Elmer – The Little Dog Who Wouldn’t be Caught

It was something you might see on a TV reality show. A little dog, no bigger than a large cat, running through a busy city, fending for himself and facing dangers at every turn. Concerned people see him, and try to catch him, but to no avail. Soon, his story is shared on social media, with sightings and alerts happening daily. RHS Animal Protection Officers received many calls and tips, however, he continued to elude the public and officers alike.

One calm and quiet morning, the staff at Ledcor Group noticed the now famous runner in their compound and immediately contacted the RHS.  When our Animal Protection Officer arrived, he was sleeping in a secluded area – no doubt exhausted from his ordeal. The Officer quietly approached pooped pooch and was able to at last bring him to the warmth and safety of the RHS.

It quickly became obvious that the little runaway, named Elmer by the Officer, had suffered an injury to one of his legs. Touched by the story of Elmer, the staff at Ledcor immediately offered to assist with the costs of any surgery that might help the pup regain use of his leg and ultimately be placed for adoption.

Upon examination by the RHS Vet Team, it was determined that the injury to his knee was similar to ACL injuries in humans, and would indeed require surgery.

The next day, Ledcor Superintendent Jeff was at the shelter to present a cheque to the RHS to go towards Elmer’s surgery and care on behalf Ledcor and a few of their friends who also wanted to help – McEwen Holdings, the Kwade family, Alison McEwen, and Canadian Bobcat.

In mid-June Elmer had his surgery and was soon put up for adoption. Not surprisingly, Elmer quickley caught the attention of a family who fell in love with him and knew he was the one for them. 

Many thanks to everyone who took action and helped bring Elmer to safety, and especially to those who helped with the costs of his surgery and his new owners who opened their heart and home to this little pup. 

He couldn’t have done it without you!

Pets and Summer Vacations – How to Keep Your Pets Safe

As summer vacation season quickly approaches, The RHS encourages you to plan ahead if taking your pets on that cross-country road trip, or even just to visit some friends at the lake.  Sometimes, leaving your pet with a friend or family member or a local kennel is the best option.  But, if you are heading out with your pet in tow, consider the following tips to ensure a happy and safe vacation for everyone:

  • Consider scheduling a visit to the vet before you leave, to ensure your pet is healthy and able to make the trip.  It is also a great time to pick-up any medications that may be required for an extended time away from home.  It may be a good idea to make a list of vets in the area that you will be vacationing in, just in case.
  • If staying at a hotel or resort, check ahead of time to ensure that the resort allows for your type of pet.  It is also a good idea to check for local laws at your destination that may ban or restrict certain types of animals or specific breeds.  Be sure to know the local laws with respect to where you can and cannot walk with your pet such as parks and beach areas.
  • Pack all of your pets supplies including leash and harness, food and water from home (and a bowl for use while traveling), required medications, vaccination and ownership papers, first aid kit and a couple of favourite toys for comfort.  Be sure to plan plenty of rest stops so your pet can stretch their legs and visit the nearest tree if needed.
  • Pets should always be secured while travelling by car with a properly fitting car harness or in a properly sized carrier or kennel.  Unsecured pets could be severely injured or injure others in case of an accident.
  • Be sure your pet is properly identified with collar tags and microchip and that all of your contact information with your vet and the microchip company are up to date.  Should your pet become separated from you, clear and proper identification could critical in finding your pet.  Whenever possible include your contact information when away from home, such as a cellphone number, so you can easily be reached on the road. 
  • Never leave your pet alone in a hot car, even for a few minutes. Temperatures can rise very quickly to levels that can result in severe injury to your pet or even death. Rolling down the windows or leaving the air conditioning running is not suitable solutions.

    Have a safe and happy vacation!

When it Comes to Wildlife in the City, it is Best to Leave it Be

No one likes to see a young animal or bird alone without its parent. Many concerned people call believing they have found young wild animals or birds that have been abandoned by their parents or are concerned for the safety of the animals. However, it is more likely the parent is out searching for food or people have frightened the parent away.

Unless the parent is found dead nearby, it is most probable that the adult will return to the baby as soon as people are not around. The RHS understands that people are concerned about the animals and bring them into shelter with the best of intentions, however doing so may prove deadly for the young animal once it is separated from its parent. While young birds and animals may be cute, it is best to leave them where they are.

