GUELPH, ON (December 29, 2021) – The Guelph Humane Society (GHS) is reflecting back on a milestone year for the organization, and remembering some of the events and animals that helped to shape 2021. But how can “top stories” be defined? Moving into the new, 18,000 sq. ft. home at 190 Hanlon Creek Blvd. is certainly the highlight of 2021 for GHS, but every person takes with them different memories based on experiences they had throughout the year. For our Animal Care staff, they remember certain animals they spent a lot of time with – or whose outcomes they will never forget.

“An important memory for me in 2021 was when Betsy, our cockapoo, found her family,” says Melissa Stolz, Intake & Behaviour Coordinator at GHS. “She got returned from adopters and fosters a few times because of some difficulties…and eventually her perfect match came along and she’s living like a queen with amazing people.”

For our Development team, their memories from 2021 are quite different as they spend less time with the animals and more time engaging with supporters, and promoting the work that GHS does in the community.

“Two events really stand out to me in 2021,” says Natalie Thomas, Manager of Marketing & Communications at GHS. “One is the bunny crisis. GHS was one of the first organizations to come out publicly and draw attention to the problem. We put out a press release that literally said ‘sound the alarm’. And then other humane societies that we work with and respect started to voice similar concerns. We’ve seen three times the amount of domestic bunnies we normally care for, and this crisis will continue to play out in 2022 as more bunnies needing homes come into our care each week.”

The bunny crisis is one of the top stories of 2021 for animal rescues and shelters across Ontario.

Thomas adds that the second event she remembers from 2021 is the explosion of the (Bad) Pet Portraits fundraiser.

“Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to be that popular,” Thomas admits. “I was definitely wrong! People were so excited to purchase their (bad) pet portraits, drawn by our Directors. All of the feedback was positive, and the media coverage kept growing as the event went on. We ended up on CBC News: The National one night, talking about our (Bad) Pet Portraits. That’s a big deal!”

Of course, what staff consider the top stories of 2021 and what the public considers the top stories are very different things. On the GHS Facebook page, the top three posts of 2021 were:

  1. Video: Pixie the dog learns to walk on three legs (April 2021)
  2. Open letter to community regarding a sick cat left at the GHS door (September 2021)
  3. Reminder to leave fawns alone as they could die from the stress of human handling/capture myopathy (May 2021)

On Instagram, the most liked posts of the year were all about dogs finding their #HappyTails! The top three most liked photos of the year were:

  1. Allie, the Great Dane, going home (April 2021)
  2. Toug (formerly Nova), a young German Shepherd, enjoying life with his new family (December 2021)
  3. Lucy, the young coonhound, going home (April 2021)
    Allie the Great Dane going home was our most liked picture on Instagram in 2021.

From the big move in March to 190 Hanlon Creek Blvd., to a cross-border transfer of dogs from Texas, to broadcasting a live 2-hour television variety show…2021 was a year full of firsts. GHS is grateful to celebrate all of these triumphs with its supporters and community. Here’s to more firsts and more Happy Tails in 2022!





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.


Follow GHS:

Facebook: @guelphhumanesociety

Twitter: @guelphhumane

Instagram: @the_ghs


Media Contact

Natalie Thomas

Manager, Marketing and Communications

Guelph Humane Society