Executive Director's Welcome

In 2023, our organization faced challenges but emerged stronger, sustained by our resilience, resourcefulness, and relevance. Despite the hurdles, and thanks to our generous donors, our accomplishments shone brightly, reflecting our commitment to our mission of providing innovative programs and compassionate services that support the well-being of pets and people. We seized new opportunities across various programs, leveraging community partnerships to bolster our Adoptions Program and expanding youth offerings that gave hundreds of young people the opportunity to learn about the human-animal bond and how to be more compassionate and open-minded. Our PAWS Program, in collaboration with the Office of the Solicitor General, provided a soft spot for animals involved in legal proceedings to land.

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Board Chair's Welcome

It hardly seems like a year has transpired since I last prepared my annual report remarks. Many of the challenges and headwinds we faced last year have persisted throughout 2023, along with a few new challenges to keep us on our toes.

As with previous years, our dedicated team of volunteers and staff rose to the challenges and guided us successfully through the year. We did experience a very significant change in our most senior staff role. Late in 2023 Sonya Reichel, our Executive Director at the time, decided to pursue her aspirations on a larger stage and left the GTHS for a senior position at the OSPCA. Sonya served the GTHS for 11 years, 10 of which were in the position of Executive Director. Sonya accomplished much during her tenure with the GTHS, and we wish Sonya all the best in her new role.

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Who We Are

Our Mission

We offer innovative programs and compassionate services that support the wellbeing of pets and people.

Our Vision

We envision a community that is compassionate and caring towards pets and each other.

Our Values

Compassion for Pets & People

We embrace and celebrate the experiences that make us unique. By doing this, we are empowered to be compassionate and caring. This compassion has inspired life-changing programs, services, and behaviour. 


We are fierce supporters of the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health of pets and people. It is witnessed in our homes, programs and services, pets, and people. 


We are passionate about solving the impossible until it becomes possible.


Our home, programs, services, pets and people welcome all walks of life.

Lifelong Learning

Our life-long mission is to learn, understand, educate, and evolve with our community. We do so to empower and inspire.

Our Values

By The Numbers

Animals sheltered in 2023

Animals adopted in 2023

In 2023 we saw our
total number of
intakes increase
by 258 animals –
a 20% increase

Of the 1,565 intakes in
2023, 42% (661 pets)
were owner surrenders.
This was a dramatic
increase of 63%
overall since 2022.

For Pets &


In 2023, 1,371 animals were adopted to loving homes.  182 of these adoptions took place at offsite Adoption Partner locations, including PetSmart Barrie (Mapleview) and PetSmart Owen Sound.

Happy Tails to: 233 Dogs / 1,138 Cats

Bane's Story

Bane arrived at the GTHS in January 2023 when his owner could no longer care for him.  Bane quickly won over the hearts of all GTHS volunteers and staff who cared for him, so it was no surprise that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Bane was adopted after 122 days in our care.

Bane’s story is one that is becoming all too familiar, with length of stay for dogs increasing by 83% in 2023.

To read more about how this beautiful boy is doing with his new family, click here.

Foster Care

GTHS Foster Volunteers cared for 1,044 in 2023 (858 cats and 186 dogs).  With the surge in owner surrenders and increase in lost animals arriving at our doors, we couldn’t manage without the love and compassion our Foster Volunteers provide pets in need while they wait to find their new families.

Foster Feature: Pete the Puppy

Pete the Puppy arrived to the GTHS in early 2023, weighing only 320g.  He was the runt of his litter and was unable to latch, which made eating nearly impossible for poor little Pete.

Watch the video below to watch Pete’s journey and his amazing transformation.  A huge thanks to his incredible foster parents and animal care team, who showed nothing but love, compassion and perseverance as Pete took the time he needed to grow big, strong and healthy to be ready for adoption.


Hospital Impact

  • 1,485 public spay/neuter surgeries
  • 1,072 shelter spay/neuter surgeries performed
  • 102 Community Cat spay/neuter surgeries
  • 1,985 rabies vaccines performed (public and shelter)
  • 1,918 I.D. microchips implanted (public and shelter)

Fluffy's Story

Fluffy the cat came into the GTHS companion animal hospital for a spay surgery as part of our partnership with the Saugeen First Nation community. When Fluffy’s owner dropped her off, she had no idea what Fluffy’s day was going to hold.

When Fluffy arrived at the hospital, our Director of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Dam, examined her and noted that her uterus was very large. In surgery, it was discovered that Fluffy had a severe case of pyometra – a uterine infection that, if left untreated, can be fatal. 

