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On Giving Tuesday you can fight factory farm cruelty and help rescued animals

The Vancouver Humane Society and The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary are partnering to raise funds to help animals now and in the future

Every year in Canada, more than 800 million animals are raised on cruel factory farms before they are sent for slaughter. They suffer from confinement and from being denied the chance to live and behave naturally.  Yet science has shown that each animal, just like your pet cat or dog, has his or her own unique personality. That’s why we say every animal is someone, not something.

This year, on Giving Tuesday, November 27th, we are again partnering with The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary to make life better for farmed animals.  Giving Tuesday is the annual opportunity to put your dollars toward a cause that’s near and dear to your heart – this year, we hope you’ll make it the plight of animals on factory farms.  All donations will be split between both charities.

At VHS, we work year-round to draw public and media attention to the treatment of farmed animals. Our Go Veg campaign encourages people to try a plant-based diet, which reduces the demand that drives factory farming. We’ve launched our Meatless Monday initiative in 17 Metro Vancouver secondary and post-secondary schools, helping to introduce a compassionate, healthy and sustainable diet to the next generation.  And our rodeo campaign is exposing cruelty and showing that “livestock” are not just commodities to be brutalized for entertainment, but sentient animals capable of feeling physical and emotional pain.

Our partners at The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary have shown how rescued farmed animals, free of cruelty and confinement, can flourish as individuals. The sanctuary provides a forever home for all types of animals where they can live out their entire lives in a beautiful, natural setting where they are treated with kindness and respect. Visiting Happy Herd and meeting the animals can be a life-changing experience. You will quickly see them as “friends, not food.”

On November 27th, you can donate directly to our joint appeal, but you can also help by supporting the generous (and cruelty-free) local businesses who are partnering with VHS and Happy Herd. On Giving Tuesday, they will be launching a variety of special offers and promotions, all raising funds to help us help animals.  Watch our website and social media channels for updates as we get closer to November 27th – or sign up for our action alerts.

Giving Tuesday is your chance to make life better for farmed animals.  Don’t miss it!

 

 

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Thank you, Scotiabank!

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Our amazing VHS team

We love Scotiabank! Every June, we participate in the Scotiabank Half Marathon/5k Charity Challenge. This is a huge event, and something that we would never be able to afford to do ourselves – so we are very grateful for the opportunity. Scotiabank takes care of all the logistics, and all we have to do is recruit runners and raise money for animals!

VHS has been participating since 2011 and every single time, the sun shines and we have a lovely run (or walk!) through Stanley Park. This year we hit an all-time record – we raised $41,850!! This included a $2500 (2nd) prize from Scotiabank for the highest amount raised per runner.  Our thanks goes out, not only to Scotiabank, but to all the participants and donors who made our biggest fundraiser of the year the best yet.

Thank you!!!

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We reached our goal – thanks to you!

team pic 2016

On Sunday, June 26th, Team VHS ran for the animals in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon & 5k. This year marks VHS’s sixth year participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Thanks to our amazing team of runners and all of the generous donors who sponsored our team, an incredible total of $39,100 was raised to support VHS’s work to help animals.

The Scotiabank Charity Challenge is the most important fundraiser of the year and it enables us to continue our work to protect animals from exploitation and abuse, whether it’s due to factory farming, captivity or entertainment. The funds also allow us to assist low-income guardians in getting their pet spayed/neutered or in emergency situations. Learn more about our campaign work and how you can get involved!

We couldn’t do this important work without you! From the entire VHS Team, thank you to everyone who participated and sponsored our team in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. A big thank you to West Coast Monograms for the great team t-shirts!

VHS at the Scotiabank Half Marathon and 5K

Vancouver Humane Society at the Scotiabank Half Marathon and 5K!

 

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Meet the VHS team!

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New video gives a behind-the-scenes look at VHS

VHS celebrated its 30th anniversary last year and we’re proud of our history. But we’re focused on the future and working hard to make life better for animals in the years ahead.

