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Who we are

As one of the largest humane societies in Ontario, we currently operate two animal shelters to support people and pets in our communities. The Stratford Perth Humane Society supports Perth County, while the Kitchener Waterloo Humane Society supports Waterloo Region (less Cambridge).

A headshot of a yellow lab puppy.

How we started

The Kitchener Waterloo Humane Society began serving the community in 1927. The Stratford Perth Humane Society began as a branch of the Ontario SPCA in 1973 until ownership was transferred to us in 2012.

Today, we are known as one organization - The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and Stratford Perth - and are one of the largest animal welfare charities in Ontario. We operate an Animal Centre in Kitchener and an Animal Centre in Stratford. Together, we service all municipalities in Waterloo Region (except Cambridge) and Perth County, as well as the Township of Zorra.


Who we are today

While we formed to help homeless and abandoned pets, today we are far more than just animal shelters. We still adopt pets and find loving homes, but we are also contracted for animal services for 13 municipalities, provide education and learning opportunities both in schools and in centres for youth and adults, we offer a wide variety of low-cost veterinary services to support people and pets, and we have growing outreach services to help pet owners in crisis with emergency boarding and pet food resources.

A white and brown cat being pet by a woman.

How we are funded

The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and Stratford Perth is a registered charity that is self-funded and self-governed. While we hold fee-for-service contracts for animal control services, we receive no government funding for our charitable programs and services. We rely on the generosity of our donors to help people and pets within our communities and to provide animal welfare focused community education and outreach.



We are leaders in animal welfare in our communities and committed to promoting the human-animal bond, while focusing on the responsible treatment of animals through education, collaboration, compliance, advocacy and care.



Communities that value and respect animals.



  • Serving communities
  • Humane treatment of animals
  • Innovation and learning
  • Compassion and dedication
  • Leadership and collaboration
  • Accountability
A vintage black and white photo of a dog lying down wiht his head up and paw over a cat sleeping.

Our History

Humane Societies have roots back to the late 1800's when community members formed groups to support animals and children. From there, the animal welfare industry was born.

Our two centres started as separate organizations, but today we are one, supporting people and pets in our communities.

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the Animal Welfare Centres operated by the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth are situated on the traditional territory of the Indigenous peoples. As settlers, we are grateful for the opportunity to meet here and we thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land - for thousands of years. The Indigenous peoples' environmental advocacy and deep knowledge of the natural world inspires us to live in harmony with the animals in our communities.

"The animal world taught man how to live close to the earth, and the connection that has been established between the animal world and that of man has instilled a respect for all life in those who follow the traditional Indigenous way." - adapted from Indigenous teachings.

Today many Indigenous peoples continue to call this land home and act as its stewards, and this responsibility extends to all peoples, to share and care for this land for generations to come.


The Kitchener Centre is located on the Haldimand Tract. After the American Revolution, the tract was granted by the British to the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation as compensation for their role in the war and for the loss of their traditional lands in upstate New York. Of the 950,000 acres granted to the Haudenosaunee, less than 5 percent remains Six Nations land. Only 6,100 acres remain Mississaugas of the Credit land. We thank the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Neutral peoples for hosting us on their land.


The Stratford Centre is located on territory governed by two treaties. The first is the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant of 1701, made between the Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an agreement to set violence aside and peacefully share and care for the land in the Great Lakes Basin. The second is the Huron Tract Treaty of 1827, an agreement made by eighteen Anishinaabek Chiefs and the Canada Company, an agency of the British Crown.

In 2015 The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released a document offering 94 'Calls to Action' to advance the process of Canadian reconciliation. We encourage you to become familiar with this document.