Staying Connected. December 31

Make 2021 the year that you change the life of an animal in your community!

It is once again the time that we say goodbye to another year and what a year 2020 turned out to be!  It was the year COVID-19; a year of toilet paper shortages and home schooling; a year in which many spent more time at home than ever before, and it was a year that many pets thought was the best-ever as their owners were with them morning, noon and night.

The year 2020 certainly came with its challenges, however, we hope that you can take some time in the next few days to rest, recharge and reflect on the things you are grateful for and look ahead to the future.

A new year is a fresh start!  It is a time to start a new hobby, learn a new skill, take a class or perhaps pledge to change the life of an animal in our community.  It takes a community to care for homeless and abused animals and provide them with a second chance in a new, forever home.

The gift of monthly donations is profound. Monthly donors provide a consistent, reliable source of income to help us protect animals from people, teach responsible pet ownership, and match animals with their forever homes.

You can easily set up a monthly donation with the HBSPCA and help the animals all year long. As little as $10 a month will cover the cost of vaccination, medication, and microchips for one dog or two cats.

If 2021 is the year you have decided to make a difference for the animals, you can sign up as a monthly donor here

As we leave 2020 in the rear-view mirror and look forward to 2021 with hope and optimism, we want to thank you for your continued support and wish you a healthy, happy new year!


Staying Connected. December 24

Dear Friends of the Animals

We have all seen stories on the news and posts on our social media reminding us that Christmas 2020 might not be the one to ask for material things but rather to be grateful for the things we already have.  Even in a challenging year there are many things we are grateful for here at the Hamilton Burlington SPCA.

We are grateful to our donors and supporters who have stepped up in a big way this year.  We are grateful for the happy adoption stories that we receive from forever families with a new pet.  And we are grateful for our AMAZING volunteers who have stuck with us even when most of our volunteer programs had to be put on pause.  Normally at this time of year we would celebrate our volunteers with a holiday get together, in person.  This year things looked a bit different.  This year it was a drive thru event!  The smiles were still there, behind masks, the holiday attire was still in full effect and the gratitude we felt for our volunteers was off the charts.

Volunteers are such a big and important part of the HBSPCA.  From dog walking to cat cuddling, answering the phones to minor maintenance, helping at events, data entry and so much more!  Normally we have many volunteers onsite to assist with our daily work and with having to limit the number of people in our building staff has found it challenging to keep up with the demand to help animals in need.  We are grateful every day for our volunteers and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back, when the time is right, with open arms.

We encourage each of you to take a moment and remember what you are grateful for.  A special story shared with friends, a spontaneous laugh, an act of kindness when it is needed most, a phone call that brightens up your day.  None of these items can be bought in a store but they can help get us through a challenging time.


Staying Connected. December 17

Dear Friends of the Animals

Sometimes we need a helping hand.  Sometimes we need an extra boost.  Sometimes we need a second chance. 

This week we were reminded about the power of second chances when Emily O’Brien of Comeback Snacks stopped in for a visit.  Emily’s story is an important one.  It’s a story about the benefits of giving someone the second chance they need.  Here at the HBSPCA we see the power of second chances every day.  A chance at a fresh start.  A chance for a new beginning.  A chance for a happy ending.

This week we welcomed a canine family looking for their second chance.  Through no fault of her own this mama dog and her brood of ten, (yes, 10!) babies were living outside in the cold, alone and in need of a helping hand.  Working with a local Animal Control we were able to ensure that mom and babies are safe inside, with full tummies, warm blankets, and fresh water.  It was just in the nick of time, as the snowy weather arrived last night. 

Their journey for a second chance begins now and will start at the HBSPCA.  Over the next few weeks they will all receive the basic medical care they need.  They will eventually head to a volunteer foster home for some important socialization.  Vaccines and deworming medications will be provided and of course, they will receive all the LOVE that we can provide.  Then, when they are ready, we will complete the rescue circle and they will find amazing forever homes.  A forever home that will help provide them all the second chance they need and deserve.

