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Thursday, 28 August 2014 23:12

HSDR Renovation Update #5

HSDR Renovation Update

Renovations are progressing as planned and we are very appreciative of the various elements of community support via online, text-based, mail in and corporate donations. In the first half of September, staff will be trained on new animal care protocols and we will bring back any animals that were not adopted by our community partners during the renovations.

September is shaping up to be a very busy month! We can announce today that plans are underway for a Grand Re-Opening on Saturday, September 27th. Please hold the date – we will provide additional details as we get closer to September 27th.

Two other important events are happening in September. The 2nd Annual Russ McIntosh Memorial Golf Tournament is on Saturday, September 6th, starting at 11 am at the Annandale Golf Course. The entry fee is $120 and all proceeds go to the Humane Society of Durham Region. Registration is open until Tuesday, September 2nd – please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to register. The 11th Annual HSDR Golf Tournament will be held on Wednesday, September 17th at Deer Creek Golf Course. The entry fee is $250 and again, all proceeds go to the Humane Society of Durham Region. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for registration and sponsorship details. If you are a golfer, this is an excellent opportunity to combine a great day on the golf course with raising funds to care for the animals!

We will be re-starting the volunteer program in the next few weeks. We know there is a lot of excitement and anticipation for the shelter to re-open. Our new and improved volunteer program will include some changes in roles, the addition of new roles, and additional training. Dates for orientation sessions to explain the various roles available for volunteers (inside and outside the shelter) will be announced shortly.

The shelter will be re-opened with staff only for the first couple of weeks so that new procedures and protocols are fully implemented. Volunteers will be added after the volunteer orientation sessions have been completed. New and previous volunteers will need to attend one of the orientation sessions so that the new roles and responsibilities can be explained.

We would like to thank everyone again for their patience as the renovations have taken place and we would like to extend a very special thanks to our community partners (Pet Valu stores, foster parents, and THS) for caring for the animals and making them available for adoption while we have been closed to the public. Knowing that the animals have been well cared for and available for adoption has made it much easier to carry out the renovation project. We can’t wait for the shelter to open again and for everyone to come down and see the improvements and most importantly, to see the animals that will need a new and loving home!

Reno Mouse
Published in News & Updates
Friday, 15 August 2014 17:53

HSDR Renovation Update #4

HSDR Renovation Update

We continue to make great progress since last week’s update. The focus continues to be on changes that will bring the HSDR in-line with the new guidelines for Canadian Standards of Care in Animal Shelters and updating of sanitation protocols and other operating procedures in preparation for the re-opening in September.

While we have been closed to the public, we have continued to support the community with the intake of animals and working with our community partners and foster parents to make animals available for adoption. We are pleased to report that for the first two weeks of August, our intake was 42 animals this year compared to 39 last year and our adoptions were 25 this year which was the same number of adoptions during the period last year. We are looking forward to September so we can support even more animals.

Over the past month, the HSDR has developed a stronger working relationship with several animal services organizations to provide further benefit to the HSDR and Durham Region community when we re-open our doors to the public in September. Animal shelters, which are funded by the local municipality, are responsible for stray animals. Their budgets are limited and they are facing increasing pressure with the volume of animals. The HSDR, which is not funded by any level of government, is responsible for abandoned, neglected, abused, and surrendered animals. Our stronger relationships with the local animal services will help us improve the opportunities for all animals in Durham Region to find a loving home. We will be reporting on the early successes of these new relationships late in the fall.

We are working with the original building and installation contractors to address the complex geo-thermal HVAC system concerns as this is one of the final-stage, critical items in our renovation plan. There have been issues with the building’s systems and air quality for several years and the board is committed to addressing these challenges. We simply cannot ignore these issues or they will become more costly challenges for us in the future. We are confident that the corporate partners involved in the initial build and implementation will ensure these concerns are addressed in an appropriate manner.

We continue to provide these updates to keep you informed of key developments. It is impossible to capture all of the changes that are taking place in a short update so we are working on plans for a public re-opening in the second half of September that will include guided tours that highlight the important changes that have been carried out.

You can help to make these important renovations a success for many animals that will rely on the HSDR in the future months and years. You can also support the ongoing care of the animals when we are once again open to the public in just a few short weeks. Please consider making a donation in one of the following ways:

Reno Mouse
Published in News & Updates
Friday, 08 August 2014 17:24

HSDR Renovation Update #3

HSDR Renovation Update

We have made great progress since last week’s update.

The construction of two feline isolation rooms and the neo-natal nursery have been completed. These upgrades will allow us to isolate new intakes for observation to help prevent the spread of disease within the shelter. The neo-natal clinic will allow for hundreds of infant kittens that come to our shelter each year, to receive the care they need at such a critical stage in their early life.

