Blog :: Uncategorized

The Time Has Come!

The time has come to Wiggle Waggle!  Last year you helped raise close to $50,000 all for the animals and their families.  Can we count on your support again this year?

It’s no longer just a day for the dogs – this year, the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA (HBSPCA) and Ren’s Pets want you to Wiggle Waggle Walk YOUR WAY and raise funds all for the animals in your community. All animals – feathered, furry or scaled.

Over 31 years, this annual event has been the ‘Wiggle Waggle Walk-a-Thon’, the ‘Wiggle Waggle Walk & Splash’, and more recently, simply, the ‘Wiggle Waggle Walk’. And these walks have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for vulnerable animals in Hamilton and Burlington.

You can help in any one of the following ways:

  • Sign up as a participant and raise funds
  • Spread the word!  Share our social media stories!
  • Post photos using #WalkYourWay #WiggleWaggle #WWW2020 #HBSPCA

Like you, the shelter has been nimble in the Times of COVID to ensure every animal at risk gets the help they need, every day. With that in mind, we invite you this year to walk YOUR WAY in support of the animals with an online approach to this September fundraiser.  In the Times of COVID, the animals need your help more than ever.

Whether you fancy felines, adore dogs or have a soft spot for small critters, we want you to walk, sit or play – your way – and help keep animals safe and healthy, at home.

  • Walk your neighbourhood, a trail, or a cottage country path.
  • Sing with your bird.
  • Teach your cat a new trick and donate a toonie for every “like”.

Wiggle Waggle Walk Your Way – All for the Animals. Sign up, learn more or donate at /donate/join-ourevents/wiggle-waggle/


Walk YOUR Way for companions like Blackberry who came to the HBSPCA with a badly broken leg and needed our help.  Our Companion Animal Hospital was able to provide the medical attention she so badly needed, an HBSPCA foster home gave her a safe place to recover and your donations make this possible!  You can see Blackberry’s story here


Blackberry’s Story

Blackberry’s Story

Staff received a call regarding a young cat that had been injured and required care. Discussion with the caregiver uncovered disturbing details; Blackberry had been injured way back in February, her leg was badly broken, and the bone had come through the skin. As the caregiver was not in position to provide care for Blackberry, she was surrendered into our care.

Blackberry was assessed by our Veterinarian on intake.  X-rays taken in the Hospital revealed the leg was beyond repair. Blackberry was prescribed pain management, and scheduled for leg amputation.  Her heart arrested twice in the operating room and our incredible Team got her back. She’s recovering. On Monday, Blackberry will move to a foster home for recovery for one month; she is being treated as well for a blood parasite.

Blackberry’s “voice” was heard. Despite obvious pain and discomfort, all signs pointed to her resilience and chutzpah! The Team went to work, and Blackberry will have a quality life in a new home. Donors make this possible.

Blackberry is ready to find a forever home!


Staying Connected. July 17

Friday July 17, 2020

Dear Friends of the Animals

The Times of COVID have thrown us many curve balls. Yet the human/animal bond prevails. I have been moved by the stories these last few months about how pets and people are taking care of each other in the times of isolation and remarkable change. Pets and people are a healthy combination.

My own feline friend, Currie, came into my life in July 2013, not long after I joined the HBSPCA Team as CEO. Currie was a long-stay cat, shying away from people and hiding his personality. A few days after coming home, he ran like heck from the broom as I swept the floor, and now the broom is a toy. Currie has flourished like so many others in their new forever homes.

Animals’ lives are transformed because donors care and because families open their hearts and homes to recovering abandoned and neglected souls.   So it is appropriate that our soon to be distributed 2021 Calendar –The Unbreakable Bonds of Friendship – shares how pets have made a difference in the lives of their families during shelter-in-place this year. The life-changing stories are compelling: cat Stash is thriving on two legs; Phoebe was treated for eclampsia and seizures and is living the doggie dream; Gizzy lost a leg and an eye and discovered that it’s a wonderful dog’s life after all.  Watch for our 2021 calendar to be available in early August.

It takes a village of caring to make possible lifesaving miracles for second chance lives. I invite you to mark your calendar for Sunday September 13th and Wiggle Waggle Walk Your Way, all for the animals. Walk, run, cycle, or play your way – wherever you like – along side friends, family, neighbours or colleagues.  Full details coming next week!


Love coffee?  Love supporting the HBPSCA?  Be sure to check out for your new favourite beans.   $2 from each bag purchased can be donated directly back to the animals at the HBSPCA.


Join Katie Favell on Thursday August 13th for a Virtual Paint A Pet Night! From the comfort of your own home you can participate in step-by-step instructions to paint your very own masterpiece!

