The Toronto Humane Society was first inspired by an anonymous $2 donation to aid an old, white workhorse. In November 1886, an ordinary Toronto resident sent a letter to the World, a daily newspaper, regarding the workhorse. “Why don't we have a society for the prevention of cruelty?” asked a young reporter, John Kelso. In responding to the question, an anonymous donor sent a 2$ donation to the newspaper office the following day.
A presentation to the Canadian Institute on February 19, 1887 by Kelso launched the humane and children's aid movement in Ontario. And so the Toronto Humane Society was born. The one hundred and twenty-five year old institution can still be found today on River Street, with eager pets ready for adoption.
Getting back to how to adopt a pet. Well, the process is anything but simple. But we wouldn't call it complicated either. Let's explore the steps, shall we?
First of all, if you are not 18 yet, you need an adult to help you.
You must visit the Humane Society's building in Toronto, and look around for the right pet.. Naturally, it is best if you consult one of the many volunteers there for help in finding a good mach. When choosing a pet, many factors come into play. First, you must take into consideration your own living conditions and habits. For example, allergies will prevent you getting some pets. Also, you wouldn't adopt a golden retriever if they laze on the couch all day because a golden retriever is very active.
It's not just the potential adopter's traits that matters, for we must also take into account the pet's as well. If a cat has a bad history of being abused by previous owners, then it may be very scared and tentative around other humans. Or, if it feels threatened, it may lash out to defend itself. Of course, this type of pet isn't entirely impossible to tame, but it would need someone experienced in the domain, which most people aren't. A first time pet owner would most likely not be able to accomplish such a feat, and they may get hurt.
After finding the right pet, you must let the pet meet the other members of your family, or anyone that will be living with the pet. The Toronto Humane Society call this process the 'meet-and-greet”. If they get along with the pet, then you can start filling out many forms for adoption. Then, you pay a sum of money of around one to two hundred for the pet and necessary items for the pet like a litter box and food. You can find the price for each type of pet Toronto Humane Society’s website.
We interviewed Shannon Caulfield, the Marketing and Events Coordinator at the Toronto Humane Society.
One question she was particularly surprised to hear was: Have you ever met anyone who was against pet adoption? To which she answered that no, she hadn't met anyone who was openly against adoption. At most, they did not prefer it.
“There are around 400 different pets to adopt in the Humane Society. 600 volunteers work on-site to feed and care for the animals, 300 work off-site to foster some others. Literally waking up in the night to feed them every two hours,” Caufied said with a smile. We could tell that she is very passionate about her job.
Not all adopters can cooperate with their pets. The THS offers canine training with the behaviourist and help for bonding the two together. “We are not looking for someone who can just take the pet out the door; it’s really about giving the pet a forever home. That’s why we go through a lengthy process to make sure the animal is safe with the perfect owner.” Caufield informed us.
Caufield loves animals. She bottle-fed her first kitten when she was 8. She also volunteered for the Etobicoke humane society when she was around 15. At the Toronto Humane Society, Caufield also bottle-fed baby squirrels and raccoons. She has been a vegetarian for 21 years.
And so our little explanation on pet adoption draws to a close. We hope you now know how to adopt a pet now, and perhaps even go out there and adopt one yourself!