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Companions for Change: Our mission to support pets in need across Canada

Companions for Change: Our mission to support pets in need across Canada hero image

A deep love of animals and care for their wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do.

Which is why we created Companions for Change, a program that supports animal rescue organizations, local charities and pet causes across Canada. Since 2010, we’ve raised $23 million in funds and corporate donations for the program. We’ve also helped 41,000 homeless animals find their forever families.

None of this would be possible without the Canadian rescue and pet welfare organizations we’ve teamed up with, or the devoted pet lovers like you who contribute to Companions for Change.

We celebrate Pet Appreciation Month every June, but the work that gets done, and people who contribute to Companions for Change initiatives, happen every day throughout the year.

We’re delighted and proud to share more details about how we work together to support animals and pet parents across the country.

about companions for change - women holding a dog

About Companions for Change

Through this initiative, we work to give back to the community we love: pets and pet lovers across Canada.

We aim to make a big impact, so we work with organizations to ensure our funding, sponsorships, and support is far-reaching and effective. Since 2018, donations from our community of devoted pet lovers have gone towards funding large capital projects through our sponsorships program.

Where does the money go?

The funds raised by Companions for Change supports basic needs like food and shelter, as well as expansive projects that improve overall animal welfare.

The program funds large-scale rescue efforts, guide-dog training programs, animal protection programs, vaccination and spay and neuter initiatives, pet education, animal rehabilitation, awareness campaigns, and much, much more.

How does support help?

Companions for Change helps to fund large-scale projects that have a major impact on the animal welfare space across Canada.

Filling in gaps

“One of the biggest things that people aren't aware of is that the Nova Scotia SPCA does not receive any government funding for shelters,” says Taylor Huestis, the organization’s Communications and Development Officer.

“So important supplies like food and medicine are entirely covered by donations. Thankfully, we have amazing animal lovers and organizations like Pet Valu to help. A lot of our local Pet Valu stores fundraise throughout the year, and their leadership, staff, and customers are champions for our cause.”

Ultimately, says Huestis, the money that Pet Valu raises goes toward making sure that pets find and stay in loving, caring homes. “We have free progressive programs to help you in a crisis so you can feel confident your pet is well cared for, and focus on your own well being,” she explains.

“One example is our pet pantry,” she highlights. “Owners who cannot afford pet food or litter can pick them up completely contactless at any SPCA location. We also have the Pawsitive Support Program. If you're going into the hospital for treatment, fleeing domestic violence, or facing homelessness, we will foster your pet until you are in a safe, healthy space and can be reunited.”

Expanding scope

In Nova Scotia, the SPCA’s work reaches beyond the province’s borders, thanks to a $100,000 sponsorship from Pet Valu.

“During certain times of the year, we noticed there is a sharp decline in the number of homeless pets in the province,” Huestis says, “so we offer assistance to other animal welfare organizations throughout Canada, transporting hundreds of pets in the past few years. The needs of local animals always, always, always comes first. But we often have a greater ability to help.”

Wanting to expand capacity to care for more animals, the Nova Scotia SPCA used its sponsorship to invest in an advanced animal transport vehicle, which was custom-designed for pet safety and comfort.

“When space and resources allow,” says Huestis, “we can safely bring pets into Nova Scotia from approved shelters in the United States that struggle with homeless pet overpopulation.”

“Through the transport program, we are raising and setting high ethical standards like mandatory vaccinations, heartworm testing, veterinary checks prior to transport, behavioural requirements and evaluations, mandatory rest periods, strong and secure kennels and veterinary care provided before and after the transport.”

Huestis notes that before they had the specialized transport vehicle, the organization just used vans. “It really did limit the amount of animals that were able to be transported throughout the province, and we weren't able to launch the international pet transport program.”

To date, Pet Valu has helped to transport more than 200 animals — and that’s just in Nova Scotia.

animal rescue expres trailer truck

Enhancing operations

Liam Cullen, the Executive Director at the North Bay and District Humane Society, says that Pet Valu has helped them cover the cost of new support vehicles and infrastructure.

“In 2018 there were talks about our Pet Valu Animal Rescue Express, the truck and trailer that we use to transfer pets throughout the province. When we kicked that off, it was just so wonderful to be able to work with our friends to make that project become a reality, to have the truck and trailer out on the road and to have people recognize us as we're driving down the street,” Cullen recalls.

