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Odie’s story

The McVitie Veterinary Assistance Program has been helping pets of low-income caregivers get assistance for many years, ensuring guardians are not forced to surrender the animals they love and are bonded with. During this time, other caring individuals have provided some of their own money towards the program to keep people and their pets together. Sandra Todd is one of those individuals, always working to assist those in need to ensure their pets have care. 

When Sandra was partially laid off due to COVID-19, she faced a difficult decision herself for the first time. Sandra cares for a few aging rescued animals, and her 17-year-old dog Odie was showing signs of sickness. Odie lived a rough early life, abused by his first owners and treated roughly by his second owners. He came into Sandra’s care with wounds on his neck and a broken leg. 

Since then, Sandra has worked to give him a good life. At the end of March, Odie started sleeping too much, he became too weak to walk and gastro problems were evident. Sandra knew the bill would be high for the veterinarian to diagnose the cause and hopefully heal Odie and that she would fall short with her own available funds. She reached out to the Vancouver Humane Society and thanks to the generosity of our supporters we were able to cover the cost of a blood panel, fluids, and antibiotics to get 17-year-old Odie feeling well again. 

Please consider contributing a gift today to support the McVitie low-income veterinary assistance program.  


Help Brittney and Puggy

Brittney and Puggy’s story

“Puggy came to me through a friend a few years ago, I have another cat named Jasper and they are buddies. I have always had a strong connection to my animals and they mean so much to me. I would do anything to make sure my cats are happy and healthy.”

Brittney, Puggy’s loving guardian

Last year Puggy had some health complications and ended up needing a surgery which was a very scary time. Brittney would visit him everyday at the vet and he was so happy to see her while he was healing.

“I am grateful the vet was so kind and let me make financial installments on his treatment because it was so expensive. Since then he has had to go back for several check ups and recently Puggy developed what seemed to be a bladder infection, which meant he needed further x-rays, urine samples, bloodwork and treatment.”

Brittney contacted VHS last week as she was struggling to pay for Puggy’s veterinary care.

“I do not qualify for CERB (Canadian Emergency Response Benefits) and I’m a former youth in care living off of very little funding and school bursaries. I also have a disability which prevents me from being able to work and I can’t work during this time due to covid. Any assistance would be much appreciated as I can not afford a huge vet bill and have no other resources or people that can help pay.”

“Puggy is honestly the sweetest and most loving cat ever and he is very attuned to my emotions. We both love and support each other when we are in pain, and he loves to cuddle and is very social. I take him on walks in the garden and we sit in the sun together. I couldn’t imagine life without him.”

Could you help Brittney and Puggy by making a donation to our McVitie Fund today?

“Having help from the McVitie fund is a blessing especially during COVID-19. Animals are so special and because of programs like this one people can have support in making sure their animals are healthy and safe. No one should have to choose between their animal and paying for rent or groceries. Thank you from Puggy and I both, we are so grateful for the support!!”


Help Brutus in his time of need

When thirteen-year-old Brutus developed a persistent cough and began bringing up fluid, his worried owner Carol made several trips to their vet.

After two unsuccessful rounds of antibiotics, Brutus’ vet advised that he would need x-rays in order to diagnose the issue and prescribe Brutus with the medication he needed.

Carol is currently unable to work due to her own medical conditions, and is not yet receiving EI because of delays due to COVID-19.

“It is breaking my heart to think I may have to put him down because I do not have the funds to pay for his further tests and medication. Brutus is such an affectionate dog, sometimes I think he is human! We cannot imagine him not being part of our family. He could still have a few more years with us.”

Carol, Brutus’ loving guardian

Please consider making a donation today towards our veterinary care assistance program, the McVitie Fund, to help us cover the cost of Brutus’ x-ray. Thank you!


Help Bubba

Exuberant English Bulldog, Bubba, injured his leg while playing at the park.

When he began limping and showing signs of pain, his owner Holly took him to the vet, who confirmed he would need an x-ray, most likely followed by surgery for a suspected torn or broken ligament.

Holly, a single parent on disability, reached out to VHS for help.

Could you make a donation today to help us cover the cost of Bubba’s x-ray?


Rocco’s story

Rocco’s owner, Fay, adopted Rocco when he was 2-years-old. On a limited pension from the government, Fay was nervous when Rocco started limping. He needed an ACL surgery, but on her limited funds she was going to have to choose between buying groceries and giving up her best friend.

Luckily, Fay found the Vancouver Humane Society and we were able to assist her in covering the costs of Rocco’s much needed surgery. 

For his 10th birthday, days before his surgery, Fay showered Rocco in treats, happy to celebrate their close bond. Rocco’s surgery went well and he is now on the mend!


