Mission & FAQ’s

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Pembina Valley Humane Society is to support humane and sustainable communities for all animals through education, advocacy, respect & responsibility.

Who We Are

PVHS is a volunteer run, non-profit organization, serving all towns in south western Manitoba.

Our purpose is to help abandoned animals by providing care for them during their stay at our shelter, finding suitable adoption placements and controlling pet overpopulation by ensuring all of our animals are spayed or neutered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does PVHS offer a low cost spay/neuter program?

PVHS has a low cost spay/neuter program for low income families. With proof of income, approved families can have their animal sterilized for only $50 at the Morden or Winkler Veterinary Clinics. There are only 20 appointments available per calendar year. Please see the poster for more details.

More Information

Why is it often difficult to get a real person on the phone when I call PVHS?

PVHS is an organization run almost primarily through the efforts of volunteers.  With only one full time and one part time staff person employed, we simply do not have enough people available to consistently answer the phone.  When our staff/volunteers are busy with other members of the public at the shelter or are working with the animals, it’s not always safe or prudent for us to leave what we are doing to answer the phone.

While we recognize it can certainly be frustrating to not be able to reach us, we encourage you to leave a message and we will respond (usually within 1-2 business days).  You can also reach us via email at pvhs@live.ca and will often receive a more prompt response this way.  Visiting our website, www.pvhsociety.ca,  is also a helpful resource as it can provide information that you may be looking for in regards to available animals, our adoption process, our foster program, our volunteer program, who to contact regarding suspected animal abuse and much more!

Why isn’t PVHS open to the public more often?

We would love to have our doors open all the time! Unfortunately due to only having one full time shelter manager and one part time assistant shelter manager we are limited to the hours we’re able to be open. That is why we have toggled our hours to be open during the afternoon on some days of the week and evenings on other days to try and accommodate everyone’s busy lifestyle! Should you find none of our public hours suitable for you, please contact one of our managers to make other arrangements by calling 204-822-9413 or emailing pvhs@live.ca.

Why doesn’t PVHS take surrendered animals immediately, accept animal drop offs, or take in every animal from the pound? Why do I have to go on a waiting list?

There are many reasons as to why PVHS can’t immediately take in unwanted animals.

STRAYS

A stray animal may or may not actually have a home! Some of these animals are just lost. These animals need to go to the pound first to give these potential owners a chance to reclaim their lost animal. The amount of time spent at the pound differs by each communities by-laws. Once this time has passed if the animal is released to PVHS they are now legally owned by PVHS and can be adopted out without potential conflict with any former owners.
It also needs to be determined these animals are healthy before the can enter PVHS. If a dog or cat is sick and contagious it could (and has) lead to an outbreak at the shelter!
Once it is determined an animal is healthy and the time limit at the pound has expired the animal can be released to PVHS depending on if there is room at the shelter.

SURRENDERS

We only have so much room in our shelter and overcrowding can lead to health issues among the animals. We take in animals from all over the Pembina Valley including from local pounds. That’s a lot of animals. We’re also a “no kill” shelter which means we don’t euthanize animals to make space. If you are put on a wait list to surrender your animal it is because we simply do not have the space to take in any more.
We encourage people that urgently need to surrender an animal, and aren’t willing/able to wait, to contact other rescues to see if they can more quickly accommodate with an available space. We can also provide help and provide advice about how you may be able to care for your animal until space is available at PVHS

Is PVHS really a “No-Kill” facility?

Yes, PVHS is classified as a No-Kill shelter. This doesn’t mean that we never euthanize animals in our care, but it does mean we don’t euthanize healthy animals to create more kennel space. We do, on occasion, have to euthanize animals due to medical issues or severe behavioral issues that render an animal unadoptable.  The reality of being a No-Kill shelter is that we keep all healthy animals with us until they are adopted and sometimes this process can take months or even over a year! This means that we can only intake new animals into our shelter when space allows.

Why does PVHS charge a “surrender fee” when someone wants to surrender their pet or turn in a stray animal?

Each animal that enters our system requires care and this costs money!  We are proud to be able to offer some of the lowest adoption fees in the province, but our adoption fees don’t even come close to covering the costs we incur for the animal while it is in our care.  Having a shelter facility means we have a mortgage to pay, utilities, staff salary, supplies, and other costs each month PLUS each animal requires veterinary care. We charge a surrender fee to help offset some of these costs.

Why is your adoption process so intensive? Isn’t any home for an animal better than living at the shelter?

Our responsibility is to put the welfare of the animals entrusted to our care at the forefront. We want both the humans AND the animals to be happy.  That is why we work hard to make sure the animal is a good match for the family.  It is very stressful for an animal to go back and forth between a home and the shelter so we have certain requirements that must be met before we will consider adopting an animal out. We want to set you and your new pet up for success!

