Like everyone around us, the Windsor/ Essex County Humane Society has been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For a while, adoptions and all other non-essential programs were cancelled, and our spay/neuter clinic was closed.  But now, as the Provincial Government takes the first steps in reopening, our team has been working very hard developing a measured plan to restart services in a way that keeps everyone involved safe. This includes staff, volunteers, and members of the public. Like the Provincial Government, our plan also works in stages, prioritizing services based on the community’s need for them as well as the risk in opening them.  

As of May 16, the following services and procedures are in place: 

  • We continue to be available 24 hours a day to answer your questions or respond to urgent situations. Call us at 519-966-5751. 
  • As always, we remain available for urgent intakes of sick/ injured stray animals, sick/ injured/ orphaned wildlife, stray dogs, or situations where protective care is required. We have also now opened up intake of healthy stray kittens as well.  Kittens should be left with their mom until they are at least 7 weeks old (not sure how old a kitten is?  Check here) Please note that ALL intakes are by appointment. Please call 519-966-5751 if you have found an animal and need to bring them in.
  • We are now accepting non-urgent owner surrendered animals.  ALL intakes are by appointment. Please call 519-966-5751 to book an appointment to surrender your pet.  
  • If you have lost your pet, we encourage you to view found stray dogs and cats online. If you believe that your pet is here, please contact us at 519-966-5751 to get more information or to book a time to come claim them.
  • Adoptions are taking place through a reduced contact process.  Our Adoption Centre remains closed to browsing, but all available animals are posted on our web site.  An application can be submitted online, and an appointment scheduled to come and meet your animal and take them home.
  • Services are once again open at our public spay/neuter clinic. As expected, appointments have been filling quickly. Please note that appointments are required for all surgeries, including community cats.  For more information or to book an appointment please call 519-966-1118.
  • All events, volunteer programs (other than foster volunteers), pet loss meetings, and humane education programming remain on hold. 
  • At present, we are not routinely moving all incoming animals to foster homes. However, it is kitten season, and we are always looking for people willing to foster moms and kittens, weaned kittens without moms, and bottle baby kittens.  To sign up to foster please sign up here
  • With foot traffic resuming at the Humane Society, we once again welcome you to drop off donations of pet food, cleaning supplies, cat carriers, traps, and clean large towels.  To help keep our visitor numbers manageable, we are asking that you continue to hold off on donations of blankets, metal dog crates, and newspapers. Donations can also be made online at http://windsorhumane.org/donate-now-2/.

What steps is the Humane Society taking to ensure everyone’s safety? 

The health and safety of our animals and the community continues to be our highest priority.  A number of measures have been implemented to help ensure everyone’s safety, including:

· Physical changes like plexiglass barriers and floor markers, as well as a separate waiting area for adopters and fosters with medical appointments.  

· Staggering intake and appointments times to maintain a safe volume of customers and staff and support physical distancing

· Regular disinfecting of all high touch surfaces

· Face coverings mandatory for all adopters/ clinic clients and staff working with those customers due to the reduced ability to physically distance.  If you don’t have one we have them available for purchase

· Tap payment for debit or credit transactions under $100 and increased ability to pre-pay by phone prior to your visit

· Staff are regularly asked to self-assess their own risk and stay home if they are ill, and clients and customers are also asked to stay home if they have risk factors.  

Can I catch the virus from my pet or vice versa? 

Continue to love your pets!  There have been a few cases where cats or dogs living with people who had the virus tested positive, but all are believed to be human to animal transmission. There have not been any reports of transmission from a companion animal to a person, despite a widespread international pandemic.  If you have COVID-19 and have been around your pets, out of caution it’s recommended that you keep your pets inside and away from other people as long as you have the ability to continue to care for them. This will not only prevent the remote risk of them carrying the virus outside the home, but allows both of you to continue to comfort each other.  For a great resource on pets and COVID-19 visit: https://www.wormsandgermsblog.com

How can I prepare now in case I get sick?

