While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are days dedicated to emptying wallets and filling closets, Giving Tuesday is all about — you got it — giving back.
This year the COVID pandemic has made it extra hard on non-profit organizations and charities, many that rely on in-person fundraisers, to raise cash. And animal welfare organizations, rescues, sanctuaries and support groups are no exception.
This holiday season, there are so many ways for people to give back to our less fortunate four-legged (and two-legged and winged) friends.
Here’s a list of 15 charities helping animals in BC and beyond.
Know another great animal charity that could use a hand this winter? Tweet me at @darcynews or leave a comment below!
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SAINTS Rescue in Mission is an end-of-life sanctuary for old, sick and unwanted animals where they can live out their final days in comfort and peace. From geriatric farm animals to palliative cats and dogs passed by adopters at municipal shelters, SAINTS opens its doors to the animals no one else wants — and that have nowhere else to go.
CHDC is a collective of groups that have joined together in hopes of banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption in Canada. It is currently lobbying to ban the exportation of live horses overseas for the same purpose. Most recently, singer Jann Arden joined forces with the group and launched its #horseshit campaign to draw attention to the issue.
Did you know the average parrot is re-homed seven times in its life? Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary is a non-profit society whose purpose is to provide rescue and protection for parrots. It has an extensive adoption program to place parrots in new loving homes. The non-profit agency has been facing an uphill battle since 2016, when it took in an astounding 584 parrots in deplorable conditions from World Parrot Refuge on Vancouver Island.
The Vancouver Humane Society has been fighting for the humane treatment of animals, from farmed animals to species in captivity at zoos, for nearly 40 years. Its current campaigns include helping pets in need during the COVID pandemic, ending the use of animals in rodeos, and providing free vet care for animals belonging to marginalized women with limited income.
Happy Herd is a charity farm sanctuary in Langley giving a forever home for at-risk farm animals rescued from poor conditions. Its current brood includes several goats, chickens, cows, pigs, turkeys, hens, ducks, cats, a couple of dogs, and a wonderful friendly donkey.
The only welfare agency able to enforce animal cruelty laws in the province, the BC SPCA operates 44 shelters across BC, as well as three animal hospitals and a wildlife rehabilitation centre. The BC SPCA responds to more than 10,000 animal abuse calls annually.
Animal Justice is Canada’s only national animal law advocacy organization and has been outspoken in its mission to ending abuse on Canadian factory farms. That includes fighting against the passage of so-called Ag-gag laws that would make undercover investigations into cruelty illegal. Its latest footage of alleged farm animal abuse, shown in a CTV W5 investigation, will be the last legally obtained undercover footage from an Ontario farm.
This group professionally trains guide dogs and autism support dogs for citizens of BC and Alberta. It takes two years and upwards of $35,000 to produce one certified dog, provided free of charge to the recipient.
WRA BC is Western Canada’s busiest wildlife rehabilitation centre, caring for nearly 5,000 animals every year. They take in injured, orphaned and pollution-impacted wildlife from throughout BC to receive professional care and treatment. It is currently building a new medical treatment centre.
The Fur Bearers help protect fur-bearing animals in the wild and confinement and have a mission to end fur farming — what they call “hell on earth for animals.” Their goal is to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities.
TDIAO’s mission is to rescue and re-home as many adoptable dogs at risk of being euthanized, surrendered, abused or neglected — and place them into loving homes. It has rescued 1,038 dogs so far.
OWL (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Society can take in over 700 injured raptors (eagles, falcons, hawks, ospreys, owls, & vultures) every year. The non-profit is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured and orphaned raptors and to educating the public on the conservation and importance of them. Nearly 50 raptors are permanent residents at the facility, which takes in raptors from all over the province as well as the US.
Now in its 20th year, Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) is a volunteer-driven non-profit dedicated to the rescue of cats in the Lower Mainland and ending pet overpopulation. They take in hundreds of cats and kittens each year. It works with a coalition of other groups to provide TNR (trap neuter return) services to communities in the region.
Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS) breeds, raises and trains fully certified assistance dogs. Its service (mobility & PTSD) and hearing dogs provide life-changing independence to those with physical disabilities.
Second Chance Cheekye Ranch (SCCR) in Squamish is a charitable organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes horses in troubling situations, many of which are bound for slaughter in Canada. In the past four years, SCCR has rescued 97 horses and re-homed 53.
Lil Oink Bank is a non-profit pig sanctuary located in Oliver, BC, where pigs in need will find their forever home. They are currently fundraising to raise $2,500 to winterize the property.
Paws for Hope is a multi-pronged non-profit that does everything from support rescue groups to educate consumers about animal testing in common household items. With its Guardian Angel program, Paws for Hope offers services, initiatives, and funding opportunities to support qualified volunteer-run animal welfare and rescue charities in British Columbia.
Rabbitats Rescue Society helps abandoned and feral pet rabbits by promoting sanctuary rescue, developing non-traditional destinations and advocating for better laws.
This registered therapy is a no-kill shelter that takes in cats and kittens it says are turned away from other rescues because of medical needs. Specializing in special needs and abandoned or at-risk cats, the agency serves the Lower Mainland and Tri-Cities.
Society for Humane Science is Canada’s first and only registered charity working solely to replace the use of animals in science with human-relevant, non-animal alternatives. Based in Vancouver.
The EXPOSED Wildlife Conservancy is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to creating visual content and photography to inform, educate and enable change. This includes exposing people to the beauty of wild places and the wildlife within them to provide a better understanding of why they deserve our protection.
The Canadian Horse Rescue and Re-Homing Society is dedicated to rescuing and, yes, rehoming Canadian horses at rescue of slaughter in Alberta. Its role is to provide temporary shelter until permanent homes can be found.