1900-1999

1911

The Injured Animals Act was put in place. At the time this covered mostly horses, cows, sheep and hogs.   

 

1919

A Provincial (Ontario) Act for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was put in place.

 

1927

“Twin City and North Waterloo Humane Society” begins life as a charity to help those who cannot help themselves.

Unlike many charities, it also took upon the task of providing an essential service to the community: controlling animals. Sadly, that’s how the Humane Society earned the undesirable reputation as “local dog catchers” and bad guys. It would take decades to correct public perception.

The first president was Rev. Taylor-Monro.

The first secretary was Hazel Halliwell, who would remain in this position for an incredible 47 years.

The first inspector of cruelty to animals (NOT dog catcher) was hired part-time. His name was John McCaig. If needed, Dr. Engles, a local vet, would assist. McCaig was paid $15 per month for his position and $0.10 per mile for the use of his truck. He covered approximately 50 miles per month.

The first shelter “for sick animals, homeless strays, unwanted litters, and animals which had been hit by cars”. Was part of a brick barn at 28 Ahrens St. E. It quickly filled up, so McCaig converted his home workshop into a kennel.

 

1931

“Twin City and North Waterloo Humane Society”. President is His Honor Judge Clement.

Objective: “...the prevention of cruelty to animals by all proper means...to secure the punishment of all persons violating such laws”.

Humane education for children was stressed and there was advice included in the handbook on how to form Junior Humane Societies in schools.

Cruelty to animals is a criminal offence (see Canadian Criminal Code, 536).

 

1941

With the upcoming dog tax, sadly many people disposed of their dogs to avoid paying the tax.

 

1942

The Society was incorporated as the Kitchener, Waterloo, and North Waterloo Humane Society. It had 32 members and received a grant of $250 from the government.

Due to the overcrowding, property on Doon Road was purchased. The Society operated out of this property until 1960.

 

1953

President is Dr. W.E. Russell. He would service this position for 6 years.

 

1955

The Society purchased property on Spring Valley Road to build a larger shelter due to need, plus the fact that residential zoning meant the Doon Road building could not be expanded. The land cost $17,000.

 

1959

President is Thomas Livingstone, Waterloo Township’s Chief of Police.

The image of the Society is that of dog catcher rather than humane organization.

 

1960

The Society moved into its new building on Spring Valley Road. It would remain there until 1981, when it would once again outgrow its site.

The Society had a Volkswagon van to patrol the city streets for animal control. Annual revenue from animal sales, boarding and animal control is $7900.

 

1965

President is A.W. Underhill, an optimistic man who hopes “Future work for humane societies lies in more education in humane work...a realistic view toward animals.”

943 investigations of dogs running at large.

 

1967

Conflict between the provincial government and many humane societies breaks out when the government suggests that pound animals be used in laboratory research. This issue (Bill 194) would preoccupy the energies of the local humane society until 1971.

 

1971

Two animal trucks were working full-time.

 

1972

The shelter was so crowded that animal cages had to be stacked. Of the 40,000 local dogs and cats, 1/5 passed through the shelter each year.

 

1974

City of Waterloo created a new animal control bylaw which allowed animal control officers to issue tickets to “known” strays which were not wearing tags or licences.

 

1975

Kitchener introduced its first compulsory tagging and instant ticket carrying a fine of $5.00.

 

1978

Complaints about animal control patrols continue. However, the licensing campaign was working, and this could not be denied. Of 97 dogs impounded in September, 86 were returned to their rightful owners. The revenue from selling the annual tags amount to over $35,000, which helped the Society reduce ticket and pound fees.

 

1979

The Society building is, once again, overcrowded. This, combined with corroded pipes and other main repairs, would mean either overhauling the entire building or moving.

Although City Council was divided over its support of the Society, the public had been won over. They held car washes and other fundraisers to help find money for the Society to build or move.

 

1980

In July, construction for a new, larger shelter was well underway. In December the new shelter was inspected by the board.

 

1981

Grand opening of the new shelter on 250 Riverbend Drive, Kitchener.

 

1982

A membership drive began but proved unsuccessful with only 30 people expressing interest and just 7 actually paying the $5 membership fee. Society Manager Jim Cosgrove was extremely disappointed.

 

1983

New amendments to the City’s dog bylaw which required all dogs to be on a leash when out being walked. Also an increase in fines for repeat offenders.

There is a 91.49% reclaim rate of lost pets.

 

1984

The Society starts a “Pet Visitation Program” where specially-selected animals would visit institutionalized people. The trial run was an overwhelming success.

 

1991

The KW Humane Society purchased land in the Amulree area of Perth County for $378,000. The property included two houses and a barn, which is going to be used as a shelter for large animals and an area to released wild animals. In 2001, animals were no longer housed on the property and only 1 house remained.

 

1998

Summer Camp programs are offered at KWHS.