Compassion Program

Compassion Program Assistance for low-income residents of Cambridge, Ontario!

The Cambridge & District Humane Society will offer financial assistance to the owners of pets who are unable to afford the veterinary expenses associated with a medical emergency.

Animal intakes grow annually at the CDHS. Many animals that are surrendered to the shelter arrive from loving families who cannot afford their care during emergency situations.

The Compassion Program will assist those people in our community who are financially marginalized pet owners to help their pets when they would be otherwise faced with surrender.

The goal of the Program will be to help loving families keep their pet in their home which is in the best interest of the animal and our community.

The CDHS will work to promote helping pet owners keep their animal through proactive and responsive strategies which include the following programs:

  • Compassion Program – One time funding for emergency veterinary care
  • Emergency Boarding – for situations of temporary loss of housing, hospitalization, domestic violence

The Cambridge & District Humane Society requests that all options with family members, friends and boarding facilities be exhausted before requesting assistance from the Emergency Boarding Program.

Gaining Access To The Program

Pet owners who wish to access the Compassion Program
must be referred by a licensed Veterinarian.
Cambridge residents only!
Admittance to the program is considered
only after all criteria have been met.

Pet owners must demonstrate the following:

  • Preventative Care – they must have provided their pet with basic preventative and maintenance care over the pet’s lifetime. Care includes shelter, appropriate fresh food and water daily and preventative veterinary care. Applicants whose pets are ill due to neglected care or lack of maintenance care may not be considered for funding.
  • Prompt Medical Care – they must have provided their pet with prompt medical care when the need was urgent or critical. In instances where surgery, therapy, or supportive treatments are recommended, but the pet owner could not afford them, basic medical care or support to help with the pet’s quality of life, lessen pain or suffering should be demonstrated. The pet’s medical needs cannot have been neglected past reasonable time for treatment, which may have caused the animal to suffer.


Compassion Program Details

The following services will be covered:

  • Humane euthanasia by a licensed Veterinarian with care of remains via private or communal cremation. CDHS does offer Pet Cremation Services as an option, but does not offer euthanasia as we do not have a Veterinarian on staff.
  • One-time, non-elective emergency surgeries for pets. Examples include blocked urethras, broken bones, life-threatening dental disease, and wounds requiring intervention or surgery.
  • Chronic or potentially chronic conditions will not be covered.

These are the steps that will be taken:

  1. Pet is taken to the Veterinarian where a physical exam is performed.
  2. Pet Owners fill in a Compassion Program application form with their veterinarian. An estimated cost to CDHS is required before the medical care can be performed.
  3. Application is approved or declined by CDHS.
  4. Program Agreement is signed by CDHS staff and approved by the CDHS Executive Director, the pet owner and the participating Veterinary Hospital. A quote for services is included and agreed upon.
  5. The Veterinary Hospital invoices the CDHS Compassion Program for services provided up to the maximum CDHS has approved. The pet owner is responsible to pay any difference directly to the Veterinary Hospital.

Admittance to the program will be dependent on the
resources we have available at the time of request.

To Apply, Please Complete The Online Application

Donations are gratefully accepted to fund this program – Donate Now

For more information on this Program please contact our Fundraising Coordinator at 519-623-7722 ext. 224 or email