November 6th
National Shelter Appreciation Week

It's National Shelter Appreciation Week and we have a special guest blog post for you from our Executive Director, Kathrin Delutis to tell you about everything Your Humane Society has to offer.

At Your Humane Society we offer more than 30 programs and services to the communities we serve.  We do this with staff and volunteers who are extremely dedicated to animal welfare and through the financial support of many individuals and businesses throughout Waterloo Region, Stratford, St. Mary’s and Perth County. 

With the exception of the City of Cambridge (who has their own awesome Humane Society) we provide Animal Control and Pound Services, supporting sick, injured and stray animals. Our Animal Control team consists of animal control officers and leadership who support the municipalities through by-law enforcement in addition to rescuing animals in need. This team protects people and pets.

When you visit or call our centres you will be greeted by our dynamic reception and dispatch crew.  These individuals are the key to all that we do.  They have such a wealth of knowledge, not only about our programs and services but about animal welfare in general.  They can provide you tips to help find that lost pet and they will direct you to the folks who can provide you with additional guidance and/or support.  They are certainly the hub of our operations.  And when they are at home with their own furry family members, we have a 24 hour, 7 days a week answering service who will ensure any emergencies are taken care of.  You will find our centres to be very welcoming and clean.  We work hard to keep our facilities in good repair and our custodian and handyman team are always ready and willing to help out when and where needed.

Our Animal Care team are the dedicated folks who care for the animals that come to us.  They feed, clean, provide enrichment, and train domestic animals of all shapes and sizes.  They help to return these animals to their owners and when that can’t or doesn’t happen, then they work hard to find the best fit for them in their furever homes. Hundreds of animals are reunited with their families or rehomed through our adoption program every year. For those animals that come to stay with us, who for a variety of reasons can’t be adopted right away, we have dozens of volunteers who generously take them into their homes to provide the TLC needed until they can be adopted.

We are so blessed to have a full Companion Animal Hospital in our Kitchener Waterloo centre and a small satellite clinic at our Stratford Perth centre.  This means every animal that comes to use, whether it is stray, abandoned, lost, or a surrender, receives a full health/wellness assessment.  Not only do we want to ensure we provide the care needed to those animals, we also want to make sure we keep the animals already in our care healthy and safe. In addition to providing daily medical support to animals in our care, every dog or cat that is adopted from our centres is spayed or neutered and provided with their vaccines. When an animal requires additional medical care and even surgery, our team of veterinary technicians and veterinarians are able to provide that care.  And when the surgery is beyond the capacity of our team, we have a number of community partners who provide those specialty services.  We also offer a number of low-cost programs and services to the public including:

  • Annual microchip and rabies clinics
  • TNR (Trap/Neuter or Spay/Release)
  • Community Veterinary Outreach Clinics
  • SNAP (Spay/Neuter Assistance Program) at our Kitchener Waterloo centre and only for Waterloo region residents (sorry, does not include Cambridge)
  • Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinic at Stratford Perth centre, but open to everyone
  • Microchipping

We work closely with the Ontario Veterinary College and often host students for their placements.

We have an awesome Community Program Department that offers a variety of educational and recreational activities to all ages.  From our award winning day camps and birthday parties, to PD days, movie nights, games nights, yoga with the animals, paint nights, tours, Vets In Training, Death Café, and Animal Talks(to name a few), we have something for all ages. Not only do these programs often offer an element of education but they are also an important part of our sustainability as funds raised from running these programs goes directly back into our centres to support the animals in need.

We also have some of the most knowledgeable educators who, with their pets, provide fun and informative sessions (which meet school board curriculum requirements) to school age children, day camps, senior centres and other interest groups.  Our school program is offered free of charge, however we do encourage our partner schools to also teach their students about giving back and either host a fundraising event or donate to the animals care.

Of course none of this could happen without our teams of staff and volunteers who support all these activities, through fundraising, marketing and communications, human resources and volunteer services, administrative services and we can’t forget our finance team who count the money and pay the bills.  The “behind the scene” team includes our Executive Assistant, Development and Community Engagement Department, Marketing and Communications Department, Human Resources and Volunteer Department and our Finance Department.  In total we have approximately 70 staff members (including seasonal and part-time) and annually over 500 volunteers who are all an important part to our success.

We have a volunteer Board of Directors who provide direction and oversight.  They are a dedicated group of strategic thinkers who are always looking to how we can be better and do more to support people and animals in our communities.  We receive no government funding for the community programs we offer and depend on the support of the community, individuals and businesses to ensure we have the funds to provide the care so many animals require.

For more information about programs, services, volunteering or donating, please be sure to visit our website at kwsphumane.ca

 Written by: Kathrin Delutis, Executive Director