Q: Is SHC a rescue or shelter?
A: Neither, Second Hope Circle helps people and pets stay together through humane education, community programs and financial aid. We provide services to help people and pets stay together, reduce the number of animals entering shelters and share resources and information with those that need it most.

Q: Why do we use the term ‘guardian’ instead of ‘owner’ throughout the website?                A: It’s an important distinction because animals are not objects. By using the term ownership we inadvertently imply that an animal is no more important than a piece of furniture. A guardian is one who defends and protects but does not control or dictate. We make decisions for our pets everyday, just as we do for our children. We do not own children; we care for them. Unfortunately the laws in Ontario and throughout the world generally see animals as no more than objects that we can do with as we will. When you start thinking of yourself as a guardian you’ll find your perspective shifts. Want to talk about this concept more? We’d love to!

Q: Will you help me re-home my pet?
A: We will do everything in our power to do the best for you and your pet. We first work with you to see if there is anyway we can help you and your pet stay together. We do not pass judgement and understand there are sometimes unavoidable situations. We can direct you to the shelters and rescues closest to your area (in Ontario) so that you may get in touch with them. Check out our page about one on one consultations and remember to provide your general location. SHC does not courtesy post animals on our website.

Q: Will you help me find a pet to adopt?
A: Yes! Second Hope Circle would love to help you find your furry best friend (within Ontario)! Please contact us and let us know your general location and what species (cat, dog, bunny, horse etc.). You will then receive a list of rescues and shelters within your area as well as their contact info. We hope you’ll come back and tell us all about your new family member!

Q: I want to spay/neuter/microchip/vaccinate my pet but I can’t afford it… can you help?
A: We will try! We have a list of spay/neuter/microchip clinics in Ontario and will hopefully be able to direct you to one located close to you. Check out the Pet Financial Factsheet for more information or email us for the most up to date information. There are not a lot of clinics in Ontario and especially not in Northern Ontario, we wish we could change this but right now we don’t have the resources. If there are no clinics near you, we will direct you to animal organizations near you, they may have a program or know a local vet clinic that can help.

Q: My pet needs an expensive surgery and I can’t afford it… help?
A: We will try! We have a list of organizations that help pet guardians with veterinary costs. We also have a list of fundraising ideas that you may be able to utilize. Check out the Pet Financial Factsheet for more information or email us for the most up to date information. We also offer financial assistance on a case by case basis.

Q: My pet is missing… what do I do?
A: Please see our lost/found pet resources page for a list of websites that post pets in Ontario. You can also contact us for even more organizations. We encourage you to put up posters (Helping Lost Pets generates a poster when you put your pet on their website) in your neighbourhood, pet stores, vet clinics and other public spaces (grocery stores, library etc.) Consider posting an ad in your local paper. You can contact us for even more ideas. If your pet has special needs we will courtesy post them on our Facebook page.

Q: I want to volunteer with animals, will you help me?
A: Yes! Let us know what kind of things you would be interested in doing and your general location and we’ll send you a list of places you can volunteer!

Q: What are some of the easiest or most important ways I can help pets?
A: There are so many things you can do that it’s hard to point to just a few. Most organizations will tell you that fixing your pets is THE most important thing. We think this may be the second most important. First on our list is committing to fostering and/or adopting pets from your local animal shelter or rescue. Fostering is an amazing way to help pets in your community and can reduce the number of healthy adoptable pets that are killed every year in shelters. Spaying and neutering as mentioned above. Another great way to help is by listing your pets on Helping Lost Pets so that if they go missing you can quickly spring into action, notifying your surrounding neighbours, clinics and organizations. You can also sign up to receive notifications of lost pets in your area! On average only 3% of cats found as strays find their owners again**. If the number of cats finding their way home increased, the number of pets in shelters would decrease! Microchip your pet, keep pets inside or on a leash and always check in with local shelters every single day that your pet is missing.

Q: Can I volunteer for Second Hope Circle?
A: Yes! We re happy to have all the help we can get! Please note that the majority of our volunteer jobs are online based. This means you will require reliable internet access and will not be working directly with animals. We want to make sure you have a great experience so we will work hard to find a volunteer job that suits your skills and interests. Jobs could include helping update social media, planning/hosting a fundraiser, helping to advertise, using your artistic talents, website skills, and more! Contact us to get started.

Q: Is there anything else I can do to help animals?
A: There are so many easy ways to help animals in your community and around the world. We have information about volunteering with a nonprofit organization or Second Hope Circle. There are SO many organizations looking for assistance the opportunities for you are endless! One of the most powerful ways to help animals is to go vegan. Sounds easier said than done and you may have some concerns about it. Luckily we can direct you to some amazing resources and delicious recipes to get you started. The average vegan saves many animals every single year and this choice also helps people and the environment.


**This statistic is from personal communication with local animal shelters. In fact, the Canadian Federation of Humane Society states that less than 1% of cats are returned to their guardian after entering a shelter. This is from the Cats in Canada Report published in 2012. http://cfhs.ca/athome/cat_overpopulation_crisis/


Page last updated August 2018.