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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
Monday, 17 March 2014 14:31

Foster Parents Needed for Kitten Season!

The Humane Society of Durham Region is currently recruiting foster parents in preparation for the 2014 kitten season that is fast approaching.

We are currently looking for individuals that can take on litters of kittens, pregnant Queens, as well as Queens and their litters. Kittens require a quiet space and if orphaned, regular syringe feeding every 2 or 4 hours.

Hundreds of kittens are abandoned at our shelter each year and these lives are dependent on the generosity of individuals like you, willing to lend a hand to help them thrive. Veterinary care and all supplies will be provided by the Humane Society of Durham Region.

If you are interested in learning more about foster or applying to be a foster parent, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Published in News & Updates
Friday, 07 March 2014 12:10

HSDR Presents: The Whiskers!

March is award season and this month the Humane Society of Durham Region will be handing out award nominations to some of the many deserving animals in the shelter. Nominees from the feline, canine and special species departments will be featured in our campaign that focuses on finding homes for our long stay and senior animals. As part of the promotion we will be rolling out the red carpet for adopters.

A thank you goes out to all the adoption departments that are hard at work coming up with their list of nominees which we will be featuring online as well as on cage cards within the shelter.

Winning is easy, because whenever a nominee finds a forever home - everyone wins. Our animals get a second chance at a new life and adopters get a brand new best friend and family member. Hollywood has come to Durham Region and this is the chance for adopters to take home their very own four-legged star.

Please take a look at the full Whiskers flyer: here.
Published in Past Events
A message from your Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Humane Society of Durham Region (HSDR) is pleased to announce it has reached an agreement with the Toronto Humane Society (THS)to assume management of the day-to-day operations of the HSDR.

Under this agreement, which is now in effect, THS will provide management staff and with a full suite of vital operational and medical resources to support and manage the operations of the HSDR, ensure superlative day-to-day attention to the animals under the care of the HSDR. The level of expertise and the quality of care that the management team of the THS delivers within its own downtown Toronto operation is second to none and the Board of Directors is delighted to have the opportunity to tap into this level of expertise for Durham Region.

In recent months, THS has provided assistance to HSDR and performed an assessment of our current operations while we searched for a full-time Shelter Manager. Through that process, the full range of support available from THS became very evident. This includes access to 8 full-time or part-time Veterinarians and 14 Registered Vet Technicians, resources that the HSDR could not support on its own. The management services agreement will also provide support in the areas of operational procedures, staff and volunteer training and support, purchasing, fundraising, marketing and communications, media relations, customer service, human resources, payroll, and accounting.

The HSDR operations is a serious undertaking that the new Board of Directors identified very quickly after being appointed at the annual meeting of members at the end of June, 2013. Immediately, the new Board set about creating and implementing a plan that would appropriately position the HSDR for growth and to be able to effectively handle the requirements of the HSDR based on an anticipated population explosion for Durham Region. Engaging the expertise and the scale of THS in the operations of the HSDR to offer the same level of care in Durham Region is the right and prudent plan for the HSDR and the community of Durham.

The role of THS is to manage the day-to-day operations of the HSDR. The HSDR remains a separate legal entity and will continue as Durham Region’s animal rescue and adoption centre. HSDR still requires the very generous support and help from residents of Durham Region to fund our operations and will continue to undertake vital community-based fundraising initiatives to fund the shelter operation. The largest current fundraising event for the HSDR has been scheduled for June 1st at Heydenshore Pavillion and there are some amazing incentive prizes available to be won by registering and raising funds online at www.furryfriends5K.ca. Financial support from the community is particularly important in the coming months as the extreme winter weather has caused a massive spike in operational expenses for the HSDR.

The Board of Directors of the HSDR has been extremely impressed by the support of THS and we look forward to their future support under this management agreement. The HSDR will be able to tap into the economies of scale of the THS through stronger purchasing power and operational efficiencies but we still need the ongoing support of the community to continue to care for the animals and find them their forever home.

Please read the full membership update here.

Published in News & Updates
Saturday, 31 August 2013 13:26

New Cat Adoption Prices

The board of directors recently held a full-day strategic planning session and one of the priorities from this session was to increase the number of adoptions. A number of strategies will be implemented to increase the number of adoptions and to reduce the time animals spend in the shelter before moving to their forever home. One of the strategies to be implemented immediately is a new pricing structure for adoptions.

The cost of cat adoptions are as follows, effective immediately:

  • 2 Months to 5 Years: $150
  • 5 Years to 10 Years: $100
  • Special Needs*: $50

MORE TO LOVE
Adopt a second cat at the same time for no additional cost!

Fees include spay/neuter for cats over 6 months!

* Special Needs: includes cats that are diabetic, FIV positive and more. Please call the shelter for more details.

Published in News & Updates
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