It is important to have a plan in place for all members of your household to respond to any emergency, including illness. In addition to preparations typically recommended for any natural disaster threat, have a plan for what would happen if you become ill and need to be hospitalized. Consider what provisions and pet supplies you would need for you and your pet if you were quarantined for an extended period of time, and also consider who would assist if you needed to find temporary alternate housing for your pet should you become unable to care for them. If you aren’t feeling well but are still able to provide care for your pet, please keep them at home with you where they’re most comfortable.

Pet owners should always have a “pet preparedness plan” in case of emergencies. That includes:

  • Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
  • Name and contact information for your back-up in case your go-to is no longer able to help
  • Food, treats, a leash, a couple of toys, and any other supplies necessary to care for your pet for at least two weeks
  • A crate or carrier to transport your pet
  • Vaccination records
  • Collars with ID tags (and don’t forget to make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date)
  • Medications and prescriptions, along with a list of instructions
  • Daily care instructions (here is a great sample)
  • Contact information for your veterinary clinic


We wanted to give a major shout out and thank you to Jeannie, a wonderful women who donated hand made masks AND bird nests to our staff at the humane society. THANK YOU for helping us keep our staff as safe as possible, and for helping the birds with these adorable little nests!



Wow, it’s almost hard to remember back when people just stopped in to our adoption centre for a visit! We miss you guys! Although it’s a bit late, we want to send a HUGE thank you to all these awesome folks who stopped in with donations for our furry friends and even treats for staff before the world flipped upside-down. We couldn’t be more grateful for our generous community who helps us care for animals in need!



By Andy French, CPDT-KA. Andy is a member of the Humane Society’s Pet Behaviour Team

With this tragic pandemic going on and most people staying safe at home, it means our furry pals get to spend much more time with us, which I’m sure they are absolutely thrilled about! That being said, once this is all over and people go back to their normal routine and leave the home for longer days, our dogs may have an increase in stress and anxiety due to drastic change in routine, and being away from the person they spent weeks to months with daily. 

I can’t help but wonder how many of our companions will develop some level of separation anxiety throughout this crisis, and I think it’s crucial we ensure during this time, with having time during the day, we are working on reducing the chances of that happening. Underneath I have some tips for owners to practice at home, and I have also included some links for more info on separation anxiety, fun activities you can do with your dog, puzzle toys, and much more to check out!

-Practice keeping things routine. Feed your dog at the same times, walk them like you normally do, give them their own time, and leave the house a couple times a day (even to sit outside or walk down the street and around the block) and return. Ensure when you leave and return that you keep things calm, cool, and collected so your dog doesn’t get anxious. 

-Watch how much time you’re spending with your dog. Obviously cuddling and spending time with them during the day is absolutely okay and necessary, but just be cautious of how much they seem to be with you and ensure they are spending time doing things alone as well (see the links below for ideas).

-Use that crate!! Turn it into a fun experience! The crate can be so beneficial for a dog for so many reasons. Turning the crate into a fun game creates a great association with it, and the ‘crate’ cue becomes something very positive and valuable to follow. You can even make it more challenging by practicing the ‘crate’ cue farther away from the crate, starting just a couple feet away, then adding in more distance. How impressive would it be if you could cue your dog to enter their crate by running into it from another room!

-Practice a solid ‘stay’ indoors and work on increasing your distance and duration from your dog. Stay is so helpful to teach a dog patience and self control, as well as teaching them that being away from you is actually a positive experience. Check out this video for info about how to teach your dog to ‘stay’. 

-Use a kong and stuff it with a very special treat, and try and only use this treat for when you’re leaving. Stuff it with just a little, just enough for your dog to get through while you step out. Peanut butter is fine but make sure ingredients are free of Xylitol. Give it to your dog and then step out of the house for a little bit. When returning, if your dog is still working on their kong, call them away from it for some treats or toss a few valuable treats far away from them and their kong and remove it once they walk away from it to get the treats. Redirect them to do something else like play with a toy or do a small training session, so they aren’t looking for the Kong after they walk away from it and you remove it. Ideally you will have stuffed enough inside that they will be done with it by the time you come in the door. Save that special treat for your next departure. The goal is for the dog to know they only get this special treat when you leave, making your departure very valuable. 
*Please never force the Kong away from your dog. If your dog has any kind of posession issues with resources, please see here.

