Paws & Support

By Taylor Mundy

The Nova Scotia SPCA believes that strong bonds between people and pets make for stronger communities.  In fact, there are proven benefits when it comes to pet ownership, including improvements to physical, mental and emotional well-being.  Animals can boost your mood and provide companionship and unconditional love.

There are a variety of challenging circumstances that cause devoted families to surrender their pet to the Nova Scotia SPCA.  Over 6,000 pets each year go through the doors at the Nova Scotia SPCA.  Sadly, some are due to pet owners fleeing domestic violence or undergoing short-term hospital treatment.  If there was an alternative, fewer animals would be surrendered into shelters and more families would be kept together.

Here’s where Paws & Support comes in!

We are excited to announce a new pilot program in Halifax Regional Municipality, Paws & Support, after being awarded a $25,000 grant from PetSmart Charities® of Canada.  Paws & Support will be a free program at the Nova Scotia SPCA for dogs, cats and critters while their owners are seeking short-term in-hospital treatment or transitioning out of domestic violence relationships.

While in the care of the Nova Scotia SPCA, owned pets will receive resources and access to veterinary care thanks to funding from PetSmart Charities of Canada.  Owned pets will live with trained temporary foster families.  Once participating pet owners are in a healthy, safe space, they will be reunited with their pet.  To provide extra support, the Nova Scotia SPCA will also provide families with pet supplies and necessities from their Nova Scotia SPCA Thrift Stores.  Space in the program is limited and it will launch in the upcoming weeks.

“Without a close family member or trusted friend to look after their pet, some owners may be reluctant to leave or seek treatment,” says Elizabeth Murphy, Nova Scotia SPCA CEO.  “Because of Paws & Support, pet owners can feel confident their pet is well cared for while they focus on their own wellbeing.  This will help pets, support families and strengthen communities.”

“We’re proud of our ongoing partnership with the Nova Scotia SPCA and are thrilled to support them with this pilot program,” said Dani LaGiglia, regional relationship manager, PetSmart Charities of Canada. “We are pleased to support programs that help families going through a transitional period and that provide them with the peace of mind that their pet is being cared for until they can be reunited.”

Now, here’s where YOU come in!

The Nova Scotia SPCA is looking for 30 new foster families to help with Paws & Support for both dogs and cats.  Fosters will receive full support from the Nova Scotia SPCA during the pet’s stay but will be required to adhere to strict confidentiality.  All animal costs such as veterinary care, food, bedding and toys will be provided.  Interested foster families are asked to complete the Nova Scotia SPCA Paws & Support foster application attached here.

Once foster families are trained, we are looking forward to the official launch of this pilot program.  Make sure to stay tuned!

Taylor Mundy

Taylor is the Communications & Development Officer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Bonnie. She is passionate about raising awareness and funds for local animals in need.