The RHS advises the public who encounter baby wildlife to keep the following in mind:

  • If a young bird has fallen out of the nest, you may return it to the nest if it is immediate danger, but it is best to leave it alone. The mother will not reject the baby because you have touched it and babies usually fall out of the nest as a natural part of learning to fly;
  • If you find a young hare with no obvious injuries, leave it alone or put it back where it was found because the mother is nearby and will return once you leave. She will not reject it because you touched it;
  • Most young wild animals do very poorly in captivity. The best chance for their survival is to be reunited with their mother;
  • It is especially important to avoid contact with young raccoons and skunks because they can be carriers of rabies and parasites;
  • It is against the law to keep a wild animal.

We also receive calls in the spring about geese and other birds nesting in unusual places such as parking lots, fields or alleys. Unless the bird is injured, it is best to leave it be. While the location of the nest may seem unusual to us, they have chosen it based on their natural instincts and will very likely be just fine if left alone.

If you are concerned about a young wild animal and an adult animal has not been seen for several days or the animal is injured, contact your local conservation officer or the Wascana Centre Authority, if within the park, for assistance.

There is almost never a good reason to remove a young wild animal from its natural environment.

Oracle Goes Home!

Many recall the story of a tiny, blind kitten found outside alone last November.

Oracle, as she was named, was brought to the warmth and safety of the Regina Humane Society. Oracle was lucky to be alive. She was underweight and could not have found food or shelter on her own as the harshness of a Saskatchewan winter quickly approached.

Under the supervision of the RHS Veterinary team, the young waif placed with a foster family so she could grow big and strong to have the surgery needed to remove her non-functioning eyes, which would prevent the constant risk of infection that would have plagued her for all of her life.

Oracle thrived, learning to play and romp with her canine foster companion Indie, until her surgery day arrived last month. After several weeks of recovery she finally was ready to find her forever home.

Oracle was given a second chance at life because of a caring, loving and generous community that rallied together and refused to turn its back on a helpless and abandoned kitten. In late March,  she began the next chapter of her amazing story when she was adopted by a loving family – a tale that almost began as a senseless tragedy, will now live on as a wonderful happy ever after.

Healing Hurts and Hearts – Radley’s Second Chance

It was a cold December day when a young Rottweiler, along with 6 other dogs, was rescued from rural Saskatchewan. At first glance, Radley looked like an ordinary one year old, bouncing with exuberance and beside himself with joy to be near someone to love.  Upon closer examination by RHS veterinarians, a sad story of neglect and abuse unfolded. A puppy collar left on the young dog had embedded itself deep in his neck causing massive skin trauma and infection. The tiny pieces of metal which appeared in his x-ray, also confirmed that his misshapen jawbone and broken teeth, many with nerves painfully exposed, were the result of being shot in the face. It was heartbreaking that the happy smile of this loving dog hid so much pain.

Medical care for abused animals is the crucial first step in the journey of these at-risk animals to heal both physically and emotionally. As the province’s only Animal Shelter Hospital with a veterinary team certified by the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association, Radley began the long process of healing under their care. Delicate specialized surgeries through the Society’s Faith Fund ensured that Radley’s grin, his signature accessory, would brighten each new day with his adoptive family.

As the largest open intake shelter in the province, the RHS continuously seeks advancements in the standards of care for our animals. The Society is committed to providing high quality veterinary care to every homeless animal during their temporary stay at the Shelter.  In 2016, our skilled veterinarians performed 2,432 ill animal medical exams, progressive treatments and rehabilitation services. The RHS Animal Hospital and its dedicated veterinary team are an essential part of the work we do every day to heal hurts and hearts.

Cat Population Explosion Looms in Regina

Spring showers, red robins and unwanted litters of kittens being left at animal shelters are all tell-tale signs of the arrival of spring. Spaying and neutering is the only humane solution to address the pet homelessness crisis, which impacts every animal shelter in the province of Saskatchewan. The Regina Humane Society’s (RHS) community based solutions, such as its Subsidized Spay and Neuter Program, have targeted the overpopulation crisis supporting a steady decline in unwanted cat numbers over the last 8 years. That is until 2016. Following an unseasonably warm winter and early spring, 2016 became the “Year of the Cat” in Saskatchewan.

Last year, the Regina Humane Society received 500 more cats, mostly kittens, than in any of the previous 8 years. Adding to the total 3,000 felines in need, the cat/kitten influx in 2016 dangerously taxed the organizations resources and capacity to provide care.

