MONTREAL (May 4, 2020) — As COVID-19 continues to severely impact peoples’ lives, Humane Society International/Canada and Friends of HSI have launched the COVID-19 Animal Response Program in Quebec in collaboration with the City of Montreal, with the generous support of PetSmart Charities of Canada. The program will provide critical assistance to families and individuals in urgent need of help in caring for their companion animals during this crisis. Specifically, the program will:

  • Deliver companion animal food and supplies to seniors, people with limited mobility and individuals dealing with illness or reduced income.
  • Provide emergency sheltering and care for animals temporarily separated from their caregivers as a result of the pandemic. This includes people who are experiencing homelessness or facing precarious housing situations, as well as individuals dealing with health complications or hospitalization.
  • Provide emergency animal transportation to veterinary clinics and help to source life-saving medication and treatments for animals living with health issues.
  • Provide cages, food and bowls for animals of people who are experiencing homelessness and displaced people who are quarantined in hotels as they await the results of their COVID-19 testing.

Émilie Sauvé, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, stated: “This pandemic will have profound and far reaching impacts on animal welfare, such as projected increases in abandonment and street animal populations. More than half of homes in Quebec include a companion animal and—as people face lost incomes, illness and restrictions on movement—many of those animals will be at risk. Our COVID-19 Animal Response Program will help keep people and their companion animals together during these challenging times.”

“As an organization dedicated to supporting pets and the people who love them, PetSmart Charities of Canada remains committed to the health and wellness of pets during this unprecedented time, and our hearts go out to those impacted by COVID-19,” said Dani LaGiglia, regional relationship manager at the national charity. “As needs continue to evolve, we are proud to support HSI/Canada in providing much needed resources to those in need in Montreal and communities throughout Quebec during this pandemic.”

HSI/Canada and Friends of HSI are grateful for the incredible generosity of Rolf C. Hagen Inc., Kane Veterinary Supplies, The Great Canadian Dog Food and True Pure Choice companies, whose donations of pet food will help countless animals in the coming weeks.

Members of the Quebec/Montreal public impacted by COVID-19 and in need of urgent assistance in caring for their companion animals are encouraged to reach out by email at or by phone at 438-680-3425.

The HSI/Canada and Friends of HSI COVID-19 Animal Response Program will provide similar services in Ontario as well as support to Quebec First Nations communities.

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