As the holidays approach many of us are looking forward to spending time with family and friends and with our beloved pets. It is a time of gratitude and reflection, love and compassion.
I was walking my dog Gus after we had a fresh snowfall recently, and it just brought a smile to my face to watch his excitement. But it also reminded me that not every animal has the safety and protection of being part of a loving family - not every animal can count on someone standing up for them when they need it.
That’s why we do the work we do at the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CHFS), we stand up for every animal and I feel blessed to know you have been behind us this year. Your donations have put me on Parliament Hill fighting to change our woefully inadequate animal cruelty laws.
This year we fought hard for Bill C-246, aimed at updating our dismal animal cruelty laws. Bill C-246 would have protected animals from sexual abuse and shut down dog fighting rings. This bill would have brought Canada’s animal cruelty laws into the 21st century but instead 198 of our elected representatives in the House of Commons voted it down. Now we have to start over.
As a result of this recent vote by our MP’s we will keep seeing horrific cases of animal abuse go unpunished.
This holiday season, I’m asking for your special gift to help us take on the well-funded large, animal use lobby groups with the ear of politicians who sowed seeds of fear claiming things that just weren’t true, blocking Bill C-246.
With your help we can continue to stand up for animals!
Defeating Bill C-246 was not a victory for anyone! I sat in Parliament and watched the vote and I want to let you know it strengthened my resolve to be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves and fight even harder to change these laws. But I can’t do this work without you in our corner.
Humane societies and SPCAs across Canada investigate an estimated 103,000 animal cruelty complaints each year! This is within our power to change.
As I look at my own dog Gus and think about how much he is part of our family and how vulnerable he is to abuse, I can’t imagine not keeping the pressure on our MP’s.
We know that you understand that standing up for animals on Parliament Hill ensures we make progress!
Thanks to your support we have had significant wins in legislation.
- We secured stiffer penalties in the Criminal Code including an increase from 18 months prison time to a potential five years in jail for those who are cruel to animals.
- CFHS was also the only animal welfare group on Parliament Hill advocating to establish Quanto’s law. This law was named for the Edmonton police dog stabbed to death in the line of duty and it gives greater protections to police, military and service animals. In the last year we’ve seen three cases tried under this new law.
I am now meeting with the Justice Minister’s office about their promise to consult the Canadian public and review the animal cruelty provisions in Canada’s Criminal Code. We are demanding immediate action and will ensure these consultations result in real action to improve our antiquated laws.
Just like when we needed you to reach out to your MP’s to voice your support to try and get Bill C-246 approved, we will need you to bring your voice to these consultations when they are scheduled.
This Bill has likely had more public comment and debate than any other in Canada’s history but we must move forward and take advantage of the public pressure that you helped generate. I will be working to ensure these consultations result in action to improve our antiquated laws.
You have given us your trust, as Canada’s largest animal welfare movement, to help you achieve what is most important to you.
I hope you’ll be surrounded by family and friends this holiday season. Please take a minute to look at your own companion, whether that’s a dog, cat or pot-bellied pig and think about how their life could have been so different if you hadn’t found them. I wish I could give every animal the protection you give your best friend that keeps them safe.
Can I ask you to take a minute today and make a gift to Canada's largest movement for animal welfare to keep other animals safe?
Your donation will give us the much needed resources to change Canada's outdated animal welfare laws and to ensure animal abusers receive the maximum sentence possible! To give every animal a life worth living we need you!
I wish you and your family love and comfort this holiday season.
CEO, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
P.S. Animal abusers are escaping criminal conviction for extreme acts of cruelty against animals, like skinning a cat alive, starving a dog to death or committing acts of bestiality. You have told us loud and clear you want this to be a priority in our work. Your donation means I can do that by being on Parliament hill to fight to update animal cruelty