Donate to help cover the cost of Rocco’s surgery

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Emergency plans must include animals

VHS letter calls for legislation to require local authorities to include animals in emergency plans

VHS has submitted a letter to a provincial government consultation on modernizing B.C.’s Emergency Program Act (EPA), calling for the Act to ensure animals are not forgotten in emergency planning.

Current legislation does not require local officials to include domestic animals as part of their plans, which we believe puts not only animals at risk but also their guardians.

Our letter also points out that animals held in establishments such as zoos, aquariums, kennels, sanctuaries and breeding facilities are also at risk during emergencies. The letter states: “The EPA should ensure local authorities include these facilities in their emergency plans and provide them with guidance and support in implementing them.”

The consultation ends January 31st, but there is still time to submit your views.


Help us reach our Matching Grant to help animals like Loki!

Last month little Loki, a small Chihuahua Jack Russel mix was found abandoned, wandering the streets of Duncan alone.

The woman that found him noticed that his back leg and tail looked wonky, as if he had been hit by a car or perhaps abused in his former home. He also needed urgent medical treatment, including vaccinations, dental work and neutering.
Luckily for Loki, this kind passerby decided to take him home and Loki quickly made himself comfortable in a warm and cozy house. However, as she had another dog of her own already and as it was just before Christmas time, she knew she would struggle with the expensive costs of the veterinary treatment that Loki would need.

That’s when she reached out to VHS for help. Loki’s medical bills were estimated at over $1,000, an amount that not many of us can imagine having to pay out of the blue.
Loki’s new guardian told us he ‘quickly found his way into our hearts even only after such a short time, we initially had started to look for a home for him because we can’t afford the initial veterinary bills, but if we can have some help he just may have found his forever home.’

Thanks to our McVitie Fund, generously funded by our supporters, we are able to help injured Loki and his new guardian.

We need to raise $25,000 by April 30th to receive a matching grant from one of our generous anonymous donors. This would mean we’d have $50,000 to help animals throughout 2020!

We still have more than $9,000 to raise in three months. You can help us reach our goal by making a donation today.
We receive several phone calls every week from worried animal guardians on low incomes, needing help with veterinary bills. 

A small gift today would help animals like Loki. Thank you so much for your support!

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Animal rescue standards of practice – have your say!

The Animal Welfare Network of British Columbia (AWANBC) is currently seeking public feedback on draft standards for rescues. Follow this link for more information and to submit comments –

The AWANBC, of which the Vancouver Humane Society is a member, aims to enable animal welfare organizations to work together and to support strategies around specific projects and initiatives associated with companion animal welfare.

One such AWANBC project is focused on creating rescue standards of practice. To date, there are no criteria required for groups to be involved in animal welfare or rescue and there is no accountability for these organizations. Meanwhile, the number of animal rescues and shelters across the province continues to grow. While many have high standards of care, others may have practices that put animals and the public at risk.

Without standards of practice, any group can self-identify as a rescue and it can be difficult for the public to determine if a rescue group is reputable or not. AWANBC has identified this as a pressing animal welfare and public safety issue and has worked to develop Animal Rescue Standards of Practice.

Follow this link for more information on the standards and to submit comments –


Spike kept his tail thanks to our generous donors

Spike means a lot to his family. The black and white tom cat was just a kitten when he was adopted by a single mother and her children following a difficult family break-up. Spike’s guardian Allyson said it was a hard time for her children. “I desperately wanted to bring some joy and comfort into their lives,” she says.

Spike was happy to oblige and quickly became “everyone’s friend.” He loves attention, “nudging and pushing against your legs” and even blocking your path until he’s noticed, says Allyson.

Unfortunately, Spike had an altercation with another cat (or possibly local wildlife) and had a bad bite wound on the underside of his tail. The wound became badly infected and required immediate treatment, as there was risk the tail would need to be amputated.

As a single mom on a fixed income, Allyson couldn’t afford the cost of the medical treatment Spike needed so she asked for our help.  We were able to provide financial support through our McVitie Fund and Spike was treated right away.  His infection was addressed and, thankfully, there was no need for an amputation.  Spike recovered well and his grateful family is breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Our McVitie Fund saves lives!

The McVitie Fund is one of our most important projects, which provides emergency medical care for sick or injured animals.

We receive several phone calls a week from worried guardians asking us for financial help. Unfortunately, there are very few options available for low-income guardians in emergencies, that’s where our McVitie Fund comes in. The fund aims to keep beloved animals in their forever home instead of being surrendered to over-burdened shelters or unnecessarily euthanized.

Once again, a wonderful anonymous donor has agreed to match all donations, up to a total of $25,000, received towards the McVitie Fund from now until April 30th 2020. Your donation will be doubled through our challenge grant, meaning we will be able to help even more animals!

You can donate here.

Thank you!

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Thank you, Scotiabank!

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!!!