As of next week, we will be moving to the final stage of housing upgrades for completion of this very important phase. These changes will bring the HSDR in-line with the new guidelines for Canadian Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. In unison, we are updating all sanitation protocols and other operating procedures in preparation for the re-opening in September.

There is still much work to do, including our geo-thermal heating and cooling system repairs, implementation of the building security and monitoring systems, as well as staff and volunteer recruitment and training programs.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! The HSDR does not receive government funding and needs the community to help raise the $75,000 that is needed to fully fund this project so we can complete the renovations and support the growing number of animals that are in need.

Donations can be made in the following ways:

Reno Mouse
Published in News & Updates
Friday, 01 August 2014 17:47

HSDR Renovation Update #2

HSDR Renovation Update

Construction is moving along well and we are slightly ahead of schedule. The primary focus of renovations right now is to finish upgrading the two feline isolation rooms. The isolation rooms are critical as they provide a safe place for new intakes to be observed and separated until we are sure they can be moved into the general feline population. It is also a very important area to move sick animals in order to prevent the spread of disease within the shelter.

As communicated in last week’s update, plans are underway to convert an under-utilized room into a neo-natal nursery to care for infant kittens until they can achieve the necessary weight to ensure their survival. This is an important addition to be able to improve our ability to care for the hundreds of kittens that come to the HSDR each year.

Although the shelter is closed to the public while we undergo these important renovations, we continue to serve the Durham Region community to find homes and care for animals that need to be surrendered. It is not always possible to take in every animal as we receive more calls than we have space or homes, it is especially more difficult while the shelter is in the midst of the upgrades. We would like to extend a sincere thanks and our gratitude to our foster parent network that has stepped up and is helping us meet this challenge. We would also like to extend our thanks to the various rescue organizations in the Durham Region for their support. During the month of July, the HSDR accepted 188 animals, which is more than 3 times the total intakes for July 2013! Improving our ability to care for the animals is critical as these numbers will continue to grow and we want to be able to help as many as possible. We need your help and support to be able to do that.

We need the community to help us raise the $75,000 that is needed to fully fund this project so we can complete the renovations and maintain our increased volumes.

Construction Mouse Donations can be made in the following ways:
Published in News & Updates
Friday, 25 July 2014 17:48

HSDR Renovation Update

We are pleased to provide our weekly update on the progress of renovations at the Humane Society of Durham Region (HSDR). We are in the early stages of renovation as this is the first full week of activity. The primary focus at this stage is organizing the shelter and cleaning out the rooms that will undergo renovations.

Plans will be finalized next week in terms of the full scope of renovations that are desired to maximize our ability to care for the animals when we re-open in 5 to 7 weeks. The final list of renovations will be determined based on the amount of funds that are raised over the next few weeks. One example of a desired renovation is to convert an under-utilized area into a nursery for neo-natal kittens. These are newborn kittens that need specialized care until they reach a certain weight. Hundreds of kittens are surrendered every year and we need this improvement to better care for these high risk kittens to help them survive and become happy, healthy cats.

At this time, with the animals moved out to Pet Valu stores, foster homes, and community partners, we do not require volunteers at the shelter while the renovations are taking place. Volunteers are very important to the work of the HSDR and the volunteer program will be re-launched after the renovations have been completed. We will provide updates on the volunteer program as we get closer to the end of the renovation period.

The next week or two will shift from preparation to initial construction, such as framing in the areas for the expanded cat cages. The figure below demonstrates the new standards for cat cages that will improve the ability for cats to move around in their cages which will reduce muscle atrophy, improve their mental well-being, and result in faster adoptions. Reducing an animal’s time inside the shelter is not only better for the animals, but it allows the HSDR to care for more animals that need our help!


We need the community to help us raise the $75,000 that is needed to fund this project so the animals in need can continue to depend on the HSDR. Donations can be made by texting HSDR to 20222 to donate $10 through your mobile device, online at http://humanedurham.akaraisin.com/ShelterRenovation or by mail to:

Humane Society of Durham Region
Post Office Box 154
Brooklin, Ontario
L1M 1A0

Published in News & Updates
The Board of Directors is providing this update to all supporters of the Humane Society of Durham Region (HSDR). The shelter will be closed for the next 6 to 8 weeks for important renovations to improve our ability to care for the animals. The HSDR continues to take in animals in need while the shelter is temporarily closed to the public. The closure occurred abruptly due to an incident involving harm to a staff member. Until a police investigation is complete, HSDR executives have been asked to refrain from commenting about the case other than on what has already been presented publically.

A temporary closure of the shelter was being planned as a result of the need to bring the HSDR in line with recently enacted guidelines for Canadian Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. This likely would have happened in the fall. Part of the strategy to adopt the guidelines involved the need to renovate some of the interior of the shelter for better functionality and to replace all of the cat cages which are too small for today’s standards of care. Full details of what the renovation will involve will be announced in the near future.