-Ensure you aren’t accidentally rewarding anxious, needy behaviours. Without realizing it, we as owners tend to give into our dogs demanding behaviours and then question why this behaviour keeps happening or has gotten worse. Well if your dog is constantly jumping on you for attention, barking at you for attention, whatever the pushy behaviour may be, if you give attention for these things (even eye contact is a form of attention), then the behaviour will keep arising.  If you’re noticing your dog is giving off demanding behaviours, try and be sure it is truly due to attention seeking (as dogs bark for many different reasons) and be sure to ignore it and not give in. The best course of action is giving a dog rewards for being calm or ‘saying please’ for things (Say Please Program is great to practice, link is attached). Ensure you are giving them the proper mental and physical stimulation each day, so they are getting the appropriate outlets and attention they need, hopefully reducing the chances of seeking it in inappropriate ways.

For more tips and info check out:

10 Brain Games to Play with Your Dog

6 DIY Food Puzzles with Materials You Already Have

6 Crate Training Games to Play with Your Dog

How to Teach Your Dog to Settle (video)

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Helping Your Dog Survive During A Quarantine (from the New York Times)

Need more guidance? Andy is offering free online consultations to help you and your pet make it through the pandemic. Visit her site for more info.



The Windsor/ Essex County Humane Society understands and shares the concerns of our community regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). We continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving situation and take the threat very seriously. As a result, we are taking the following preventative measures to ensure the health and safety of the animals in our care, our staff, volunteers and the community we serve.
Effective March 18, the Humane Society building will be temporarily closed to the public, except by appointment. This change will impact our services in the following ways: 

  • We continue to be available 24 hours a day to answer your questions, or respond to urgent situations. Call us at 519-966-5751.
  • We remain available for urgent intakes of sick or injured animals, stray dogs, or situations where protective care is required. To help ensure that we can focus on the animals most in need, we ask that if you find a stray dog, you walk them around to see if the owner is looking before bringing them in. Please note that ALL intakes are by appointment. Please call 519-966-5751 if you have found an animal who needs assistance.
  • Except in genuine emergencies, we will NOT be accepting owner surrendered animals at this time. 
  • If you have lost your pet, we encourage you to view found stray dogs and cats online (http://windsorhumane.org/lost-and-found/i-lost-my-pet/). If you believe that your pet is here, please contact us at 519-966-5751 to book a time to come and claim them.
  • As of March 21, adoptions have been temporarily placed on hold. We are not able to accept new adoption applications at this time. 
  • All services at our public spay/neuter clinic are discontinued. Any appointments already booked will be rescheduled. 
  • All events, volunteer programs (other than foster volunteers), and humane education programming have been put on hold. 
  • We are overcome with gratitude for the massive response from people wanting to foster an animal during this crisis. With hundreds of offers that have come in over the past week we are not able to accept more applications at this time. Our Foster Coordinator is working as quickly as possible to process all the current offers and get as many animals as possible into foster homes.
  • While we normally welcome you to stop by with items to donate, at this time we are trying to reduce all unnecessary foot traffic for our staff’s safety. Please hold off bringing items to donate, or consider a donation from our Amazon wish list that will be delivered directly to the shelter. https://www.amazon.ca/registry/wishlist/2TU4DNN1O45F8 


The health and safety of our animals and the community continues to be our highest priority; therefore, we will regularly monitor the situation and keep you updated as we know more.

We encourage you to regularly visit www.windsorhumane.org and our Facebook and Twitter sites for the latest updates regarding our closure and future plans to reopen to the public.  

Can I catch the virus from my pet or vice versa? 

Continue to love your pets!  The  World Health Organization has advised that “There is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs could spread the virus that causes COVID-19.”  There have been a few cases where pets living with people who had the virus tested positive, but all are believed to be human to animal transmission. If you have COVID-19 and have been around your pets, out of caution it’s recommended that you keep your pets inside and away from other people as long as you have the ability to continue to care for them. This will not only prevent the remote risk of them carrying the virus outside the home, but allows both of you to continue to comfort each other.

How can I prepare now in case I get sick?

