Animal Conservation

Winnipeg Humane Society wants animal welfare issues on election agenda

The Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) is calling on voters to raise their animal welfare concerns with their future councilors and mayors ahead of next Wednesday’s municipal election so concerns can be addressed at City Hall.

The WHS sent out a survey to people on its mailing list and through its social media channels in August, asking Winnipeggers what animal welfare issues they wanted to see addressed.

WHS found that of the approximately 1,500 people who responded to the survey, 46% want the ban on certain breeds of dogs to be lifted. Another 22 per cent think current bylaws are not enough to protect animals from abuse and neglect and 16 per cent want the city to look after the welfare of feral and stray cats in Winnipeg.

Jessica Miller, CEO of WHS, said that in an effort to highlight the importance and significance of animal welfare issues, the company has also held tours with as many mayoral and council candidates as possible to give them a better understanding of human society.

“People love their animals, and even people who don’t have animals care about animal welfare,” Miller said. “In terms of the election, the Winnipeg Humane Society was interested in what the candidates had to say about animal welfare.”

Miller added that she understands the future mayor will have a lot of wallets to manage once he takes up his post at City Hall, but the humane society wanted to make sure animal welfare issues are also addressed when needed and that the company has a voice at the table when the decision-making process begins.

Looking ahead to the next four years, Miller said there are several topics she and the Humane Society hope will be discussed at City Hall.

“We would like to see restrictions on the numbers of certain species of animals…we would like to continue to manage population control as much as possible. We do this by subsidizing low-income neutering and neutering surgeries,” said said Miller.

“We would love to have that seat at the table to be able to discuss (topics) in full to make sure the animal is fully represented, the community is safe and all of those things have been thought through.”

The Winnipeg Humane Society helps over 10,000 animals each year through a multitude of programs.