In Fluffy’s case, Dr. Dam believes that had Fluffy not come in for her spay that day, it was very likely that she would not have survived more than a few days. The infected uterus was removed and Fluffy was put on antibiotics to aid in her recovery.

Fluffy has since made a full recovery and visited us for a check-up at the Wellness Clinic in Saugeen First Nation in November.


Our Volunteers

“It is my absolute honour and pleasure to be a part of this amazing team of dedicated staff and volunteers!”

Our Volunteers

We started 2023 with 306 active volunteers and ended the year with 380 active volunteers. 

Volunteers dedicated a total of 27,852 hours of time to the GTHS in 2023. 

The number of hours that volunteers gave to the GTHS is equivalent to 13.34 full-time staff.

We thank all our volunteers for their ongoing support. You are the heart and soul of the organization and are the definition of dedication and perseverance. Congratulations to those who celebrated milestone anniversaries and volunteer hours in 2023.

Volunteer milestones

10-year Anniversary Celebrants
Kellie Casey
David Garner
Karen Fawcett
Jan Christopher


15-year Anniversary Celebrants
Jo-anne Civiera
Sharon Johnston
Vlynne McBride
Carolyn Williamson


Ontario Volunteer Service Award Recipients
Paul Egan
David Garner
Dave Henderson
Sandy Robinson
Daniela Schulze
Chris Yorke

300+ Hour Recognition Milestones
Mary Aschauer-Daer
Heather Carter
Nancy English
Darlene Ferri
Brenda Giffen
Sharon Housser
Cathy Jenkins
Valita Lloyd
Marie Phipps-Bunting
Carol Posta
Jennifer Simmonds
Jil Thompson
Chris Yorke

500+ Hour Recognition Milestones
Joanne Brown
Debby French
Annette MacMaster
Cora Wilcox
Carolyn Williamson
Megan Macdonald
Janice Ramage
Joan Ramsay


Saugeen Incubator Grant

In 2023, the GTHS was awarded the PetSmart Charities Incubator grant, in the amount of $60,000, to forge a new partnership alongside the Saugeen First Nation community, situated near Southampton, Ontario.

The primary focus of the Incubator program in year one was to cultivate meaningful relationships, foster inclusivity, facilitate access to vital veterinary care, and to better understand the unique needs of the community.  To learn more about achievements made in the first year of the grant, read our post.

One highlight from 2023 took place over a weekend in November, when the GTHS and the Mino Bimadsawin Health Centre hosted their first Wellness clinic onsite in Saugeen. Over the two-day clinic, 59 dogs and 19 cats were given wellness checks, rabies vaccinations, microchips, and flea/tick prevention medications.  Click here to see a video diary of this impactful day and read below to see how Oreo the dog has benefitted from visiting the clinic.

Oreo's Story

Meet Oreo.  He is a pup from the Saugeen First Nation community who seems to attract adventure. 

We met Oreo’s mom at the BBQ held at the Mino Bimadsawin Health Centre in the fall of 2023.  She was looking forward to the upcoming Wellness Clinic that was taking place in November, as she was eager to get Oreo microchipped after a recent adventure of his led him to nearby Sauble Beach, roughly 16km from home.

Oreo and his mom showed up at the Wellness Clinic where he received his microchip.  Shortly thereafter, Oreo went missing for more than four months.  In April 2024, the police were called after a chance sighting of Oreo being walked in Southampton.  After a microchip scan at a local veterinarian’s office, Oreo’s identity was confirmed, and he was returned to his rightful owner.  The police credit the reunion with the fact that Oreo was microchipped, making the reunification process much easier.

Pet Pantry

In 2023, the GTHS was awarded the Pet Pantry Humane Canada Foodbank Grant, which allowed us to expand our Pet Pantry program from a delivery service to a depot-based service.

We now have 9 Pet Pantry depots across the region and still provide delivery to members of the community without access to transportation.

Collingwood Depots

Collingwood Public Library: 55 Ste. Marie St., Collingwood

Project Butterfly Community Food Pantry: 200 Erie St. (Erie Street Community Church) 

Collingwood Ontario Works Office: 485 Second St., Collingwood

Salvation Army: 55 Ste. Marie St., Collingwood

The Town of the Blue Mountains Depots

L.E. Shore Memorial Library: 173 Bruce St., Thornbury

Beaver Valley Outreach: 54 King St. E., Thornbury

Wasaga Beach & Clearview Township Depots

Wasaga Beach Public Library: : 120 Glenwood Dr., Wasaga Beach

Wasaga Beach Ministerial Food Bank: 818 Mosely St., Unit 2, Wasaga Beach

Clearview Community Church (Stayner Campus): 1070 County Rd. 42, Stayner

Treasure Tails

Treasure Tails is the Georgian Triangle Humane Society’s amazing retail store, located in downtown Collingwood.

