Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary

Dear South Georgian Bay Community,

The world around us is changing at a rapid pace – and the animal welfare industry is a direct reflection of that change. In Canada, animal homelessness is slowly starting to decrease in areas where spay/neuter surgery is accessible. Simultaneously, more pet owners are electing to adopt, meaning that puppies, kittens and smaller breed dogs have a very low length of stay in local shelters. This trend, for many animal welfare organizations, has provided a light at the end of the tunnel and has spearheaded the opportunity for the growth and development of innovative programs and compassionate services for pets and people in the community.

The Georgian Triangle Humane Society is a non-profit charity based out of Collingwood serving the entire south Georgian Bay region and beyond for over 20 years. We have provided over 10,000 homeless animals with a second chance at a caring home giving them care, medication and shelter while getting them ready for adoption. Without any government funding, our Society has made an impact due to robust and unwavering community support. Led by a volunteer Board of nine philanthropic and skilled members, the organization is fueled by 17 mission-focused staff, 250 dedicated volunteers and over 2000 annual donors that generously support our work.

Due to emerging trends in the sector in 2019, the GTHS redefined our mission to position outselves as leaders of a new frontier in animal welfare. This shift was a critical opportunity to pivot from reactive to proactive, from shelter based to community facing and ultimately, to facilitate a long-term solution to pet overpopulation and animal welfare challenges in the south Georgian Bay region. The new mission focuses on the heart of our work which is to support and enhance the human-animal bond, a premise which is founded in the work of the Human-Animal Bond institute stating that ‘animals are universally embraced as an essential element of human wellness.’

On our 20th year of operations, the GTHS is proud to announce our revised mission statement which is to provide innovative programs and compassionate services which enhance the lives of pets in need and the people that care for them.

In keeping with this new mission statement, over the past several years we have introduced the following programs and services to the south Georgian Bay region:

GTHS HUMANE EDUCATION PROGRAM; due to funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the GTHS has been able to successfully launch and grow a program focused on impacting youth and improving educational access to animal welfare. Led by a local teacher with over 23 years of experience and a dedicated team of volunteers and therapy dogs, the program boasts over 250 classroom visits since 2017, over 3500 youth impacted and a measured 18% growth in the social and emotional skill development of the youth in the program. Participants build confidence, learn respect and strengthen feelings of empathy and compassion.

LIFTING BARRIERS TO PET PARENTS: In the south Georgian Bay region, 18% of our community lives in poverty which is 14% higher than the National average. The GTHS recognizes that for pet owners living on disability or seniors with a fixed income, access to spay/neuter surgery is often not attainable. Furthermore, increasing access to spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations and microchips results in healthier pets and ends pet overpopulation. Since 2018, the GTHS has coordinated four successful mobile spay/neuter clinics in Meaford, the Town of Blue Mountains, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach. The clinics, combined with ongoing spay/neuter programs run by the society, has provided access to over 300 local pet parents, improving the health of their pet, stopping unwanted pregnancies and strengthening relationships with a critical but often overlooked segment of the community.

GTHS PET RETENTION PROGRAM; Launched in 2018, this program is founded in the knowledge that for some people, their pet is what gets them out of bed in the morning. Keeping pets together with their loving families just makes sense and as such, the Pet Retention Program provides pet owners in need of emergency boarding or medical services an alternative to surrender. In partnership with My Friend’s House women’s shelter, we now provide emergency boarding to women in situations of domestic abuse recognizing that 56% of women delay leaving an abusive relationship due to fear for their pet’s safety.

GTHS TRANSPORT PROGRAM: The Ontario SPCA declared 2018 the Year of the Northern Dog.

This initiative aimed to bring awareness to the lack of basic animal welfare services in the North which has created an abundance of dogs needing resources, support and adoptive homes. 

This campaign spearheaded a massive collaboration that united partnering communities, rescues, volunteers and donors with the mission of helping more homeless animals in need. To date, GTHS has transported in over 500 dogs, adopting them to loving homes in southern Ontario.

The core function of the Georgian Triangle Humane Society is to shelter homeless animals and match them with adoptive homes. After 20 years of service, we are celebrating a profound truth; compassion for animals is rooted in compassion for people. With this truth in mind, we are investing in responsive solutions and proactive initiatives that celebrate the human-animal bond and ultimately promote and inspire compassion in the community.

We are incredibly grateful to our donors for making our dreams a reality. We humbly ask the community to consider the GTHS when making a charitable donation. Your gift means the world to us.

With gratitude,

Sonya Reichel
Executive Director


Stay informed on GTHS events, initiatives and programs. Learn how the GTHS team is serving the pets and people of the South Georgian Bay Area. Read heart-warming Happy Tails about GTHS Alumni. See a lot of really cute pictures of dogs and cats!