Welcome to CFCR Community Connect - where we help to connect you with local community organizations in Saskatoon. 

This Month, we're shining the spotlight on Saskatoon SPCA. 

With the vision of being a leader in animal welfare, Saskatoon SPCA strives to create a more humane world by inspiring compassion, providing hope, and working for a society where all animals are respected and valued. 

The Saskatoon SPCA has a long history in the community. In the 1920’s, citizens in Regina and Saskatoon petitioned the Province of Saskatchewan to form, or incorporate, the Saskatchewan SPCA. Enacted by the legislature in 1928, the provincial SPCA was organized to have branch offices located across the province to respond to cruelty complaints from the rural areas. There was very little animal welfare activity in Saskatoon in the 1930’s. A charitable Blue Cross organization assisted with some animal welfare work in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

 The Saskatoon Branch of the provincial SPCA was formed in 1957, using a local veterinarian’s kennel as a shelter facility. In 1962, the City of Saskatoon Pound and the SPCA shared a building in the Engineering Department of the City yards. By 1963, the SPCA was located on 21st Street in a remodeled comfort station. In 1968, the organization was incorporated as the Saskatoon Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, separate from the Saskatchewan SPCA. From 1968 to 1991, the Saskatoon SPCA was located at 302 103rd Street in a city-owned building. During this time period, the demand and need for SPCA services and programs steadily increased and the relatively small facility was quickly outgrown.

A massive building fundraising campaign was launched in 1989. With monies generated through the extensive fundraising campaign and substantial financial assistance from the City of Saskatoon, the goal of relocating to a larger building was realized within two years. On the 11th of October 1991, the Saskatoon SPCA relocated to its current location 5 kilometres south of Circle Drive on Clarence Avenue, in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park. The newly-renovated, spacious building allowed the Saskatoon SPCA to further expand its services and programs while improving the quality of care provided to the thousands of animals received annually. The number of animals admitted to the shelter increases yearly.

In 1994, discussions were initiated with the City of Saskatoon concerning the Saskatoon SPCA assuming the Animal Control Services contract for the City of Saskatoon. This service had historically been provided by the City of Saskatoon Police Service. On April 1st, 1998, the Saskatoon SPCA assumed responsibility for the enforcement of then City Bylaw #5996 under the new title of Animal Protection Services. The original bylaw included the provision of licensing and maintenance of canine control in the City of Saskatoon.

In 2000, the City of Saskatoon Civic Council adopted a resolution of council to incorporate Bylaw #7860. The new Bylaw now includes the licensing and maintenance of canines and felines within the corporate city limits of the City of Saskatoon.

In 2003, the City awarded the contract for Animal Control to the newly formed organization Saskatoon Animal Control Agency. The Saskatoon SPCA continued providing the contract for Poundkeeping for the city of Saskatoon.

In 2005, faced with a deteriorating building and no funds with which to maintain it, as well as financial difficulties, the membership voted to sell the SPCA building to the City of Saskatoon. This has been a beneficial arrangement for everyone involved.

In 2023 the Saskatoon SPCA realized that the funding provided by the City of Saskatoon was not sufficient to cover the costs of running the pound. The contract for poundkeeping services was ending December 2023 and both parties agreed it should be sent out to RFP. The Saskatoon SPCA’s bid was not accepted for the 2024-2028 contract and we began the task of finding a new building.

The Saskatoon SPCA secured new building November 2023 and began the months long process of creating a new animal shelter. We moved all animals into foster homes during the transition  into the building and construction was completed mid February.

The Saskatoon SPCA is a registered charitable organization that provides care for thousands of abandoned, homeless, neglected or abused animals annually from Saskatoon and surrounding areas.

Our organization relies upon support from individual and corporate donors to ensure that we have the ability to provide health care, shelter, sustenance and medical care to vulnerable companion animals. We provide the public with adoption programs, positive behaviour training classes, humane education programs and volunteer programs including foster opportunities.