As the Society prepares for peak season incoming cats, we are reaching out to the community to become a part of the solution to pet homelessness instead of part of the problem by following these simple steps. 

  • If you see a stray pet, assume it has an owner.  The RHS Lost and Found Department and on-line directory (reginahumanesociety.test ) as well as multiple other on-line forums exist to connect lost pets with owners.  If attempts to find an owner are unsuccessful, deliver lost pets to the Humane Society, or contact RHS Animal Protection Services (306-777-7700) for pick-up, so that unclaimed stray pets can be sterilized and rehomed.
  • Contact RHS Animal Protection Services (306-777-7700) for information on how to bring stray cats to safety.
  • Identify your own pets.  A license, microchip or ID tag is a lost pet’s ticket home.  The RHS offers monthly Microchip Clinics providing this valuable identifier for only $30.
  • Spay or neuter pets that you are caring for inside, or outside, of your home.  Well-meaning community members feeding unsterilized community cats create a healthy breeding environment resulting in hundreds of unwanted kittens who face starvation, injury or death and contribute to the thousands of animals in need filling community shelters and rescues.  Contact your veterinarian to arrange for spay/neuter. If financial assistance is required, apply for the RHS Fully or Partially Subsidized Spay Neuter Program at 306-543-6363.

In spite of record numbers of cats flooding into the RHS in 2016, the Society also saw a record number of adoptions. This, however, is not sustainable. Only through working together as a community will the pet population, particularly cats, be brought under control and unnecessary pain and suffering of companion animals be eradicated.

The Myths and Facts about Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

Simply put, homeless pets are everywhere.  In just about every community, there are homeless animals.  In our province, too many cats roam our city streets.  In rural areas, homeless dogs wander alongside their feline counterparts. In Regina, 500 more abandoned cats and kittens were brought to the Shelter in 2016 than were in 2015.  Many of these animals had endured starvation, numbing cold or blistering heat.  Others had been injured by vehicles, other animals, predators or even people.  The RHS uses many programs and initiatives to help save the lives of these unwanted souls and was able to find homes for most of them, but it is unfortunately not sustainable long-term. Another year such as last year could be devastating.

The single most effective solution to pet over-population is spaying or neutering your pet. By preventing unwanted litters of puppies and kittens, we spare these animals the suffering that many will endure as they try to live without a home and proper food and care and threatened by disease, the elements and other animals and even people.

While not the only solution to pet over-population, the spay and neutering of pets is the simplest and easiest way to treat the source of the problem, rather than the many ‘band-aid ‘ fixes that only treat the symptoms but do little towards long-term  remedy.

In spite of this, many still choose not to sterilize their pets and for a myriad of reasons.  Some, unfortunately, are fuelled by the many myths that float around the internet and other places.

Here are some truths behind some of the more wide-spread myths regarding sterilizing your pets:

MYTH: It’s better to have one litter before spaying a female pet.
FACT: There is much medical evidence that indicates just the opposite and that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age.

MYTH: My children should experience the miracle of birth so my pet should have a litter.
FACT: The miracle of birth is quickly forgotten when these litters become a burden when no homes can be found for them.  Often they experience unbearable suffering on the streets, abandoned in a field, are run over by vehicles, attacked by other animals or become ill due to lack of proper living conditions, food, and care. Teach children that all life is precious by spaying and neutering your pets. 

MYTH: But I want to breed my pet.
FACT: There are many reputable breeders who breed their animals responsibly.  Most will already have homes for offspring before they are bred.  Sadly, far too many people simply become ‘backyard breeders” and contribute to the number of unwanted animals by breeding animals in hope of a quick profit. Even if you are “absolutely sure” that you will find homes for your pets offspring, you cannot control the decisions of others.  Your pet’s offspring or their offspring’s offspring could easily end up on the streets or in a shelter competing for a new home. 

MYTH: I don’t want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.
FACT: Unfortunately, this is more about you than your dog. Dogs do not have any concept of sexuality or ego. Neutering your pet will not change his basic personality or give him some sort of identity crisis. 

MYTH: Sterilized pets are lazy, eat more and will get fat.
FACT: The prime reasons that pets get fat is that they are over-fed by their owners and do not get enough exercise.  You can both stay trim and fit by regular walks and play, and watching what and how much your pet eats.  Your veterinarian can help with diet suggestions that may help too.