This holiday season, we encourage you to remember the importance of providing a second chance, a helping hand, or that extra boost.  Maybe it’s a friend, a neighbour, a stranger or a pet at the local animal shelter.  We are all deserving of love and the chance to move on from past mistakes and start fresh.

Be Safe. Be Kind.
Melanie Barlow


Staying Connected. December 10

Dear Friends of the Animals,

I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Melanie Barlow and I am the recently appointed President and CEO of the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA.  I am thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful, community-based organizations with such dedicated staff and volunteers and supporters who share a love for animals, in particular companion pets.  In the past two weeks I have witnessed first-hand the incredible impact that the HBSPCA has in the lives of people and pets. I would like to share one of those stories with you.

Our close friends at Zachary PAWS for Healing (ZPFH) and the HBSPCA are committed to keeping pets and people together. And this week our partnership reminded us that collaboration makes a difference for pet parents and their companions alike.

Charlie is an 8-year old St. Bernard currently being cared for by a ZPFH foster family while his parent is in care.  This is what Donna Jenkins from ZPFH and her volunteers do – care for pets whose parents might not get the medical care they need because there is no care alternative for their pet.

The foster family was concerned that Charlie was experiencing dental pain. An examination of his teeth and gums at our Companion Animal Hospital revealed Charlie would need dental surgery. A blood sample for pre-anesthetic screening confirmed Charlie was otherwise in good overall health and a dental procedure was scheduled.

On Monday December 7th, Charlie was admitted for dental surgery. He was set up on intravenous fluids to support him throughout the lengthy procedure. Ten extractions were performed over 2.5 hours.

Charlie’s nails were overgrown.  Trimming such a large boy’s nails awake would be quite the task so our team took advantage of his sedation. In addition, a small skin tag was removed from his chin and his ears were cleaned.

Later that afternoon, Charlie returned home to recover for the next several days with a pain management plan to help him heal comfortably.

When Charlie reunites with his pet parent, both will be healthy, safe, and together. It doesn’t get better than that! Our donors make it all possible.  Zachary’s PAWS foster program is supported by Royal Canin Canada, Ren’s Pets and PetSmart Charities just to name a few. Restoring health and well-being to these pets at the Companion Animal Hospital is made possible by donors who know how strong the human animal bond is. Thank you.

Pets are people’s best friends. Sometimes their only friend. Thank you for caring and keeping people and their furry friends together.

Be safe. Be kind.

Melanie Barlow


Staying Connected. December 3

Dear Friends of the Animals

It’s cold and in the Times of COVID we are spending more time indoors and thinking about the impact of safety measures on holiday traditions. We are finding alternative ways of giving among our families, friends and colleagues, and showing we care.

This past Giving Tuesday on December 1st, people showed they care. Street cats asked for help and donors doubled down. In this most extraordinary year, donations of all sizes combined to raise $42,400.  Volunteers, cat colony caregivers, street cat ambassadors in neighbourhoods, and the HBSPCA are humbled by the tremendous support, all for the health and safety of street cats.

There are solutions to reducing the number of cats on the streets. Spay and neuter surgeries for pet cats keep numbers down and ensure pet parents do not get overwhelmed with all those kitties. Microchips helps lost cats get home. Otherwise, abandoned and lost cats become long time strays and make more cats. Kittens grow up feral with little or no people contact. Cats find themselves in colonies, seeking food and scant shelter. Numbers grow quickly.

The solution for street cats? Get them fixed rabies vaccinated. And tip the ear – an ear tip signals that someone cared enough to change the life of that cat.

Hats off to those who generously stepped up with their treasure and offered to match up to $1,000, $2,000, and $5,000 on Giving Tuesday. You created momentum for a humane cause dear to people’s hearts. The HBSPCA and its partners including the Hamilton Community Cat Network for street cat health and reduced populations, are deeply touched and energized.

This has been a special week too at the HBSPCA. We welcomed Melanie Barlow, CEO, on Monday November 30th.  Melanie most recently was the Executive Director at Ancaster Community Services and is taking the helm at the HBSPCA and its service to community. I and the Team are working together to support a transition for success.

Be safe. Be Kind


Supporting transition. Keeping Distance. Staying Connected.