Archives: Timeline Stories
A landmark 2012 study called The Cruelty Connection, demonstrated the link between family violence and animal abuse. The report, which was commissioned by the Alberta SPCA, led to the creation of the Pet Safekeeping Program, giving domestic violence survivors an option to foster their pets while seeking safety in a protective shelter.
In 1981 we hired our first education officer, Elizabeth Gredley, to promote the values of humane education, and develop a humane education curriculum. Prior to this, education tasks were carried out by an education committee. Today, our Education Department is the longest continuously operating education program in the province, with two full-time teachers working to provide humane education materials to Alberta teachers.
In the mid-1960s, pressure intensified on the Alberta Government to create provincial animal welfare legislation. Bruce, along with Alberta SPCA President, Zennon (Zeke) Young, and Lou Hyndman Sr. developed the framework for what would become the Animal Protection Act, which came into effect July 1, 1967. With the legislation came a $10,000 grant to the Alberta SPCA to enforce it, and with that, the Alberta SPCA was able to hire a second constable. The Alberta SPCA has continued to evolve since those early days. We now have 11 Peace Officer positions, and offices in Edmonton, Okotoks, Innisfail and in northern Alberta.
It was September 10th, 1959 that the Alberta SPCA was incorporated as a non-profit organization under the Societies Act in Alberta. Until that time, the Northern Alberta SPCA (now known as the Edmonton Humane Society) operated in the Edmonton area. Our first Executive Director and special constable was Archie Bruce, who held the positions for both the Alberta SPCA and the Northern Alberta SPCA for 8 years.
The Animal Welfare movement had been underway for a number of years, and in 1910, the Alberta Humane Society was formally registered. The name would later be changed to the SPCA – Northern Alberta, and that organization would advocate on behalf of animals for nearly 50 years before the creation of the Alberta SPCA in 1959.
Alberta SPCA News
Prolific mask maker delivers cheque to the Alberta SPCA October 14, 2020 Jean Henderson, along with her husband Doug and daughter Barb, presented the Alberta SPCA with a cheque for $17,146 today. Jean has been making masks to help protect Albertans from COVID-19 since the early days of the pandemic; pledging to donate all proceeds to the Alberta SPCA. Jean has made more than 3,800 masks in her own home since March and today she presented the proceeds from her efforts to Alberta SPCA Executive Director, Terra Johnston. “To say that we’re grateful is an understatement,” said Alberta SPCA Executive Director Terra Johnston. “This money will go directly to animals. It’ll go directly to support the efforts of our Peace Officers, of our educators, and of our social workers who provide programs in support of people and animals.” Jean started making the masks to help ensure Barb had protection from the virus as Barb is recovering from cancer. Soon after, word got out about Jean’s masks as well as her plan to donate the proceeds to the Alberta SPCA, and that’s when the orders started pouring in. Jean has used five different sewing machines to make over 3,800 masks, filling orders for just a few to corporate requests for several hundred at a time. Jean Henderson Making Masks “It’s overwhelming. I didn’t ever expect it to get to that amount,” said Jean Henderson. “When I started I thought, oh maybe we’ll make a few hundred dollars. But it’s what the money is going to do that makes you feel so good.” Each mask took about 25 minutes to make which means Jean has spent about 1,600 hours at her sewing machines over the past eight months. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Selection of Jean’s Masks “We can’t do anything else,” added Henderson. “I love volunteering. I love putting my time into something and everything’s been cancelled this summer. So my time is free. Everything’s been donated so all I’m really donating is my time, and hopefully my talents, and I love doing this.” While the orders for masks have slowed down this fall, Jean and her family continue to make them for those who need a colourful addition to their mask collection. Orders can be placed by emailing Jean at JeanHenderson1947@hotmail.com
June 24, 2020 The Alberta SPCA was saddened to learn dozens of puppies died while on route to Canada from Ukraine as part of a shipment of approximately 500 dogs last week, and we are pleased to hear an investigation is underway to determine what happened and to ensure a tragedy like this is not repeated. While is it unclear whether any of the dogs were destined for Alberta, we know small breed dogs are always in demand in our province and that dogs are brought into Alberta regularly for the purpose of selling them to local families. The situation with the flight from Ukraine highlights the seedy side of dog breeding. These dogs were shipped to Canada because they are in demand here and families are willing to pay thousands of dollars for one. The value of the animals creates an environment where the health of dogs can be put at risk during long journeys to our country and our province, not to mention the unclear circumstances of how they were bred and raised before coming to Canada. The Alberta SPCA encourages anyone looking to add a canine member to their family to do their homework and ask plenty of questions about the animal’s history. Any reputable breeder in Alberta will be willing to let you see the puppy in its home environment here, and allow you to meet the mother. If a breeder insists on meeting you in a neutral location to complete the transaction, this should be considered a red flag. It is up to all Albertans to limit animal neglect by not buying from groups or people who cannot prove the animal has been raised and treated humanely prior to adoption. It is likely the dogs on the flight would be sold as dogs rescued from Ukraine, but the sheer number of dogs indicates this was a breeding operation not a rescue mission. It is also important to note there are lots of dogs in Alberta that need homes. When adopting any dog, we strongly encourage families to ask questions about the animals being adopted from any organization. There are dozens of groups who do great work to help find homes for pets in our province, but the industry is unregulated and there is nothing preventing any person or group from describing themselves as a “rescue.” All groups should be willing to share with you the history of the animals they are trying to find homes for. A quick search on the internet will help prospective owners determine if others have had poor experiences dealing with the organization they are considering adopting from. And lastly, the Alberta SPCA supports any effort to strengthen the regulations and oversight of the importation of companion animals into Canada. The importation of dogs from other countries carries a risk of spreading diseases to both dogs and humans, not to mention the risk to the health of the dogs while in transport to Canada. While we appreciate the efforts of any
Spring is a time of new beginnings. A number of horses that came into our care this spring were pregnant and this means our herd is growing. And the babies are so incredibly cute! However, while we enjoy watching little ones like this having fun, we would prefer owners take steps to ensure we do not have extra animals in the spring. Horses should be treated the same as companion animals to ensure the population is kept at a reasonable level. Please have your stallions gelded. https://youtu.be/u5WESERW8g0
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