Rather than put the animals through two separate disruptions and to avoid undue stress, the decision was made to accelerate the renovations. Since Wednesday July 9th, the HSDR has taken in 77 animals and with the assistance of our community partners, placed 39 animals in their forever homes. This includes the acceptance of 26 moms and kittens from community partners that HSDR has formed new relationships with.

While the shelter is closed to the public as a result of the renovations, we continue to support animals in need throughout Durham Region. You can find the most recent coverage via a Channel 12 news story online: by clicking here.

It has been suggested in the newspaper that the renovation is to fix a simple air conditioning problem. The shelter’s air quality is managed by a complex geo-thermal HVAC system, which requires specialized technical knowledge. There are other related building issues that the HSDR Board is working to address as quickly as possible. This is unfortunate for a building that is only a few years old, but it is a reality that HSDR must address for the safety of the animals, staff and volunteers The HSDR has reached out to the vendors that designed, installed, and maintained the systems in hope that they will provide support with respect to correcting the HVAC issues.

The volunteer board of directors has been working on a daily basis to address these issues as quickly as possible to ensure the shelter can provide the best possible care to the animals in need across Durham Region. The Humane Society sincerely appreciates the ongoing support from the community, many of whom have reached out to express their concern and support for what has happened. We will continue to communicate regularly with weekly emails, social media channels and the HSDR web-site as we work through this very unfortunate incident and necessary renovation plan.

We need the community to help us raise the $75,000 that is needed to fund this project so the animals in need can continue to depend on the HSDR. Donations can be made by texting HSDR to 20222 to donate $10 through your mobile device, online at http://humanedurham.akaraisin.com/ShelterRenovation or by mail to:

Humane Society of Durham Region
1505 Wentworth Street
Whitby, Ontario
L1T 3T6

Published in News & Updates
Whitby, Ontario (July 14th, 2014) – The Humane Society of Durham Region (HSDR) is undertaking an extensive project to improve the lives of the animals in their care and needs the help of the community.

Over the next six to eight weeks, improvements will be made to animal housing to provide larger enclosures, procedural and protocol changes will be implemented to improve sanitation, capacity planning and management for improvement of animal health and wellbeing, major repairs that are required to the facility’s geo-thermal and air quality control systems, and implementation of building security systems to improve safety for the animals, staff and volunteers.

Our goal is to bring the HSDR in line with recently enacted guidelines for Canadian Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. says Executive Director, Barbara Steinhoff.
Thanks to our management services agreement with Toronto Humane Society and after a record-breaking adoption event earlier this month, the animals that are currently in our care will be transferred to foster homes and the Toronto Humane Society to ensure a safe and comfortable environment, with enhanced opportunities for adoption over the term of this project. During the renovations, the 1505 Wentworth Street shelter will be closed to the public, but will continue to assist individuals who need to surrender their animals. Individuals requiring assistance with animal surrender should continue to call 905-665-7430.

We always strive to ensure the shortest possible stay for each and every animal that enters into our shelter, but while they are waiting for their new forever home, they deserve the best care we can possibly provide. We need the community to help us raise the $75,000 that is needed to fund this project says Executive Director, Barbara Steinhoff.
Donations can be made by texting HSDR to 20222 to donate $10 through your mobile device, online by clicking here or by mail to:

Humane Society of Durham Region
1505 Wentworth Street
Whitby, Ontario
L1T 3T6

Published in News & Updates
Newmarket, Ontario (April 28th, 2014) – The Ontario SPCA is pleased to announce the implementation of the new 310-SPCA 24-hour call centre.

In October 2013 the provincial government announced its support for enhanced Animal Welfare services across the Province of Ontario. Thanks to this support the Ontario SPCA has implemented a number of initiatives, including:
  • Enhancing the responsiveness of investigators to animal welfare complaints from rural and northern communities.
  • Creating a major case management team of specially trained investigators whose responsibilities will include cracking down on puppy and kitten mills.
  • Conducting regular inspections of all zoos and aquariums in the province, and maintaining a registry of those facilities.
  • Delivering specialized livestock training for investigators in the agricultural sector.

As a result of the government’s support, the Ontario SPCA has implemented a new animal welfare central dispatch system for anyone across Ontario to call, should they have concerns for the welfare of any animal.
310-SPCA is now a province-wide, toll-free central dispatch number to report animal cruelty. All calls received through this central number will be assessed by a trained operator and the report will be assigned to the appropriate enforcement officer.