He goes on to note, “When the vision came for the Pet Adoption and Wellness Centre, it was a natural fit to reach out to Pet Valu to see if they'd be interested in helping us out again. We're so grateful to our friends for helping to make this dream become a reality.”

In September 2022, Pet Valu gave the North Bay and District Humane Society $250,000 to support the construction cost of the 3,200-sq. ft. building.

Janet Bredin, the shelter manager for the North Bay and District Humane Society, says her organization’s rescue programs wouldn’t be possible without the support they receive from Pet Valu.

“They're supporting a lot of agencies, but the support that they've given us has really allowed us to come into our own. Doing these rescue and relief programs would not have been possible without the support of Pet Valu [and] our new wellness and adoption centre is being built in part because of Pet Valu.”

pet valu donated $250,000 to north bay and district humane society

Organizations we support and the amazing work they do

Meet our superheroes. These are the amazing Canadian organizations we support, and more information about what they’re doing for the pets we all love:


Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides logo

Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides

The LFCDG trains and provides Dog Guides at no cost to Canadians with disabilities, empowering them to live their lives independently and confidently with the assistance of their Guide. Pet Valu hosts a national fundraising walk each year to raise funds for this important organization and participates in a Dog Guide feeding program.

Edmonton Humane Society logo

Edmonton Humane Society

Humane Societies like the one in Edmonton are community cornerstones for animal advocacy. They provide healthcare and shelter for homeless pets and, above all, connect these pets with people who want to give them love and a forever home.

North Bay & District Humane Society logo

North Bay & District Humane Society

North Bay’s Humane Society not only operates rescue and shelter programs but will also be the site of a future Pet Adoption and Wellness Centre dedicated to pet health.

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society logo

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society

Ontario’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals promotes animal well-being through support and shelter services. They assist in locating lost pets, offer emergency shelter spaces, aid in rehoming animals, and run adoption programs across the province.

Niagara SPCA and Humane Society logo

Niagara SPCA and Humane Society

The Niagara SPCA operates a shelter for homeless pets and matches them with families in search of an animal to love and care for.

Victoria Humane Society logo

Victoria Humane Society

Another Human Society chapter doing the all-important work of matching pets in need with new homes and caring families.

Nova Scotia SPCA logo

Nova Scotia SPCA

This SPCA branch is committed to open-admission and no-kill policies. They assist 15,000 animals annually in their community, sheltering them and finding them new homes. They provide vet care, attention, and love until an animal can be rehomed.

Canadian Animal Task Force logo

Canadian Animal Task Force

The CATF is all about educating and supporting the effort to control and care for the pet population. With a focus on health, safety, and animal well-being, they work to run spay and neuter clinics, provide critical vaccinations, assist in disaster relief, and run community based programs centered on dog care and free-roaming cat populations.

Regional Animal Protection Society logo

Regional Animal Protection Society

RAPS in Richmond BC runs a cat sanctuary, an adoption and education centre, and an animal hospital. They also work with a network of pet foster parent sand operate volunteer-run thrift stores that generate funding for their animal care work.

Winnipeg Humane Society logo

Winnipeg Humane Society

Very cool fact: the Winnipeg Humane Society has been around since 1894. Even cooler fact: since then, this Manitoba animal welfare organization has grown to include behaviour classes, training assistance services, spay and neuter programs, lost and found help, animal protection services, pet loss and grief support, and more.

Baccalieu Trail SPCA logo

Baccalieu Trail SPCA

Newfoundand’s Baccalieu Trail SPCA promotes the respectful and loving treatment of animals through their shelter services, their Pet Fix and Why Litter programs to humanely control the pet population, as well as their pet parent educational resources for cat and dog owners.

Parachutes for Pets logo

Parachutes for Pets

A food bank, vaccination programs, grooming services, and emergency pet packs are just a few of the resources offered by Parachutes for Pets, an organization that serves low-income families and their pets in Calgary, AB.

Rabbitats logo

Rabbitats

This innovative rabbit rescue program builds indoor and outdoor “rabbitats” for abandoned pet rabbits — not just for animal shelters or rescue services, but also for private institutions and green businesses who want to responsibly care for these furry creatures.

Regina Humane Society logo

Regina Humane Society

A non-profit that’s been helping Regina’s pet population since 1964, this Humane Society chapter runs a pet-fostering program, shelters pets and facilitates their adoption, offers pet care and pet-sitting courses, and has spay-neuter clinics (to name just a few of the services they offer).

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