Pet Support Services

Animal intakes grow annually at the GTHS. Many animals that are surrendered to the shelter arrive from loving families that cannot afford their care during emergency situations.
Every year the Georgian Triangle Humane Society is receiving more and more pets into their adoption program. An estimated 10% of these surrendered pets are from loving families that cannot afford one-time services such as wound repair, humane euthanasia or short-term boarding.

Numerous studies have shown the benefits to humans from animal companionship. The GTHS Pet Retention Program will assist financial limited pet owners in retaining their pets when they would be otherwise faced with surrender. The goal of the program will be to assist loving families to keep their pet in their home which is in the best interest of the animal and the community.

GTHS will work to promote pet retention through proactive and responsive strategies which include the following programs:

• Emergency Medical Assistance Program
• Emergency Boarding (for situations of temporary loss of housing or domestic violence)
• GTHS Dog School
• Spay/neuter Assistance Programs


Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA)

The GTHS will offer financial assistance to the owners of pets who are unable to afford the veterinary expenses associated with a medical emergency. Pet owners must be referred to this program by a licensed veterinarian and admittance to the program is considered only after all criteria have been met and is granted at the discretion of the GTHS.

Service Details

Pet owners who wish to access the EMA program must be referred by a licensed veterinarian with whom they have a pre-existing veterinary-client-patient relationship. The veterinarian will specify the request and the estimated cost to the GTHS, and the pet owner will then fill in an application form. (see Emergency Medical Assistance Application form)

Pet owners must also demonstrate the following:

• Preventative Care – they must have provided their pet with basic preventative and maintenance care. Care includes rudimentary shelter, appropriate fresh food and water daily and preventative veterinary care. Applicants whose pets are ill due to neglected care or lack of maintenance care will not be considered for funding. In some cases, past records displaying proof of care may be requested.

• Prompt Medical Care – they must have provided their pet with prompt medical care when the need was urgent or critical. In instances where surgery, therapy, or supportive treatments are recommended, but the pet owner could not afford them, basic medical care or support to help with the pet’s quality of life, lessen pain or suffering should be demonstrated. The pet’s medical needs cannot have been neglected past reasonable time for treatment, which may have caused the animal to suffer.

The following services will be covered:

• Humane euthanasia with care of remains via communal cremation.
• One-time, non-elective emergency surgeries for pets between the age of 8 weeks and 8 years. Examples include blocked urethras, broken bones, life-threatening dental disease, wounds requiring intervention or surgery.
• Chronic or potentially chronic conditions will not be covered.

These are the steps that will be taken:

1. Pet is taken to the family (primary care). Veterinarian where a physical exam is performed
2. Pet Owners fill in an EMA application form with their vet. An estimated cost to GTHS is required.
3. Application is approved or declined
4. Program agreement is signed by the GTHS, the pet owner and the participating veterinary hospital. A quote for services is included and agreed upon.
5. Veterinary hospital invoices the GTHS Emergency Fund for services provided

Donation are gratefully accepted to fund this program – Donate Now

For more information on this program please contact Program Coordinator Lauren e-mail

Emergency Board

GTHS will offer short term housing for the pets of people in crisis through the Emergency Boarding program. This is a last resort program for individuals experiencing crisis and are unable to care for their animals temporarily and is offered within the limits of our available resources. People who are fleeing domestic violence, homeless because of a disaster such as flooding or fire, or those who have suffered a medical emergency or are entering a recovery program or rehab center would qualify for this service.

Service Details

Individuals requiring access to the EB Program must be referred by or verified by a recognized service agency or professional, such as a Women’s Shelter, Social Worker, or Disaster Response Worker (EMS, Fire fighter, or Police Officer). Admittance to the program is considered only after all criteria have been met and is granted at the discretion of the GTHS.

• GTHS will require a EB referral form from the referring agency.
• Boarding is limited to 2 pets of the same species per family (at the discretion of GTHS).
• Proof of ownership, vaccination history, health care documentation, and ID are required, if available.
• The client is required to sign an EB Owner Agreement.
• Animals will receive an Intake Exam where they will receive a core vaccine and parasite treatments if necessary. Other medical care will be at owner’s expense.
• Animals may be housed offsite at the Society’s discretion.
• Animal provided with daily food, water, socialization and exercise.
• Visitation is not permitted, however the owner can call to check on status of the animal.
• Strictly confidential – client anonymity is guaranteed
• Owners must provide 42 hours notice before reclaiming their pet(s).
• At the end of the board period, if collection by the owner has not been arranged, the animal(s) will become property of GTHS and will enter the adoption program


Pet Pantry

More often than not, we see people prioritize food for their pets over food for themselves. We want to do our part by helping make pet food more accessible for individuals and families who are in need; our hope is that the people of South Georgian Bay will never have to make this difficult choice.

This service is strictly confidential.

To access the GTHS Pet Pantry Service, please call 705-445-5204 ext. 0 or email

We are always accepting donations of unopened bags of dry dog and cat food for the Pet Pantry Service.

GTHS Dog School

Program Details

GTHS will offer free places in GTHS dog school classes to eligible pet owners who are struggling with their dog’s behavior and are considering surrender as a result. This will be offered on a case by case basis on the understanding that not all behavioral issues can be addressed within the scope of group obedience classes.

GTHS supports the use of humane training methods that are based on and supported by current scientific knowledge of learning theory and animal behaviour. GTHS uses current training techniques such as desensitizing and counter conditioning.

Applicants will be required to fill in a Dog School Application form.

Spay/Neuter Assistance Programs

Program Details

GTHS currently offers spay/neuter assistance programs for cats across four municipalities, Meaford, Collingwood, Clearview and Wasaga Beach.

Apply Now

This program can be split into two streams:

1. Owned cats

These cats will be owned by people who qualify for the Pet Retention Programs. This will fill in a Spay/Neuter Assistance Request Form and will be asked for a contribution of $75 per cat if they are able. A certificate will then be issued, and the owner will make an appointment for the surgery with a participating vet clinic. The owner will present the certificate at the time of the appointment.

2. Community cats

GTHS uses the term Community cat to encompass any unowned cat. Included under this umbrella are feral cats, those who have been lost or abandoned, and cats who might receive food and intermittent care from one or more residents in a community. Feral cats are cats who are too poorly socialized to be placed as a typical pet.

Cats being spayed/neutered in this program will be returned to where they were living following the TNR model (Trap – Neuter-Return). Cats will be identified by an ear tip in their left ear.

Applicant will fill in a TNR Assistance Request Form and will be asked to contribute any amount at their discretion.

Applicants may require assistance with the logistics of trapping and transporting the cats and in that case will be connected to a local volunteer who can assist.

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!