MYTH: A pet’s offspring will be just as cute, well-behaved and special as their parent.
FACT: There is no guarantee that your pet’s offspring will be anything like their parent with respect to behaviour and personality. This is especially true when the other parent is unknown due to an unplanned romp around the neighbourhood without supervision! There are many homeless pets in shelters that are just as sweet, smart and loving as your own.

MYTH: It’s expensive to have a pet spayed or neutered.
FACT: While there may be cost to having the surgery performed, it can be minimal compared to the potential of long-term costs incurred by a non-altered pet, impound fees and increased license fees. 

The most important thing to know about spaying or neutering your pet is it saves lives. And that life saved may even be your own pet’s life. Sterilized pets generally see reduced rates of certain cancers (particularly of the reproductive systems), roam less and thus avoiding the dangers of the streets, are less prone to “marking” and spraying, and they tend to show less aggression and dominance behaviours. 

Each pet adopted at the Regina Humane Society includes spay or neuter surgery so you never have to worry about additional costs or contributing to pet overpopulation.  Our Subsidized Spay/Neuter Program helps ensure that financial constraints are not a barrier for those families who want to be a part of the solution.

Meet our Volunteer of the Year

The Volunteer of the Year Award is our highest recognition for the tremendous work our volunteers do. For over ten years the award has been presented annually to a volunteer who has demonstrated the Regina Humane Society’s core values such as compassion, professionalism, team work, leadership, care, integrity and honesty through their volunteer work. Recipients also show a commitment to the organization and animals that goes above and beyond what is asked of them. This may include mentoring other volunteers, filling difficult to recruit for roles or showing a consistent level of support.

We’re thrilled to announce that the Regina Humane Society Volunteer of the Year Award for 2016 has been awarded to Jaye Guigon. Jaye helps with numerous RHS volunteer programs including Office Support, Pet Therapy and Events. Jaye is a highly dependable volunteer, and often leaps into action when there’s a last minute volunteer cancelation to ensure the event is still a huge success. Jaye volunteers for multiple Pet Therapy visits each month and goes to great lengths to ensure all visits are a success.  In 2016 alone she logged over 140 volunteer hours at the Shelter. RHS Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Bill Thorn, had the pleasure and honour of presenting Jaye with her award earlier this month.

Every single volunteer is an integral part of the RHS team and we value each and every one of them no matter how many hours they are able to work with us. A legion of volunteers working together makes it possible for the Society to provide and expand lifesaving programs and services to pets in need and our community as a whole. In 2016, Humane Society volunteers collectively donated over 7,112 hours of their time to support homeless animals in need. We are truly thankful for all of the hard work they do.

Thank you to all of our volunteers and congratulations, Jaye, on receiving this most deserved recognition.

What a Night it Was!

The 29th Annual Regina Humane Society Telethon, presented by Access Communications Co-operative, which aired live February 19 from 6 to 10 p.m. on Access7 was an outstanding success. This year’s Telethon raised over $59,000, setting a new record for donations made during the live broadcast!  We are amazed and grateful for how generous people are with their time and their support when it comes to the animals we care for. 

Wade Peterson, Manager of Community Production at Access7, said the while Access airs a number of similar events each year, the response to the RHS Telethon always blows him away, adding that having a good cause makes all the difference.

The evening was full of heart-warming success stories from the past year made possible with your support,  along with visits from adopted shelter animals, behind the scenes looks at the Shelter, pet tips, entertainment and special guests including four-legged friends currently seeking their happily ever after.

We would like to thank everyone who helped to make the night a success:

Our sponsors – Cowtown, Wheaton KIA and Daytona Homes

Our food sponsor – Tumblers Pizza

Grooming sponsors – Green Groom Spaw and Zoom Zoom Groom

Media Partners and hosts – Big Dog 92.7, CTV, Global TV. The Wolf 104.9, Z99, and of course, Rory Allen

Our volunteers for many hours of work leading up to, during and after the broadcast.

Our staff for their hard work putting all the details together for what is a very large undertaking!

Jason Delesoy of Magnetic Image Productions for his expertise and dedication to producing the broadcast for the past 20 years.

Access Communications for their partnership since the first telethon 29 years ago. 

But most of all, we would like to thank you  – the individuals, businesses and other organizations in our community for your continued support of not only the Telethon, but of the programs and services of the RHS every day.  Together, we can truly make a difference.

Thank you so much to everyone for making this year’s Telethon such a success.