Our government and the OSPCA are focused on making sure our pets, and all animals, are protected. That is what this new 24-hour central dispatch hotline is all about and is a key part of our $5.5 million annual investment to increase protections for animals right across Ontario. This hotline highlights our government’s partnership with the OSPCA, and helps them do the excellent work they do every day to make sure more cases of animal abuse can be reported, more animals are protected, and more animal abusers are brought to justice says Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
We are pleased and proud to partner with the Government of Ontario on this historic initiative. We still need the support of our donors; unfortunately now, more than ever, as our services across the province continue to be in demand at our highest level ever in recent memory. says Rob Godfrey, Ontario SPCA Chair.
This broadened scope of responsibilities speaks to the importance of Animal Welfare in our Province and the essential need for the animal protection services provided by the Ontario SPCA and its Communities. This new central dispatch will help the public report their concern for the welfare of an animal, quickly and easily says Chief Inspector Connie Mallory.
The Ontario SPCA invites local communities to share the new 310-SPCA icon with their audiences as a reminder of how to report concerns in Animal Welfare in Ontario.

For more information about the work of the Ontario SPCA and its Communities, please visit www.ontariospca.ca.

Published in News & Updates
Friday, 21 March 2014 10:41

Matty's Surgery a Success!

Whitby, Ontario (March 21st, 2014) – Matty the cat found shot 16 times with a BB gun underwent surgery yesterday. Dr. Carl Porter of the Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital removed four of the sixteen pellets and repaired the fractured leg. The remaining 12 pellets will stay in place for the rest of Matty’s life.

Today, Matty is happy and has already begun to put weight on his leg. He will soon be back in the care of the Veterinarians at the Toronto Humane Society, who will continue treatment and begin a program of rehabilitation. Given his injuries Matty will remain on antibiotics for the next month.

Everyone at the Humane Society of Durham Region is thrilled with the results of Matty’s surgery. We want to thank everyone for their support and kind thoughts. says Barbara Steinhoff, Executive Director.

The investigation into Matty’s shooting continues. Packaging from a Heckler & Kock Semi-Automatic USP Airsoft CO2 BB Pistol was located close to where Matty was found near 600 Thornton Road South Oshawa. SPCA Investigator, Debby Houghton, says this type of BB pistol can fire off multiple rounds of pellets without reloading.

We are asking for anyone with any information that may assist in finding the person or persons responsible to please contact us at 905-665-9644 Ext. 225. says Debby Houghton, OSPCA Investigator.

Matty was found as stray in the Thornton and Champlain area of Oshawa, the inured cat was transferred from Oshawa Animal Services to the Humane Society of Durham Region on March 14th when a medical assessment discovered in addition to a sever break to his front right leg the cat had been shot 16 times with a pellet gun.

Individuals wishing to help support Matty’s veterinary care may donate online by clicking here or by texting HSDR to 20222 to donate $10 through their mobile device., or by calling the Humane Society of Durham Region at 905-665-7430.

For more information contact:

Barbara Steinhoff
Executive Director
Humane Society of Durham Region
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
mobile – 647-938-9053

About the Humane Society of Durham Region
The Humane Society of Durham Region is a charitable community resource, dedicated to protecting and providing temporary shelter and comfort to all animals in need and promoting adoptions and re-homing for unwanted, abused, neglected and abandoned animals. We promote humane treatment of all living things and work within the law to respond to and investigate all complaints of cruelty and neglect.

Published in News & Updates
Whitby, Ontario (March 18th, 2014) – The Humane Society of Durham Region is seeking the public’s help in a horrific case of animal cruelty.

Found as stray in the Thornton and Champlain area of Oshawa, the inured cat was transferred from Oshawa Animal Services to the Humane Society of Durham Region on March 14th when a medical assessment discovered in addition to a sever break to his front right leg the cat had been shot 16 times with a pellet gun.

X-rays clearly show the pellets lodged throughout the cat’s body. The male cat, now named Matty, is currently stable and will soon undergo surgery.

With everything Matty has been through, his sweet disposition is shining through. He has won the hearts of his veterinarians and our animal care workers. says Barbara Steinhoff, Executive Director.

Anyone with information is asked to please contact the Humane Society of Durham Region at 905-665-7430.

Individuals wishing to help support Matty’s veterinary care may donate online by clicking here or by texting HSDR to 20222 to donate $10 through their mobile device.

For more information contact:

Barbara Steinhoff
Executive Director
Humane Society of Durham Region
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
mobile – 647-938-9053

About the Humane Society of Durham Region
The Humane Society of Durham Region is a charitable community resource, dedicated to protecting and providing temporary shelter and comfort to all animals in need and promoting adoptions and re-homing for unwanted, abused, neglected and abandoned animals. We promote humane treatment of all living things and work within the law to respond to and investigate all complaints of cruelty and neglect.

Published in News & Updates
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