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Press releases

New Organization Emerges to Champion Animal Welfare across Ontario 

June 23, 2021 

For Immediate Release 

A group of several humane societies has formalized their partnership as the Ontario Animal Welfare Network (OAWN)A Collaboration of Leading Community SPCAs & Humane Societies. The OAWN formed after years of informal collaboration between the humane societies to share best practices, lend support and help individual organizations grow — all with the goal of helping animals.   

The group consists of 11 humane societies and SPCAs who together serve more than 30% of Ontario’s population:  

Guelph Humane Society 

Hamilton/Burlington SPCA 

Humane Society of Kawartha Lakes 

Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth 

Humane Society London & Middlesex 

Lincoln County Humane Society  

Oakville & Milton Humane Society 

Ottawa Humane Society 

Sarnia & District Humane Society 

Sault Ste. Marie Humane Society 

Windsor/Essex County Humane Society 

“This collaboration has been tremendous,” says OAWN member Steve Ryall. “When I joined Humane Society London & Middlesex as Executive Director, it was hugely helpful to be able to draw on the experience of other leaders across the province.”    

The group provides leadership on animal welfare matters, advocates for animals and works to bring humane societies and SPCA’s in Ontario together collaboratively. Since 2016, OAWN has unofficially partnered to strengthen individual organizations in the interests of animal welfare. “This has been an amazing partnership that was missing in Ontario,” says Windsor/Essex County Humane Society Executive Director Melanie Coulter. “If I need to run an idea past someone, if I need a policy or a recommendation for a supplier, I have colleagues across the province to turn to.”  

Beginning with just 5 members, OAWN has grown to 11 members and continues to advocate, educate and collaborate. 

Those interested in learning more about the Ontario Animal Welfare Network are invited to visit  

Media contact:   

(905) 682-0200

Kevin Strooband:  Executive Director, Lincoln County Humane Society 


Feline Friday

For today’s #FelineFriday lets talk……..Cat Enrichment

What is enrichment?  Enrichment is providing animals with needed environmental stimuli that satisfy their natural instincts, this helps promotes physical, psychological, and emotional well-being.  Basically enrichment is activities to prevent your cat from being bored 😊 A bored cat can often lead to some unpleasant and inappropriate behaviours so let’s keep them busy.

Feline enrichment does not need to be expensive; we have several suggestions that are cheap or even FREE!

Make them a kitty fort – grab a few cardboard boxes, we know there are extra deliveries coming to your house these days, get the kids involved and make a fun cardboard fort that your cats will love.  Cut some openings, stack them on top of each other and watch your cats have a blast.

Muffin Tin Cat Puzzle – You will need a muffin tin, some cat toys and some kibble or treats.  Place a few kibbles or treats in each hole of the muffin tin and then cover the food with a cat toy.  Your cat will need to search around the toy to get to the food/treats.  If they master the muffin tin you can also try an egg carton or an ice cube tray for more of a challenge.

Reach Feeder – An old shoe box with the lid or a pop can box works perfect for this one.  You will need the box, a few toilet paper rolls, a pencil, some scissors and some cat kibble or treats.  Using a pen or pencil, trace the end of the toilet paper rolls on top of the lid; repeat in different locations on the lid, one outline for each roll.  Using your scissors, cut the holes out on the lid. Make sure to cut along the traced lines – if the hole is too big the roll will not be sturdy.  Slide rolls into each of the holes, and place kibble or treats into each roll. Give to your cat!  This is a another great one for the kids to help with, just be careful with the scissors!

Bird Watching – This one is CRAZY easy!  Place a soft bed or blanket near the window, up high enough that the cat can watch the birds outside.  This works best if you have a bird feeder just outside the window.

A paper ball – This one is the easiest of them all.  Crumple up a piece of paper and watch your cat bat it around all over the house.  Most cats will go crazy over a simple paper ball.  You can also give them an empty paper bag for hours of enjoyment.

The Wiggle Waggle Walk - Your Way is now virtual, and you can use any activity you love to raise awareness and funds for animals in need! 🐰🐹🐱🐶 How will you Wiggle Waggle on September 12th? Share your idea with us with #Wiggle4HBSPCA! 😀 #WeCare4AnimalWelfare #HBSPCA