Meet the people at VHS who are taking this work forward in this new video:

 

Help us continue this important work for animals now and into the future by sponsoring Team VHS in the upcoming Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k! On Sunday, June 26th, VHS will be participating for our 6th year in the run. It’s our most important fundraiser of the year and we rely on our supporters to help us make it the most successful. Please help us reach our goal by sponsoring our team. We’re 86% of the way there, with 5 days left!

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Lola & Susie receive help through VHS’s McVitie Fund

There are few options available for good pet owners who fall on hard times. Sometimes all it takes is an unexpected circumstance, like an injury at work or being laid off, which can make covering an equally unexpected vet bill for your pet overwhelming.

That’s where the Vancouver Humane Society’s McVitie Fund comes in. It’s our goal to help animals and people in need and to keep cherished pets in already loving homes, instead of being unnecessarily euthanized or surrendered to already crowded shelters.

Through donations to the McVitie Fund, VHS has been able to help provide emergency care for close to 1500 animals to date. We’ve also helped spay/neuter over 4200 animals, in an effort to address the pet overpopulation issue.

lola and susie2Lola and Susie are just two of the many animals helped through your generous donations. These two mean the world to their guardian, who tells us they are not only important members of his family, but play a crucial role in his mental health. So when Lola and Susie both developed a chronic skin issue, he worked tirelessly with the vet to resolve the problem. It seemed the source was likely environmental and due to issues with the building he and the dogs lived in. After little was done to rectify the situation on the part of the landlord, the three moved to a new home. Due to his limited income, their guardian reached out to VHS for help in getting Lola and Susie’s skin issues cleared up once and for all. Thanks to VHS’s supporters, Lola and Susie were able to get the treatment they needed and are now on the mend. Their caregiver is beyond grateful for the support of complete strangers during a tough time.

lola and susie

This is just one example of the many cases we assist with through your support. An incredible VHS supporter has issued a matching gift challenge through which donations made to the McVitie Fund before April 30th, 2016 will be matched, up to $20,000! This means we can help even more animals in need of emergency care.

Please, donate today, double your impact and encourage others to contribute to this much-needed fund. Help us help animals in need, like Lola and Susie.

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VHS marks 30 years of helping animals

VHS reception Rebecca Ledger
Keynote speaker Dr. Rebecca Ledger gave a presentation on science and animal emotions and sentience.

Close to a hundred supporters and animal lovers turned out to celebrate VHS’s 30th anniversary at a reception in Allard Hall at UBC on November 21st.

The event highlighted many of VHS’s achievements over the last 30 years and drew attention to the animal welfare issues we continue to address.

 

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VHS executive director Debra Probert

VHS executive director Debra Probert spoke to the assembled guests about VHS’s history, thanking the many people who contributed to our success, including founder Ingrid Pollak. She also described the need for organizations like VHS:  “I‘d just like to remind you why we’re here. We’re here because we all know and care that every day animals are suffering because of human carelessness, thoughtlessness and greed. It’s up to us to speak for them. Tonight we’re taking a few hours to celebrate what VHS has accomplished. But tomorrow, we have to resume our battle to fight for their basic rights to live the lives they were meant to live, with minimal interference from us.”

VHS staffers Emily Pickett (who organized the event) and Peter Fricker also spoke, giving details on our program work.

The evening ended with a compelling presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Rebecca Ledger, a clinical animal behaviourist and animal welfare scientist. Dr. Ledger spoke about changing scientific attitudes toward animal sentience and emotions.

A silent auction and donations at the reception raised $3443 for VHS’s work.

We would like to thank all the supporters, sponsors and volunteers who helped make this event a great success and a memorable evening.

Photos by Sam Steele of Willow Tree PhotographyTo see a photo album of the reception click here.

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VHS board and staff, L to R: Peter Fricker, Chris Hajek, Frances Kelly, Marjorie Brown, Debra Probert, Liberty Mulkani, Marylee Davies, Rebeka Breder, Aarti Gupta, Emily Pickett, Amy Balcome.
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When a call to VHS is a needy animal’s last hope

 

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“My cat accidentally slipped out the front door and was hit by a car. I’m on disability right now and don’t have enough money to cover the entire vet bill. Please, is there any way you can help me?”

