A message from our Founder and Executive Director

Posted by: Kathy Powelson Tags: There is no tags | Categories: News


It’s the early morning of the last day of 2016 and as I reflect on the year we have had, I wanted to reach out to thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to improving the lives of companion animals in BC.

The inspiration to start Paws for Hope was based on the realization that while there are many amazing organizations doing incredible life saving work, our animal welfare system as a whole is broken and for the most part, those on the front lines are only able to respond to crises. Thus, our founding Board of Directors came together to create an organization that could serve as an umbrella organization to support and enhance the work that is currently being done and to fill in the gaps where necessary.

Each year since we founded in 2011 has been an exciting year of growth. This past year, however, has been particularly exciting. We published “A Snapshot of Companion Animal Welfare in BC“, which summarized the results of two online surveys. One survey, “Animal Welfare and Rescue Work” was a 24 question survey for members of the general public. The other survey, “Animal Welfare and Rescue in BC” was a 41
question survey designed specifically for those working directly with animal welfare and rescue. This report is what led us to our work creating the Animal Welfare Advisory Network of BC, which will serve to enable organizations to work together to fund and implement regional and/or provincial strategies to address challenges associated with pet abandonment, abuse, and overpopulation. Thanks to a generous grant from the Vancouver Foundation, we will be able to make the Network a priority in 2017.

Our work supporting homeless and low income pet guardians continues to be a major focus for us, We have seen tremendous growth in the number of pets we see at our clinics and those that we are able to provide financial support to for emergency lifesaving care and treatment over the years. We funded a first of its kind research report, “Connections and Companionship: the health of BC youth with pets“. This research conducted by the McCreary Centre Society demonstrated the important role that pets play in the lives of young people, and the barriers that youth at risk with pets can face. We were very excited to partner with Ottawa’s Veterinary Community Outreach, UBC Nursing School, Vancouver Coastal Health and Directions Youth Services to pilot BC’s first One Health clinic. Our intention is to continue to advocate for the significance of the human/animal bond and we will continue to play a leading role in providing an evidence based approach to supporting vulnerable populations.

Our Pets Are Not Products campaign was refreshed with a new look and an online toolkit to support community members to mobilize for change at municipal and provincial level. Each year pets are purchased as Christmas gifts and many are ultimately surrendered and abandoned. In an effort to put an end to this, our annual Christmas campaign created powerful messages that reinforce the lifetime commitment that comes with having a pet.

Your generosity has made all of this possible. Thank you for such a great year!

This coming year holds a lot of promise. We have a talented board of directors, committed volunteers and community partners and we have you. Let’s make 2017 the best year yet.

From all of us at Paws for Hope and on behalf of all the animals saved, Happy New Year.

Kathy Powelson

Paws for Hope Animal Foundation is a BC animal welfare charity dedicated to creating sustainable animal welfare and purposeful animal protection in British Columbia.
Our work is possible because of your support. Your donations make a difference in lives of companion animals

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