GUELPH, ON (January 31, 2021) – In late 2019, the Guelph Humane Society (GHS) received a $35,000 grant from PetSmart Charities Canada to support efforts to increase the adoptability of dogs. The grant, called Helping More Dogs Successfully Find Homes, provided the GHS Intake and Behaviour Coordinator the resources needed to develop a more thorough and comprehensive behaviour assessment for dogs coming into the shelter. This new assessment allows for more successful matching with adopters, and also helps to identify areas adopters could work on with their new family member to set them up for success.

The GHS Intake and Behaviour Coordinator assesses the behaviour of all dogs who arrive at GHS, and then develops a plan to address behavioural challenges for dogs who need extra help. This often includes positive training and behaviour modification to better prepare dogs for adoption.

“This grant has had a huge impact on our organization’s ability to better prepare dogs for adoption,” says Lisa Veit, Associate Director of GHS. “And this enhanced assessment will become even more vital after we move into our new location. With more space, bigger dog runs with indoor-outdoor access, better noise control and more space to play and train, our new facility will better address shelter stress and better support dogs with behavioural issues.”

Ethel is rewarded with a treat for good behaviour by Melissa Stolz, Intake & Behaviour Coordinator at GHS.

The new GHS building at 190 Hanlon Creek Boulevard is an 18,000 sq. ft. facility on nearly three acres of land. The increase in space will allow more dogs with behavioural challenges to receive consistent and direct training from the coordinator onsite.

Due to challenges surrounding physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the GHS Intake and Behaviour Coordinator was also able to adapt and expand these new assessment tools, protocols and resources to support the behaviour program delivery from home – as many of the cats and dogs in the care of GHS have been placed into foster care throughout the pandemic.

Another challenge (and success) was the surrender of 105 cats from one single home in January 2020. While this grant focused on dogs, cats can also require behavioural assessment and training. Of the 105 cats that arrived at GHS, 100 of them received behaviour support while in foster and 40 received post-adoption behavioural support – all made possible because of the generous grant from PetSmart Charities Canada.

“We are pleased to support GHS in helping more pets find their way to loving homes,” said Charlotte Palmer, adoption grants manager at PetSmart Charities. “The resources that GHS provides homeless and surrendered pets not only gives them the best chance at adoption, but also remain with people who value the human-animal bond.”

With GHS moving into their new building for early Spring 2021, the Intake and Behaviour Coordinator will continue to work with dogs and improve their adoptability. What started out as one-year grant will have an impact on the lives of dogs (and cats) in Guelph and Wellington County for years to come.




About the Guelph Humane Society

The Guelph Humane Society advocates for all animals, and in particular those animals whose lives it can influence, through care, education, community support, protection, and leadership. Founded in 1893, the Guelph Humane Society provides care and shelter for approximately 3,000 homeless, stray, injured and abused animals each year in Guelph and Wellington County. GHS is a registered charitable, non-profit organization that does not receive government funding. Visit to discover more.


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Media Contact

Natalie Thomas

Manager, Marketing and Communications

Guelph Humane Society