As It Turns Out, You Can Teach a Cat New Technology!

ipad-for-catsiPads are not just for humans – kitties can enjoy them too! In December 2016, the RHS launched an innovative new program to help our shelter cats engage in some fun time while waiting to be adopted – iPads for Cats.

In recent months, several interactive apps specifically designed for cats have been released that offer entertainment and exercise for felines. The games show fish, insects, mice and other enticing images that move, make sounds, and disappear while the cat eagerly tries to play and capture its prey. They even score points for each ‘catch’ they can achieve!

The games are just one of the many ways we can help keep our feline friends active and mentally stimulated throughout the day. The games also positively reinforce good socialization between the cats in our cat communal rooms, since many cats play at once on the iPad. This valuable added socialization will undoubtedly help cats if they are adopted into a multi-cat household.

The program caught the attention of local media and was featured on CTV Regina and CBC Regina. As attention grew, it was also featured on the CBC national website and later on Huffington Post USA and even People Magazine’s website. People even tweeted it on their Twitter account to the magazine’s over 7 million followers! To top it off, CBC’s This Hour has 22 Minutes even mentioned it on a recent episode!

We are currently using one older generation iPad which was kindly donated last year. If you are planning to upgrade to a new iPad and your old one is still in good working condition, please consider donating it so the program can be expanded. To do so, simply contact our Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected]   

Cold Outside? You Can Still Have Plenty of Winter Fun With Your Pets During Winter!

Even though Old Man Winter has us in his icy grip, you can still keep your dog happy and healthy by exercising both her mind and body. If you just can’t stand the thought of bundling up and heading out into the snow and ice, here are some tips to help you out:

• Consider taking a class with your dog. She can learn some new skills or brush up on some old ones. Many classes not only give your dog some great physical exercise, but mental stimulation as well. Plus, it is a great time for both of you to meet some new friends!

• There are many puzzles and games available in pet stores that will have your dog searching for treats behind sliding doors or buried in hollow toys. These wonderful canine games will challenge her mentally and keep her occupied for hours!

• Hire a dog walker or take your pet to doggy daycare for a chance to get out of the house and socialize with others.

• Teach an old dog new tricks! While your dog may have mastered “sit” and “lie down”, try teaching her some new tricks such as “roll-over”, “shake a paw” “leave it”.

• Change it up. Keep your dog engaged with their playthings by alternating toys every week or so.

• Run some stairs. If your dog has good mobility, doing some reps up and down the stairs can give you both a great work out. If stairs aren’t your cup of tea, try tossing a ball down the stairs and have your dog retrieve it. She’ll be tired in no time, and then you can both settle in for a nice winter’s nap on the couch!

An hour of healthy activity each day will help avoid winter boredom and keep your dog healthy and happy all winter long!

Oracle – Blind and Alone


One cold day in November, a kind citizen delivered a skinny orange kitten who he had found alone and shivering outdoors to the Regina Humane Society Shelter. But, something was very different about this young orphan. She could not see and appeared to have no eyes. Filled with fear, she would hiss and spit at any movement or sound in her most heroic attempt to scare off possible dangers. Unimaginable terror of the unknown filled her dark world. That she had survived alone in the elements was a miracle.

RHS Veterinary staff treated their hungry and cold pint-sized patient and determined her condition as Microphtalmia. Oracle, as she was named, was born with non-functioning eyes that are so small that it appears that she has none at all. For Oracle’s future to be healthy and happy, this courageous little one will need to have her useless eyes surgically removed to avoid continuing infection.

Weighing only .71 kilograms and ready to do battle with hidden threats at every moment, Oracle needs some time to grow, trust and see the world in a new way before her surgery can proceed. Step in RHS Foster Family to the rescue! Experienced in the rehabilitation of feral kittens, her new foster home and their big loping lovable dog Indie (click here for video) have helped countless spitfire kittens and young cats find their way to love and trust again following their tough lives in an uncertain world.

Oracle is doing wonderfully and is learning to play and romp just like a normal kitten.  Join us on Facebook in the coming weeks as we share her brave journey to recovery. We can’t help Oracle alone. Your donations give abandoned pets like Oracle hope and a second chance at life. She has a long battle in front of her, but with your caring and support, she will see a future that is filled with love and happiness. Help Oracle today.

Watch Oracle as she learns about the world through the eyes of her foster family dog Indie!