb are helping process donations and lottery ticket purchases, and thanking our donors

Volunteers and donations are keeping service to community active every day.

We Remember Volunteers Making a Difference in the time of the Italian Greyhounds

Among the recovery miracles volunteers have, helped make happen was in the time of 144+ Italian Greyhounds (IGs) removed from deplorable circumstances in October 2012. All hands were on deck for several months as the dogs were housed, fed, watered, socialised, and restored to health. Volunteers were on site assisting with kenneling, fostering, rehabilitation, and eventually, matching the IGs with forever homes.  And volunteers raised funds for supplies, surgeries, and more.

Just recently, adopters PM and RM shared their story about Sully, one of the Greyhounds.

I just want to send a note to first thank you for all that you do. Also, I wanted to let you know that Sullivan (one of the 144) is doing great.

He will be 10 this May (or thereabouts, who knows?) and we are still living in Edmonton. He is a pretty tough little dude. We had a day in January where Edmonton was colder than Antarctica. The zoo here would not let the penguins go outside. Sully still went out to pee. We tell him he is tougher than a penguin. And don’t worry; he has heated mats to pee on and we bought him one of those systems you put on decks.

Sully has been just the best dog.  He gives great hugs and travels everywhere with us. He has been on  about 75 plane flights. He prefers business class because they serve us hot meals. He has been to Florida 3X, Atlanta, Phoenix, Ottawa, Victoria a few times, and Halifax. We are often back in Sarnia where we lived when we adopted him.

He is like a heat seeking missile when the sun is out and can always find that spot of warmth to curl up in. He is food obsessed and has terrible table manners😊. Oh, and he hates going for walks.  Anyway, thank you again for all your hard work. Rest assured we love Sullivan more everyday and spoil him like crazy, Next time we are back we will bring him in for a visit.

How fortunate for Sully.  Rescued, Restored, and Rehomed.  Donors make it possible, every day.

Here are some of the ways you can help

Compassionate boarding is one of the critical ways your local shelter is serving community in the times of COVID-19 alongside preventing pet emergencies, fixing pet emergencies and ensuring no animal leaves this world in pain and distress. You can help.

Purchase Spring Lottery tickets at /donate/lottery-tickets/

Follow us on Social Media – Keep tabs on all that we’re up to and share with your friends.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

OR, if you are able, please support the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA with a donation of any size.

DONATE NOW

In these uncertain times, I thank you for continuing to support pets and their families.

I wish you, your family and your neighbours good health.

Sincerely

Marion Emo
President and CEO
Keeping Distance Staying Connected.

If you have already donated, thank you.