FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Stouffville, ON (March 5, 2018) – A lack of basic animal welfare services has created an abundance of dogs in northern Canada who need resources, support and ultimately families.

The Year of the Northern Dog is a program aimed at bringing awareness, attention and action to a serious animal welfare issue in Canada – Northern dog overpopulation.
In response to many caring and compassionate Northern communities, the Ontario SPCA and its partners have developed a network of individuals, organizations and communities aimed at bringing awareness to the issue and working alongside Northern communities with a common goal – to save dogs’ lives.

In remote Northern communities, resources and access to animal welfare services, such as veterinarians and spay/neuter services, are often limited. Even getting supplies to many of these communities comes with obstacles, as many are accessed by air only. Extreme winter weather also complicates the delivery of supplies and services.

“Many barriers exist in the North that do not exist in the South, and everyone has a role to play in creating a healthy community for dogs and people,” says Daryl Vaillancourt, Senior Director, Humane Programs & Community Outreach, Ontario SPCA. “The Year of the Northern Dog is an evolving initiative that will support programs and raise awareness by providing information and resources for individuals, organizations and communities. We invite you to join us in helping provide urgently needed care and homes for Northern dogs.”

How the public can make a difference:

Learn about pet overpopulation in the North and tell others – spread the word via social media channels. #YearOfTheNorthernDog #SupportTheNorth
Donate much-needed funds, supplies or resources to a program partner.
Adopt a Northern Dog. Sign up to receive e-blasts when Northern dogs become available.
Volunteer to become a volunteer driver, a volunteer dog walker, or volunteer with your unique skills.


For more information, visit


Media Contact:
Melissa Kosowan
Ontario SPCA

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:

Protecting animals since 1873, the Ontario SPCA is Ontario's animal welfare organization. A registered charity, the Society is comprised of close to 50 Communities.

Since 1919, when Ontario's first animal welfare legislation was proclaimed, the Ontario SPCA, with the help of its Communities, has been entrusted to maintain and enforce animal welfare legislation. The Act provides Ontario SPCA agents and inspectors with police powers to do so.

The Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations, including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education & Animal Centre.

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Charitable Business Number 88969 1044 RR0002