This is a FREE event and Katie is donating her time in support of the animals and donations to the HBSPCA are greatly appreciated. You can donate online at once you register for the event.

You provide the materials, Katie will provide the fun and instruction and we will continue to provide care to animals like Bear.  Find full event details here or visit our website /paintyourpet/


Your support remains vital to ensure animals are healthy and safe every day. And they are taking care of us too, unconditionally.


Marion Emo
President and CEO
Keeping Distance Staying Connected.


Staying Connected. July 13

Monday July 13

Dear Friend of the Animals

It’s not yet mid July and already it feels like the dawg days of summer. The parking lot is hot, the grass is yellow and the garden is already a bounty of greens for our small critters. Shelter activities are finding a new normal, continually responsive in these times of COVID. We remain safe, nimble, and ever grateful for the help community members lend for healthy, safe and second chance animal lives.

How Corporate Donors Make A Difference

The Boehringer-Ingleheim leadership Team gave a day of time, talent and treasure last summer and built a raised garden at the shelter and a bench for dog walkers’ rest and respite. The garden is feeding our small critters – rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and more – with healthy, fresh and available greens everyday. We could not be more pleased with a ready and sustained food supply.

Thank you

Our Zoetis representative checked in with our Animal Care Manager this week just to see how things were going in these times. Zoetis supplies Revolution products for cats and dogs, and Simparica, a dog flea and tick treatment. On learning of the recent hectic and unpredictable days such as taking in 5 nursing cats and 17 kittens all at once, she and her daughter offered to deliver lunch for the kitty care staff next week. These “paws up” thanks lift the spirits of busy staff and remind staff that they are appreciated, every day.

Thank you

How You Can Help

The Times of COVID are currently limiting volunteers indoors on site at the shelter.  And yet there are still ways your business or office team can make a difference at the shelter.

  • Consider gardening, weed whacking, window washing
  • Have a birthday in the office? Consider a donation in your colleague’s name, all for the animals.
  • Organizing a distanced staff picnic? Consider auctioning safely prepared picnic baskets and donating the proceeds to the TNVR program – spay/neuter for street cats.
  • Have an idea? Let us know at  We are all ears and paws.

In the midst of the heat wave, I wish everyone health and safety.

Let us all take care of our pets in the heat, and remember that that there is no reason to leave a pet in a car.

And if you are looking for a smile, enjoy this “meet your match” video


Marion Emo
President and CEO
Keeping Distance Staying Connected.



Staying Connected. June 26

Friday June 26, 2020

Dear Friend of the Animals

Last Friday the Hamilton community and beyond lost a champion of humane justice for all. Regan Russell died tragically in Burlington protesting the treatment and transport of pigs to a rendering plant.

I met Regan some years ago. She and her partner Mark renovated houses in the neighbourhood. Her tall, gracious and quiet comportment was familiar to many. I met her again more formally in my role as CEO at the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA. I learned how she helped elementary students understand the importance of animals, the need for compassion for all animals and the need to stand up when they saw abuse.  We talked about the growing population of abandoned and homeless cats – street cats – and what can be done to ensure all cats are healthy, safe and wanted. Over time, we shared stories about elder support, and the importance of community to keep people safe and connected in their neighbourhoods. Her aunt Margaret lived down the street from me with her dog; I’m not sure who was looking out for whom.

Locally, Regan was a one woman rescue. Regan looked out for street cats and socialised, spayed and neutered and found homes for cats. She found second chance homes for dogs who lost their home. She helped transition her aunt’s dog to new pet parents when her aunt was dying, ensuring everyone was confident about his future. My corner convenience store called Regan one time when a bird was inside; Regan worked for an hour to safely “free” the bird. Regan and Mark were pillars of support when their friends of 40 years suffered a house fire recently.

Regan was committed, passionate and tireless in her aspiration for a humane world. She was intelligent and unshakeable. Yet Regan was approachable, non judgmental and open to a discussion with anyone any time. As a colleague recently said to me – “she was not in your face”. And this was her gift. One felt drawn to engage should the tough and sometimes polarizing conversations arise, and deliberate and reflect.

I heard someone recently make the distinction between being hopeful and being optimistic. He likened hope to a feeling, and optimism to a mindset. Regan Russell  was optimistic.

Keep safe. Remember the path Regan chose. Be kind.


Marion Emo
President and CEO
Keeping Distance Staying Connected.

The HBSPCA Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (TNVR) program subsidizes spay/neuter for community cats, sometimes called street cats. The benefits of TNVR for community cats include

  • a gradual decrease in numbers
  • Improved health
  • Reduced nuisance behaviours
  • Reduced risk of rabies spread
  • Reduced risk for birds and small mammal lives

Learn more on our website /services/spayneuter/trap-neuter-return/