Three years ago, a call came into our organization that changed the course of our work permanently. A community member needed our help. Tara, a young mom, living on disability, was faced with an emergency situation with her beloved family cat. With a broken leg, surgery was unaffordable and wanting the very best for him, she made the decision to surrender Milo into our care.
Three years ago, our organization recognized that we needed to provide an alternative to surrender. We knew we needed to keep pets and people together because this represents the very foundation of our work. We cherish and value the human-animal bond and we know that pets makes us healthier people. Pets build healthier communities.
In fact, science has proven this. Children with pets have healthier immune systems, seniors with pets experience alleviation of isolation and they live longer. People with pets have proven to rely less heavily on our health care system, they are happier, more socially outgoing and physically healthier.
Over my last eight years as Executive Director I have had the extraordinary privilege of witnessing our work in action and marveling at the deep connection between people and pets. I have witnessed hundreds of people like Tara and her pet, live richer, fuller, healthier lives as a result of their relationship with animals. In fact, our humane education program, which works with 2000 youth in the south Georgian Bay region in classrooms in our community every year has measured an 25% growth in emotion and social skill development of youth working with animals.