The Saskatoon SPCA has done a lot of work to develop sound financial stability, by implementing effective controls to ensure expenses are appropriate, and resources are utilized appropriately. Thanks to overwhelming public support we have begun to move forward with long term goals, planning and visions for the next 10 years. 

We invite you to become a part of this new and exciting time in The Saskatoon SPCA’s history! Volunteer or donate today!

What types of programs or activities do you offer? What’s your most successful program?

Animal Sheltering: We provide safe shelter for thousands of animals per year for Saskatoon and surrounding communities.

Adoption: We facilitate thousands of adoptions every year, providing healthy, spayed/neutered animals to their new forever homes.  This is our most successful program.

Fostering: Our foster care program provides safe haven for the most critical animals in our care, providing a calm, quiet home environment for them to grow strong and healthy enough for adoption.

Borrowed Buddies: An opportunity for the general public to give our animals a shelter break by taking them on half day or full day field trips.  This gives them a break from the stress of the shelter and provides critical enrichment to their lives.

Office Foster Cat Program: Office cats are cats that live and are fostered in a business or office until they are adopted. They are also usually a part of the Adoption Ambassador program so they can be adopted directly from the business.

Adoption Ambassadors: The Adoption Ambassador Program is a unique expansion of our foster program. It is an opportunity to help shelter animals find their forever homes, while remaining comfortable in a foster home or business.

This innovative program not only benefits the animals in our care, but also enhances the adoption experience for both the animals and the individuals or families looking to welcome a new furry friend into their lives. By transitioning animals into foster homes or businesses, we provide them with a more natural and comfortable setting where they can thrive and flourish while awaiting adoption.

Volunteer Program: We rely heavily on volunteers to assist in the daily care of our animals.

How have you seen your organization’s work make a difference? Can you share any success stories or provide examples of positive outcomes directly impacted by your organization?

The Saskatoon SPCA has made a notable impact on animal welfare and community involvement in several ways. Their new facility offers improved housing for animals, ensuring their well-being during their stay at the shelter. This facility supports a variety of services such as behavior programs, educational seminars, and a pet food bank, which all contribute to promoting responsible pet ownership and strengthening human-animal bonds.

One of the key successes of the Saskatoon SPCA is their continued commitment to spayed and neutered animal adoptions. They remain the largest non-profit adoption agency in the area, providing health assessments, spaying/neutering, microchipping, and vaccinations before adoption. Their efforts ensure that animals find caring homes, significantly impacting the lives of both the animals and their adoptive families.

Additionally, the organization has hosted various community engagement initiatives, such as the office cat program, which has successfully integrated cats into corporate environments, enhancing workplace culture and providing animals with loving temporary homes.

For more detailed success stories and examples of their impact, you can visit the Saskatoon SPCA's official website or their available animals page, which highlights their wide range of activities and programs dedicated to animal care and protection.

Do you collaborate with other non-profits, agencies, or businesses to provide programs or resources? How do these collaborations enhance the effectiveness of your programs?

Yes, the Saskatoon SPCA collaborates with various organizations to enhance its programs and extend its reach within the community. These partnerships are crucial for providing comprehensive care and support for animals, and they help maximize the impact of the SPCA's efforts.

  1. Community Businesses and Corporations: Through partnerships with local businesses, the Saskatoon SPCA has been able to host pop-up adoption events and place animals at Satellite Adoption Locations throughout the city, such as Petland, PetSmart, and Pet Valu. These partnerships increase the visibility of animals in need of adoption and facilitate community engagement.
  2. Educational Institutions and Programs: The SPCA collaborates with educational institutions to provide humane education programs. These initiatives educate the public about animal welfare, responsible pet ownership, and the importance of spaying and neutering to control the pet population.
  3. Shelter Medicine Rotations: We collaborate with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine students and Sask Polytechnic Registered Vet Tech students to provide insight and hands on experience in a shelter environment.
  4. Other Rescues Across Canada: The Saskatoon SPCA works with other rescue organizations across Canada, especially in Northern Saskatchewan, to coordinate efforts in animal rescue and rehoming. This regional collaboration ensures that resources are well-utilized and that animals receive the care and exposure they need to find permanent homes.
  5. Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan: The Saskatoon SPCA has a partnership with Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan (APSS), through which they provide care for the province’s most vulnerable animals. This collaboration is essential for addressing cases of neglect and abuse and ensuring that animals receive the necessary protection and rehabilitation.

