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WINNIPEG, September – The Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) celebrated balancing its 2017/18 business year at its annual general meeting on September 12. The shelter announced numerous achievements, including finding homes for 3,896 animals. It attributed additional successes to progressive changes implemented in several departments and programs.

“Three years ago we made a commitment to become one of the most progressive and successful shelters in North America, and I am proud to say, we are on our way to achieving this,” said Javier Schwersensky, WHS CEO.

In 2017 the WHS implemented the Capacity for Care model, which changed the way the society accepts, houses, and cares for cats, ultimately leading to better health and welfare for all animals that come into WHS care.

The shelter reported the following milestones from the past year:

  • A dramatic reduction in shelter URI (cat cold) – over 77% fewer cases
  • The number of cat euthanasias dropped by more than 62% compared to 3 years ago
  • The WHS created and implemented new programs, including Care to Adopt and Care to Re-Home, and expanded the Barn Buddies program into a Warehouse Cats program
  • The WHS launched the Welcome Home Program, which connects adopters to a veterinarian
  • The behaviour department overhauled its cat enrichment program to provide cats with an all-around experience that uses the entirety of a cats’ senses, resulting in reduced stress (which affects URI outbreaks) and also improves the quality of life for a cat while it is in WHS care
  • TheWHS Clinic completed a record number 7,000+ spay & neuter surgeries
  • Additionally, the WHS has established partnership agreements with over 25 animal rescues

The WHS congratulated outgoing board members Michelle Bradet Simpson, James Blatz and Sean MacDonald for their years of service, and introduced the board’s newest members: Krystina Balcaen, Jessica Miller, and Alex Robinson.

The Winnipeg Humane Society membership elected the 2018-19 Board of Directors: Maureen Drummond (Chair), Jeff Eckstein (Immediate Past Chair), Dr. Jonas Watson (Vice-Chair), Howard Almdal (Treasurer), Randy Tonnellier (Secretary), Krystina Balcaen, Tim Dewart, Joanne Dyer, Dana Medoro, Jessica Miller, Alex Robinson, Christina Semaniuk, and Samyra Stuart-Altman.


The Winnipeg Humane Society is Manitoba’s oldest and largest animal welfare agency, created in 1894. The WHS is more than just pet adoption, offering programs and services that benefit the community by educating and advocating for the humane treatment of all animals, responsible pet ownership, behaviour classes and a behaviour help line. The shelter has a fully-functional veterinary clinic that performs subsidized spay and neuter surgeries for Winnipeggers on fixed or low-income. For more information, visit

Capacity for Care
As part of the Capacity for Care model – the science-based approach created by the Koret School of Shelter Medicine that is part of the highly-regarded veterinary school, UC Davis. Capacity for care means meeting the needs of all animals admitted into the shelter and accepting the number of animals to the same rate that live outcomes can be achieved. For more information, visit: