Community-Based Solutions to Managing Companion Animal Populations

The Regina Humane Society (RHS) is a private, non-profit organization which has been providing animal welfare services to Regina and area since 1964. There is a misconception that all “humane societies” or “SPCA’s” operate under the umbrella of a provincial and/or national organization and receive funding from them. This is not true. Because there are so many humane organizations with similar names, it is not uncommon for supporters of one humane society or SPCA to confuse it with other humane societies and SPCAs. The RHS is dependent solely on financial support from its community and donors. Although the RHS (and other humane societies) partner with other local or national organizations on special projects or legislative issues from time-to-time, the majority are independent organizations.

The Regina Humane Society receives no on-going sources of funding from the provincial or federal governments and relies on donations, grants, and the support of the community to continue its work. The Society currently receives a fee for service from the City of Regina for Municipal Animal Control and Impoundment Services. The cost of operating the Regina Humane Society is over $3.5 million annually.

Over the past few years, the RHS has experienced an enormous increase in rural and local intake which has put a significant strain on its infrastructure, financial, veterinary and human resource capacities that is unsustainable. Openly admitting animals from anywhere in the province and beyond affects the capacity to deliver the sheltering services the RHS is obligated to provide to the Regina community. To ensure the best outcomes for the animals in RHS care, the RHS must control how and when animals are admitted based on its capacity to provide care.

As an animal welfare organization, the RHS believes that when population management is deemed necessary, it is essential that it is achieved in a humane manner and ultimately leads to an improvement in the welfare of the companion animal population as a whole. We also believe it is important that population management is achieved as effectively as possible due to limitations on resources and also due to our responsibility to our donors.

This webpage is intended for use by any individual or organization which is currently involved with, or interested in companion animal population management.

The responsibility for companion animal population management should rest within the applicable municipal government. Animal welfare organizations are not required to take on the overall responsibility for population management other than through a contractual agreement, with appropriate funding and resources. However, these organizations understand the importance of animal control and animal population management, and can play an important role in guiding and supporting government strategy, so it is important for them to have an understanding of all the components in a comprehensive strategy. This will enable them to target their support where it can be most effective and to make the best use of limited resources.

An animal’s strongest advocate is you, and the people in its community. That’s because you, as a citizen, have the power to influence your community and your legislators–especially on a local level. You do not need any prior animal or political experience to improve animal welfare in your community; all you need is determination and the willingness to use your voice to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.