These collaborations enhance the effectiveness of the Saskatoon SPCA's programs by pooling resources, expanding outreach, and fostering a community-wide approach to animal welfare. Such partnerships not only help in the practical aspects of animal care but also in raising awareness and educating the community, leading to a more informed and compassionate society.

What are any challenges or obstacles your organization has faced? How were they overcome?

The Saskatoon SPCA has faced several significant challenges that have required innovative strategies and substantial community support to overcome:

  1. Intake Challenges: A major ongoing issue has been dealing with the overabundance of animals needing care and shelter. This challenge was particularly pronounced due to their status as an open intake shelter, requiring them to accept all stray animals. The organization has begun transitioning to a managed intake system, which allows for better resource allocation and ensures that they can continue to provide high-quality care to animals most in need.
  2. Running the Pound with Inadequate Funding: For many years, the Saskatoon SPCA operated the pound with insufficient funding, which strained their resources and limited their ability to provide adequate services.
  3. Transition to a New Business Model and Facility: The loss of the pound contract with the City of Saskatoon and focus on their core mission of animal welfare led to a major shift in their business model. This transition included moving to a new facility on short notice, which posed logistical and financial challenges. The organization has navigated this transition by planning strategically, engaging the community for support, and adapting their operations to better fit their new direction.
  4. Economic Challenges in Growing Donor Base: In the face of economic uncertainty, expanding the donor base has been particularly challenging. The Saskatoon SPCA has responded by enhancing their fundraising strategies, such as hosting innovative events, improving online donation platforms, and strengthening relationships with existing donors to ensure a steady flow of support.

Each of these challenges has tested the resilience and adaptability of the Saskatoon SPCA. Through strategic planning, community engagement, and a commitment to their mission, they have managed to navigate these obstacles and continue their vital work in animal welfare and protection.

Do you have a long-term vision or dream for your organization?

The Saskatoon SPCA has ambitious long-term goals for their new facility and the broader scope of their services. Their vision includes completing the backyard of their new facility and renovating the front to better meet their operational needs. Achieving these infrastructure goals will significantly enhance their capacity to serve the community and the animals in their care, but it will require substantial funding from community contributions.

Moreover, the Saskatoon SPCA aspires to become the largest adoption center in Saskatchewan. By expanding their adoption services, they aim to meet the increasing needs of the community and provide more animals with the chance to find loving homes. This expansion will not only improve their facility's functionality but also allow them to broaden the scope of their services, ensuring they can offer more comprehensive support to animals and pet owners alike.

These goals underscore their commitment to animal welfare and community service, setting a clear path toward making a lasting impact on animal care in the region.

How can the community help your organization reach its goals?

The Saskatoon SPCA appreciates a range of support from the community to help reach their goals and further their mission of animal welfare. Here’s how the community can help:

  1. Monetary Donations: Like many charities, monetary donations are a priority for the Saskatoon SPCA. These funds are essential for day-to-day operations, special projects like the renovation of their new facility, and expanding their services. Donations can be made directly on their website or through various fundraising events.
  2. Spay and Neuter Programs: Community members can contribute to reducing pet overpopulation by spaying and neutering their pets. This is crucial for controlling the number of unwanted animals and reducing the strain on rescue organizations like the Saskatoon SPCA.
  3. Amazon Wishlist: The organization maintains an Amazon Wishlist, which lists priority items needed for the care of the animals. Essentials such as puppy and kitten food are always needed, given the high turnover of these young animals in their care.
  4. Supply Donations: The Saskatoon SPCA is always in need of supplies such as toys, leashes, and collars for dogs and cats. These items help improve the quality of life for animals while they await adoption and are greatly appreciated.
  5. Volunteering: Volunteers are the backbone of many of their programs, and there are various ways to get involved, from helping at the shelter to participating in community outreach and educational programs.

