Winnipeg Humane Society wants animal welfare issues on the election agenda

The Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) is calling on voters to raise animal welfare concerns with their future councillors and mayor ahead of the city’s election next Wednesday so the concerns can be addressed at city hall.

The WHS sent a survey out to those on its email list and through its social media channels back in August asking Winnipeggers what animal welfare issues they want to see addressed.

WHS found, of the nearly 1,500 people who responded to the survey, 46 per cent want to see the ban on certain dog breeds lifted. Another 22 per cent think the current bylaws aren’t enough to protect animals from abuse and neglect and 16 per cent want the city to address the welfare of feral and roaming cats in Winnipeg.

Jessica Miller, the CEO of the WHS, said in an effort to raise the importance and significance of animal welfare issues, the society also gave tours to as many mayoral and council candidates as possible to give them a better understanding of the humane society.

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

Miller added she understands the future mayor will have a lot of portfolios to manage once they take over at city hall, but the humane society wanted to make sure animals welfare issues are also addressed when needed and that the society has a voice at the table when the decision process starts.

Looking ahead to the next four years, Miller said there are several topics that she and the humane society hope are addressed at city hall.

“We would love to see restrictions on numbers of certain species of animals…we would like to continue managing population control as much as we can. We do that by subsidizing low income spay and neuter surgeries,” said Miller.

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

The Winnipeg Humane Society assists over 10,000 animals annually through a multitude of programs.

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