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The 2014 Aviva Community Fund is complete.

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Non-profit Companion Animal Hospital & Shelter

ACF14032 Progressive Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) London, Ontario

Created September 28, 2012 by Martha Harding


London, Ontario

Funding Level

$100k - 150k (< 2014)

Community Size

More than 1,000


     IN CARING FOR VULNERABLE PETS & PEOPLE !!                                            


  • the leading cause of dog and cat mortality in the US, and likely Canada, is admittance to (and subsequent kill) in a shelter 
  • shelter intake can be reduced by 75% following the opening of a Humane Alliance-partnered ‘High Volume Spay/Neuter’ Clinic, thus preventing shelter over-population and the likelihood of high kill rates
  • 75% of homeless kittens die before maturity due to disease and starvation 
  • only 1 in 12 stray cats born ever finds a home 
  • spaying a dog before its 1st estrous cycle reduces the incidence of mammary tumours by 200 fold, and eliminates the potential for pregnancy & uterine infection; situation similar in cats although statistics not available
  • neutering a dog eliminates the potential for testicular cancer and reduces unwanted behavioral traits, situation similar in cats 
  • to our knowledge, there are NO homeless or abused women’s shelters in Ontario, and perhaps in Canada, that accommodate pets
  • up to 48% of battered women have delayed their decision to leave, have not left or have returned to the abusive partner out of concern for their pet 
  • between 65 - 85% of women entering domestic abuse shelters report that the partner had injured or killed a family pet 
  • children often protect their mothers and pets from being battered, which is associated with children’s future abuse of people
  • the #1 concern for children transitioning from domestic abuse is separation from and safety of their pet
  • many mental care patients do not enter or leave treatment prematurely because of concern for their pet
  • homeless individuals with pets are forced to endure extreme temperatures and other dangers because they do no wish to leave their animal unattended and uncared for by entering  a homeless shelter

  • will develop the first comprehensive program in Ontario, to our knowledge, and perhaps Canada, that will support continuity of pet companionship for disadvantaged individuals, including abused women and children, homeless men, women & children, and mental health patients, during times of emergency. Dedicated shelter space that includes husbandry, veterinary care & socialization will be offered to these pets. 
  • have partnered with many Community Agencies, including Mission Services of London, London Abused Women’s Centre, Women’s Community House, WOTCH Community Mental Health Services, London Health Sciences Centre – Mental Health Care Program 
  • will develop a non-profit Humane Alliance-partnered ‘High-Volume Spay/Neuter Clinic’, the first-of-its-kind between Toronto and Windsor (please see
  • will assist low-income and disadvantaged individuals to become "Responsible Pet Owners" by offering spay/neuter /vaccination/de-worming/micro-chipping of their pets at non-profit prices 
  • will offer surgical & medical services at non-profit prices to non-profit rescue groups, humane societies and municipal pounds
  • will develop comprehensive Trap-Neuter-Return & Transport programs to limit the number of feral cats born 
  • will decrease the reliance on taxpayer dollars for costly Animal Welfare Services by decreasing the number of lost & unidentified animals
  • all of the services mentioned above will be offered in an 11-county region in southwestern Ontario
  • we aim to replicate this program & business model across Canada and assist other communities to do likewise

  • Board of Directors:   Chair – real estate broker, previously an educator, experienced in project management, clinic/shelter site design & animal rescue; Members - each possesses decades  of experience in animal rescue, including a veterinarian
  • Staffing:  consulting with Human Resources materials & expertise from Humane Alliance.  Local veterinarians will own and work at the Hospital, performing an anticipated 8400 surgeries per year (35 animals per day).  The medical team will be trained both at Humane Alliance (N.Carolina) & on-site.  Ongoing consultations with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario  
  • Humane Alliance-approved budget & facility design: a monthly net income is anticipated by the end of Year 1; to be used to cover food and veterinary expenses for sheltered animals, in addition to program upgrades.  Modest facility renovations will be covered by leasehold improvement fees, and geared to optimize work-flow efficiency
  • Volunteer Program: to complement core paid staff; specifically designed for high school students, adults & seniors, to include cat socialization, dog walking, animal transport, front office duties & cleaning duties