This is the kind of desperate call the Vancouver Humane Society gets several times a week. As VHS’s Program Coordinator & Office Manager, I’m typically the staff member handling the calls when distraught individuals contact us in need of help because their dog, cat or other companion animal is in dire need of emergency vet care. These are low-income folks – often they are on disability, or were recently laid off and are struggling to make ends meet while searching for work, or they are pensioners on a limited income. Whatever their circumstances may be, they all have the same thing in common – they are loving and committed caregivers who simply need a bit of help during a tough time.

Unfortunately, there are always more needy animals than there are available funds and very few programs similar to VHS’s “McVitie Fund For Animals” exist. Often, those without enough funds to cover the vet bill are forced to choose between giving up their beloved companion or euthanasia. This is why the McVitie fund exists – to offer an alternative and keep already cherished animals in their forever home, instead of being surrendered to shelters or unnecessarily euthanized.

Being able to say “yes, we can help” when I receive those desperate calls and hearing the relief in the caller’s voice reminds me of the importance of such a program. Because no one should have to go without their own pain medication in order to make sure their companion animal gets the care they need, or be disadvantaged in receiving help because of a disability, or be unfairly judged due to an unexpected financial hardship when in reality they may have been the only hope for an abandoned animal in need.

I believe in the McVitie Fund For Animals whole-heartedly. I believe in the much needed service it provides and in what it represents in a society where we need to do more to help each other. I believe in the important work VHS does to help animals, so much so that I am helping to raising funds as team captain for VHS in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon/5k. On June 28th, we’ll be running for the animals in what is VHS’s most important fundraiser of the year.

All of our team members have unique and personal reasons for joining this run. Mine is the McVitie Fund For Animals. So please, consider sponsoring me and help our team achieve our goal. Your support causes a ripple effect of happiness – for me, answering the phone at VHS, because I can say “Yes!” to the caller; then for the distraught caregiver on the other end of the line; third to the needy animal; and lastly, to the veterinarian we use who has offered his or her services to our clients at such a reduced rate.

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Buy an Animal Cruelty Awearness Band and support VHS

Awearness bandVHS is partnering with Animal Rescue Crusade (ARC) in its effort to bring attention to animal issues through International Animal Cruelty Awearness Bands – cool wristbands with a message.

Just visit the ARC/VHS partner page to purchase a band.  For every awearness band purchased, VHS will receive $5.00 toward our work to help animals.

The mission is to bring awareness to all animal cruelty issues. These bands were created to inspire others to speak up and be a voice for animals by wearing awearness bands wherever they go.  By purchasing a band you’ll help VHS and animals everywhere.

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The animals need you

Dogs and other animals need our help

It’s the end of the year.  We hope all our supporters and animal lovers everywhere are having a great holiday season.

We’re looking forward to helping all the animals who, sadly, are not having such a great time.  We’re going to help the sick and injured ones and we’re going to speak out on behalf of those subjected to cruelty and abuse.

Whether it’s animals suffering on factory farms or in rodeos or in zoos, we’ll be there fighting for them.

We hope that today, this last day of 2013, you’ll help make the New Year a better one for animals by supporting VHS’s work.

If you can afford to help, please donate now.  You’ll make a big difference to the lives of animals. Remember, the animals need us.  Without compassionate, caring people to protect their interests they would risk greater neglect, suffering and abuse. We hope you are one of those people.

From everyone at VHS, thank you and Happy New Year to you all.

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Support Giving Tuesday on Dec. 3rd!

dogiStock_000015058316SmallMost people have heard of Black Friday, which is used by retailers to kick off the holiday shopping season.  But have you heard of Giving Tuesday?  It’s a movement to promote December 3rd as a day to give back and to support causes you believe in.

VHS has joined this important movement and we hope that on December 3rd you’ll remember the work we do for animals.  Right now, any donation to our McVitie Fund for sick and injured animals will be doubled!