By supporting the Saskatoon SPCA in these ways, the community can play a direct role in helping the organization meet its goals and continue providing essential services to animals in need.

What volunteer opportunities are there within your organization? How can individuals or groups get involved and support your organization through volunteering?

The Saskatoon SPCA offers a variety of volunteer opportunities that extend beyond simply interacting with animals. They rely heavily on dedicated volunteers who are ready to engage in the less glamorous but crucial tasks that ensure the daily operation and care of the shelter. Here’s how individuals or groups can get involved:

  1. Kennel and Facility Maintenance: Volunteers are needed for essential tasks such as cleaning kennels, washing dishes, and maintaining the facility. This work is vital to ensuring a sanitary and safe environment for the animals.
  2. Borrowed Buddies Program: This program is critical for the mental well-being of the dogs. Volunteers take dogs out of the shelter environment for short periods, which provides them with essential mental and physical stimulation and reduces their stress.
  3. Fostering: For those who can provide a temporary home to animals, fostering is a deeply impactful way to volunteer. It helps animals get accustomed to a home environment, making them more adoptable.
  4. Event Support: The Saskatoon SPCA often hosts and participates in community events to raise awareness and funds. Volunteers can help organize, set up, and run these events.
  5. Education and Outreach: Volunteers can help with educational programs that teach the community about responsible pet ownership, animal welfare, and more.

To get involved, individuals or groups can visit the Saskatoon SPCA’s website to learn more about the volunteering process, including any training sessions or requirements. They encourage all potential volunteers to apply, offering a range of opportunities to match various interests and capacities. This holistic approach to volunteering ensures that there are roles for those willing to engage in both the demanding and the rewarding aspects of animal welfare.

What about fundraising or donating opportunities?

The Saskatoon SPCA offers various fundraising and donating opportunities that allow the community to support their mission effectively. Here are some of the main ways individuals and organizations can contribute financially:

  1. Monetary Donations: Direct financial contributions can be made through the Saskatoon SPCA's website, which supports their daily operations, animal care, and specific projects like facility upgrades.
  2. Fundraising Events: The organization hosts several events throughout the year. Participating in or sponsoring these events is a great way for individuals and businesses to contribute.
  3. Amazon Wishlist: The Saskatoon SPCA has an Amazon wishlist that includes a variety of items needed for the care of the animals, such as food, toys, and medical supplies. Purchasing items from this list is a direct way to provide tangible support.
  4. Corporate Sponsorships: Businesses can partner with the Saskatoon SPCA as sponsors for events or specific programs. This not only provides the organization with essential funds but also offers publicity and community engagement opportunities for the business.
  5. Planned Giving: Individuals can include the Saskatoon SPCA in their estate planning, which can be a significant way to make a lasting impact.
  6. Membership Programs: Becoming a member of the Saskatoon SPCA is another way to support the organization. Membership fees contribute to ongoing support and members often receive updates and newsletters about the organization’s work.

Each of these opportunities allows the community to play an active role in supporting the Saskatoon SPCA, ensuring they can continue their important work in animal welfare. For more details on how to donate or get involved in fundraising, you can visit their official website.

What is something that you wish more people knew about your organization?

An important aspect of the Saskatoon SPCA that the community might not be aware of is that they do not receive government funding. This means they rely entirely on donations from individuals, corporations, and organizations to operate. This financial model highlights the critical importance of community support in sustaining their services and programs.

The dependence on private donations underscores the need for continuous fundraising efforts and the importance of every contribution, large or small. It also necessitates a strategic approach to maintaining and expanding their donor base to ensure they can continue to provide essential services to animals in need.

Understanding this can help the community see the direct impact of their donations and might encourage more consistent and substantial support to help the Saskatoon SPCA achieve its mission of animal welfare.

If you're interested in supporting or getting involved with Saskatoon SPCA, click below!