Interested adopters complete an application, also called a Lifestyle Assessment, prior to adopting a specific animal.  This document provides us with important details about the potential adopter’s lifestyle and helps us to eliminate any animals that would not be well-suited to that particular environment (for example:  if someone were to list on their application that they have cats and kids, we wouldn’t adopt them a dog that hates cats and kids!).  It also helps us offer suggestions as to which available animals might be better suited.

If I come to the shelter & fill our an adoption application while there, why can’t I adopt the same day?

PVHS policy is that we will not do same-day adoptions.  We want to ensure that when someone is interested in adopting they have taken the time to thoroughly consider their decision and the long-term implications of adding a pet to their life.  We don’t want anyone making a sudden decision to adopt without taking the time to think it over.

It is also important that people have prepared their home for a new furry addition so that when they bring their new pet home, everything is ready!  Our experience has been that people that adopt on impulse are likely to return the animal to the shelter which is highly stressful on the animal in question and also creates a lot of additional work for our staff.  If adopting a dog and there are other dogs already in the home, we would also like to do a “meet and greet” to see how the animals react to each other. In some case we may do more than one meeting with the dogs to make sure they’re a good fit with each other. Also, due to our limited staff/volunteer situation, we often need a day or two to properly review and process the application, including calling references.  Please keep in mind that an adoption application can be completed and submitted in advance. It can be completed directly on our website or scanned and emailed to us.  This will help expedite the process.

Why do you charge adoption fees? I can get a kitten or puppy from a farm home for free.

We are a non-profit, charitable organization. Thus, we require adoption fees be paid to help us cover the high costs associated with operating our shelter.  Yes, a person may get a “free” animal elsewhere; however, our low adoption fees cover each animals spay or neuter surgery, their vaccinations, deworming, and any other medical care they require while in our shelter.

We also provide a certificate for a free basic vet exam within the first 10 days of adoption.  Our adoption fees don’t even come close to covering these costs for each animal, but they help to offset them.  By the time you pay out of pocket for all these expenses yourself for that “free” animal you picked up, you will understand that our adoption fees are more than reasonable and it is actually much more cost effective to adopt an animal.

Why do you have to be 14 years or older to volunteer at PVHS?  Why can’t my kids volunteer?

At PVHS, we do our very best to ensure the safety of both our animals and the humans that enter our facility. Some of the animals in our care have come from unknown situations. Some are very fearful, some are very large, and some don’t yet have any manners and can play roughly. Others have simply never been socialized to children and therefore have negative reactions to them.
Children tend to make fast, sudden movements that can make an animal uncomfortable. The last thing we want is to see someone get scratched, knocked over, or hurt by a shelter animal! We also don’t want to cause additional stress on the animals.

Older teenagers and adults understand that each animal is different and may react to different situations in different ways. Children tend not to understand that just because their puppy at home enjoys being hugged, one at the shelter might be frightened by this and lash out. We need volunteers that can understand and follow our policies and procedures in regards to interacting with and caring for the animals at the shelter. We certainly want to foster positive relationships between our children and animals in need. There are plenty of ways for children to help animals other than volunteering directly at the shelter! Contact us to find out how your little ones can get involved and stay safe at the same time.

If I’m not a registered volunteer, or seriously considering adopting, why can’t I still come to play with the animals at the shelter?

All public are welcome to visit our shelter during public hours!  However, we do restrict direct interaction between shelter animals and members of the public.  The reason for this is that we have to work very hard to maintain animal health in our shelter. This means restricting the amount of access that our animals have with people that are not trained volunteers.

Giving public free access to roam between cat rooms would increase the likelihood of contagious illness being passed between cats at the shelter. Also, certain animals are anxious/high stress and need careful introductions to new people.  Some of our animals are recovering from spay/neuter surgeries, or are on medications. Some have backgrounds that make them reactive when meeting new people. All of this means that interactions need to be properly supervised and monitored.  Our limited staff makes it difficult to accommodate these types of interactions for everyone that enters our facility.

We are happy to show people through our facility and we would certainly welcome your application to join our great group of volunteers if you are interested in having ongoing interactions with our shelter and its residents!

I can’t afford to give a monetary donation to PVHS, but I still want to help.  Are there other ways I can help?

ABSOLUTELY! There are so many ways to help our shelter! No donation is considered too small! We gratefully accept donations of supplies such as clumping kitty litter, garbage bags, hand sanitizer, and liquid bleach. A full list of needed supplies can be found on our website.  You can also consider signing up to be a volunteer at the shelter or as part of our fundraising team. Tell your friends, family or co-workers that are considering getting a pet to consider adoption! Even simple tasks like sharing our adoptable animal albums on social media sites or sharing our status updates can make a big difference!