Monday, 18 June 2012

The New Etobicoke Humane at 67 Six Points Road

The new Etobicoke Humane shelter (EHS) is more of a haven for homeless cats and dogs than a traditional shelter, with its poor lost animals lined up in small cages.  EHS has recently moved into its own detached building in central Etobicoke, easily accessed by car or TTC (bus from Islington or Kipling subway).  It has several separate rooms, so that there can be a room for every important purpose.  The kittens, for example, have their own “kitten room” full of climbers, toys, and soft beds.  Cats can be quarantined  until they are free of contagious conditions such as upper respiratory infection.  Cats in need of greater socialization before being adopted can be separated from the others.
There is space for dogs – something that the old, small shelter completely lacked.  And the dogs can be walked outside.There are no stairs for the public and shelter volunteers to climb.The building is accessed from street level, and is entirely on one floor. And, to make the cats and dogs even more comfortable and happy – the “cages” are enclosures 10 x 10 feet.  The cats have space for playing with their many toys and climbers, for sleeping on soft cat beds, for roaming about, for playing with one another.  One very dedicated young man, who has exceptional love for .and understanding of, animals, walks the cats on leashes. What a pleasure to adopt a cat who will accept a leash!  Like all the shelter volunteers, this helper goes far beyond  physical care of his charges; he socializes them and showers them with human love.

One amusing and touching story, made possible by the non-cages set up, is the friendship between Kramer, a Siamese male, and his best friend Brooke, a 3 month old female.  Brooke decided that she did not want to stay in the kitten room.  When she emerged from it and mixed with the older cats, she discovered Kramer. Whenever Brooke was returned to the kitten room, she would meow and meow so piteously for Kramer that the shelter people would just have to let her go back to him! Kramer decided to love her in return.  They have become inseparable, and, fortunately, the volunteer who chose to adopt Kramer is taking Brooke along with him.  In fact, contrary to commonly held belief, cats like companions of their own kind just as humans do.

EHS has many volunteers who foster cats and dogs, kittens and puppies.  The foster parents perform very valuable tasks, often looking after young kittens and puppies, and socializing them, and often looking after animals who need medical help. When I visited the kitten room one day, all 6 kittens wanted to be on my lap at once.  They had been well socialized to accept humans as their friends!

Licensed cruelty investigators working for EHS are, unfortunately, very much needed.  Often, they bring many animals at one time into the shelter, animals rescued from abusive and/or hoarding situations.  The new shelter can provide for these emergencies now that it has space and separate areas.

EHS does such great work for Etobicoke that I can only provide a short sketch here.  Their website is  Look for their sweet animals waiting for forever homes, and for their open house details of June 23.

Yeaaah – way to go, Etobicoke!

Lynda Nanders
AAC and EHS volunteer

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