What We Do

They deserve better.

Improving the lives of pets in BC.

Each year in BC, tens of thousands of pets are taken in by community-based rescue organizations and shelters. They are abandoned and surrendered for a number of reasons—families with a pet in distress often feel that they have nowhere to turn, individuals in crisis or fleeing violence are rarely able to take their pets with them, many people are unable to find pet-friendly housing.

In order to create meaningful and lasting change for pets, we must also recognize the needs of their people. Pets and their people are bonded; their lives are inextricably linked. For the vast majority of households, animals are considered members of the family. As such, we believe that animal welfare work must integrate with social services sector and support the people who share their lives with the pets we are helping.

You will see that belief in our approach to all of the work we do—in all of our programs and initiatives and partnerships. Paws for Hope is a non-profit with many moving parts, but they are all connected by a unifying mission and three key priorities.

Our Mission

Paws for Hope strives to shift the culture of companion animal welfare in British Columbia by creating new models of practice and remediating the underlying causes of harm through cross sector collaboration, education, and advocacy.

Our Priorities


We focus on preventing unnecessary harm to animals through education, advocacy, outreach, and support for pets and their guardians.


We go above and beyond to help people who are struggling to access veterinary care for their pets in order to reduce undue suffering.


We build strong partnerships, share best practices, and foster professionalism and accountability across BC’s animal welfare sector.

“We need to be professional, we need infrastructure, credibility, expertise, and sustainability. That is when change will happen.”

Kathy Powelson

How we do it

Keep BC pets and people

We Believe

that all pets deserve to be happy, healthy, and stay in the arms of the people who love them.

help local pets
and thrive

We Believe

in creating a more sustainable, meaningful, and empowering animal welfare and support network in BC.

support positive change
in BC animal welfare and rescue

We Believe

that BC can lead the way in fostering an environment that is responsible, accountable, and cruelty-free.

inspire people
to take action

and improve the lives of animals

We Believe

in everyone’s ability to make a profound and positive difference in the lives of pets and their people.

Our Programs

  • Better Together

    Better Together is a shelter intervention program that aims to keep pets with their people by providing basic veterinary care, training, and supplies.

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  • No Pet Left Behind

    No Pet Left Behind is a crisis foster care program created to provide safe care for pets of individuals who are escaping violence.

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  • Guardian Angel

    The Guardian Angel program provides services and funding to support qualified volunteer-run animal welfare and rescue charities in BC.

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  • Pets Are Not Products

    Our Pets Are Not Products campaign aims raise awareness about the inhumane business practices of animal breeding mills and backyard breeders.

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  • SpayAid BC

    SpayAid BC partners with veterinary hospitals to provide a spay/neuter assistance program for low income earners.

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  • Cruelty Free BC

    Our Cruelty Free BC program educates consumers on the inhumane practice of animal testing and the misleading labeling of cruelty-free products.

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    The Animal Welfare Advisory Network of British Columbia empowers organizations to work together on specific projects and initiatives associated with companion animal welfare in BC.

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Youth & Pets

New Study

McCreary Centre Society and Paws for Hope have released a new report looking at the relationship between youth and their pets.

Press release


Stepping Up

Rescue organizations across BC have been stepping up to help animals in need as shelters closed their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blog post

Our Impact

Since we established in June 2011 we have successfully…

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