It is important to have a plan in place for all members of your household to respond to any emergency, including illness. In addition to preparations typically recommended for any natural disaster threat, have a plan for what would happen if you become ill and need to be hospitalized. Consider what provisions and pet supplies you would need for you and your pet if you were quarantined for an extended period of time, and also consider who would assist if you needed to find temporary alternate housing for your pet should you become unable to care for them. If you aren’t feeling well but are still able to provide care for your pet, please keep them at home with you where they’re most comfortable.

Pet owners should always have a “pet preparedness plan” in case of emergencies. That includes:

  • Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
  • Name and contact information for your back-up in case your go-to is no longer able to help
  • Food, treats, a leash, a couple of toys, and any other supplies necessary to care for your pet for at least two weeks
  • A crate or carrier to transport your pet
  • Vaccination records
  • Collars with ID tags (and don’t forget to make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date)
  • Medications and prescriptions, along with a list of instructions
  • Daily care instructions
  • Contact information for your veterinary clinic


This fine young man is Gavin and he just celebrated his 7th birthday! He very generously asked for presents for the animals instead of himself, and stopped by today with lots of gifts for the shelter residents. Thank you Gavin, you have a wonderful big heart!



These two wonderful young men collected donations from their birthdays. Today they brought in their donations, and even brought along their WECHS Alumni Gus the guinea pig along to say thanks as well!



Kaline came into the Humane Society today with a wonderful donation. For his 6th birthday he asked all his friends and family to donate and he raised $155.00!!! Kaline decided to do this to honor his late dog, Windsor Police K9 Aron, who just recently passed away. Kaline you ROCK!



Our friends at Nature Canada’s Cats & Birds program wrote an article to share some information about how to give your indoor cat a taste of the great outdoors.

With more information being made available regarding the many dangers that an outdoor cat faces, those of us who have cats need to make a decision on how to provide the necessary stimulation to our feline friends while keeping them safe.

The main reason why a cat would desire to go outside is to fulfill its need for stimulation that is not being met indoors. While there are many options for indoor stimulation, such as installing scratching posts, playing with toys, providing platforms or even adopting a second cats, there is also a way where a cat owner can combine the safety and protection of the indoors with the stimulation of nature outside. 

One of the most popular options these days for cats to experience the sights and sounds of the great outdoors, while keeping them from harm’s way and at the same time protecting the native wildlife around us, are Catios – basically enclosed patios for, you guessed it, cats! Gone are the days where Catios were considered to be overly priced and only delegated to the “crazy cat people”. Nowadays, they are being used by cat owners of all kinds to ensure the safety and stimulation of their feline family members.

From the numerous companies making affordable yet intricate designs, to the many DIY designs available online, the options available are as abundant as the type of cats we have in our homes! Not every Catio has to be an extravagant construction project, some are small and quaint – and they all meet the same requirements of providing access to the outdoors without risk. Catios can be attached to the frame of a window or a door, could be attached via a tunnel or be a free-standing structure that you carry your cat out to! It could include as many accessories you like (think ramps, cat-safe plants, scratching posts and perches) or it could be a simple fence that prevents your cat from going anywhere beyond the assigned boundaries.

If you are planning on leaving your cat in an enclosure for some time, then it is a good idea to provide a litterbox and some water. With advancements in pet research and more products and DIY kits being made available to pet cat owners, there is hardly an excuse left to let your furry friends roam the outdoors unsupervised.

To learn more about how you can Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives, visit: www.catsandbirds.ca

To read more about the benefits of Catios and outdoor enclosures, or to learn which organizations provide Catios, or to create your own DIY Catio, visit: https://catsandbirds.ca/research/cat-enclosures-and-catios/

If you acquire help in turning your outdoor cat to a safer, happier indoor cat, read our tips to transitioning at: https://catsandbirds.ca/research/tips-for-transitioning/



Windsor and Essex County Veterinary Teams are once again joining forces for an all February long promotion!

All month long you can book an appointment with any of the veterinary clinics or hospitals listed above and have your dog or cat seen for only $50 + tax!

Visits will include, for eligible pets only, a brief exam, rabies vaccine, and DA2PP/FVRCP vaccine.

Call today to book an appointment and help keep your furry friend safe!