GUELPH, ON (June 1, 2022) – Guelph Humane Society (GHS) is celebrating Seniors Month in Ontario this June with the commencement of their new Senior Support program.

Senior Support offers no-cost boarding services for the pets of older adults in Guelph and Wellington County who require hospitalization and face financial restraints. The launch of this new program is thanks to a two-year, $55,000 grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada™, geared towards expanding the Guelph Humane Society’s GHS Cares programs being offered in the community.

“There has been so much focus in recent years on the importance of the human-animal bond particularly for older adults who are more likely to experience loneliness or social isolation,” says Katherine Leonard, Community Programs & Outreach Coordinator with GHS. “Unfortunately, when an older adult is hospitalized or requires medical care, if there are no friends or family able to assist and there are financial challenges, there are limited options available. We never want to think of someone in the community delaying necessary medical care because they do not have somewhere for their pets to go, which is how Senior Support came to be.”

Older adults in Guelph or Wellington County who require hospitalization will qualify for Senior Support. The program is not just limited to cats and dogs. Although cats and dogs will likely account for most of the needs for care, no-cost boarding services can be provided for any pets for up to eight weeks, with boarding typically offered in a foster home as opposed to the shelter setting.

Those who need help with their pets are encouraged to reach out to GHS at 519-824-3091 to discuss how help can be provided. Leonard anticipates most of the Senior Support clients will be referred to GHS through community agencies.

“For so many seniors, their pets are sole sources of companionship,” said Kate Atema, Director of Community Grants at PetSmart Charities of Canada. “We’re proud to lend our support for this innovative program that promises peace of mind for pet parents – and a warm welcome home from a hospital stay.”

“We anticipate that clients will be referred to us by a medical professional who has identified that an extended hospital stay is needed and knows that there will be a pet left behind at home,” explains Leonard. “A community referral is always preferred, but not mandatory. However, we will require that an Elder Care Specialist or Social Worker at the treating hospital be involved with the client to help facilitate communication with us if needed.”

While the goal of Senior Support is to allow older adults in the community to receive medical care without having to surrender their pets or delay necessary care, there is so much potential to expand the services being offered in the future.

To learn more about the GHS Cares programs, head to To donate to the Senior Support and other GHS Cares programs, make an online donation


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


Katherine Leonard

Community Programs & Outreach Coordinator

Guelph Humane Society


About PetSmart Charities of Canada™ PetSmart Charities of Canada is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the country, PetSmart Charities of Canada helps thousands of pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities of Canada also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter, and emergency relief. Each year, thousands of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities of Canada directly at, while shopping at, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities of Canada efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in Canada, granting more than $25 million since its inception in 1999. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities of Canada is a registered Canadian charity. To learn more visit


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