All proceeds raised from each item sold go to support the day-to-day operations of the GTHS.  In 2023 an incredible $293,827 was raised, while serving over 16,500 paying customers!

This success could not have been achieved without the dedication of 39 volunteers, 8 of whom devoted over 300 and 500 hours of volunteer service and 3 who celebrated 15 years volunteering with the GTHS.  A sincere thank you also to our incredible community of donors and customers who continue to support our thrift store with heart.

“Friends of Treasure Tails” continued their outstanding support in 2023, providing quality donations or services for the store.  A big GTHS thank you to the following businesses for their contributions in 2023:

Al Ferri and Sons ∙ At Home Interiors ∙ BVO ∙ Cobs Bread ∙ Collingwood Flowers ∙ Collingwood Olive Oil Co. ∙ Designs By Consign ∙ Georgian Hills Vineyards ∙ Haven ∙ Loved You Madly ∙ The Nest ∙ Van Allen Design

Lifelong Learning

Humane Education

George*, a first-time participant in the After School Club, absolutely loved spending time with his friends and the animals at the GTHS. There were some challenging learning moments initially, with George constantly wanting to pick up the cats. However, once he learned that it made the kitties uncomfortable, he quickly stopped and helped teach other kids the same lesson. The animals learned to trust George and were always excited to see him.

The 8-week program flew by, and George said goodbye to his human and animal friends. George was looking forward to coming back, but the next session was already full! When George’s mother told him there was no space, he burst into tears. He was so distraught about not being able to come back to the GTHS in 2023, his mother volunteered to run a second After School Club so George could return. Because of this offer, a second program was opened and 7 kids from the waitlist – including George, were able to experience the magic of the GTHS again.

When news of the second program was announced, the responses from the families were inspiring. Many said that made their child’s year! Without George’s mother offering to run the second program, more kids would not have been able to join and learn more about the benefits of the human-animal bond.

*Names have been changed to protect Youth Program participant privacy.

Youth impacted through in-person programs, online courses, school and library visits

Looking to the Future

The Future is Bright

The impact the GTHS has been making in South Georgian Bay for 20+ years can be even more significant, and we feel responsible for meeting the needs of the region’s growing population forecast. As a result, we are building The David and Helen Capin Regional Centre for Pets and People to offer hope to our community for the next 25 years and beyond.

In 2021, we launched our $16.5M fundraising campaign, beginning with a quiet phase and proudly raising just under 50% of the funds needed through our generous donors and contributors. 

Annually this facility will


In 2023, it was announced that the name of the new Animal Centre will honour two selfless, compassionate animal lovers who were longtime supporters of the GTHS.

The main entrance of our new home will proudly display the name of David and Helen Capin, whose profound affection for often overlooked medically needy cats has resulted in an extraordinary legacy gift of $3M towards the new Animal Centre.

The Capin legacy will endure, empowering the Georgian Triangle Humane Society to make strides in turning our dream of a Regional Centre into a tangible reality.



David Garner, Chair

Barbara Foster, Vice Chair

Monika Merz, Member

Kelly Glass, Member

Jamie Simmonds, Member

Derrick March, Member

Charlene Schafer, Member

Kevin Drynan, Member


Karen Marsh,
Executive Director

Danielle Ellis,
Associate Director

Erin Cooper,
Manager of People & Culture

Dr. Stephanie Dam,
Director of Veterinary Medicine

Lindsay Robinson,
Finance Manager

Kristin Holmes,
Marketing & Public Relations Manager

Lisa Stucke,
Annual Giving Manager

Sue Lajambe,
Treasure Tails Manager



Pet Partners are businesses, clubs, foundations, groups or government agencies that donate $1,000 or more in the calendar year. We are truly grateful for the support they provide to our mission.  To see the full list of GTHS Pet Partners, click here The Friends of the Animal Society includes individuals, businesses, foundations and many anonymous donors who have contributed to the GTHS Annual Campaign. We would also like to thank the donors who have given to the David and Helen Capin Regional Centre for Pets and People. We look forward to celebrating them more when we open our new doors. To see the full 2023 Friends of The Animal Society list, click here. Thank you all for giving so generously.

Thank you
for your continued

549 Tenth Line, Collingwood, Ontario L9Y 0W1

Phone: 705.445.5204 | Email: info@gths.ca

Registered Charity Number: 868004185 RR0001