How the Winnipeg Humane Society is helping kids give back to pets in need

The Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) is giving kids the chance to help pets in need this holiday season.

The annual WHS “Kids Give Back” program took place Saturday afternoon. Volunteer services coordinator Amy Brake said it’s the program’s fourth year running.

“Through the pandemic we had to pivot a little bit and we actually did more of a curbside donation aspect where the kids could come and drop off donations,” she said.

Now the program has returned to full in-person activities. Parents register their children ahead of time, and then show up at 45 Hurst Way with a new pet toy, treat, or accessory donation in order to participate.

“They’re making a cat toy, they’re making a dog toy, and then they even get a craft to take home for themselves,” said Brake.

She said since the program’s inception in 2019, more than 500 donations have been made to families in need, including to communities in northern Manitoba.

“We’ve had lots of kids come by, we’ve had tons of donations that we’re excited to give back to our community,” said Brake.

She added that it’s important to give back because families are struggling financially right now.

“Part of the reason we do programs like this is because we try to keep animals in their loving homes so that they don’t actually end up back here in the shelter,” said Brake, “and having the kids get involved teaches them how to volunteer, it teaches them empathy and it also teaches them how to give back to their communities.”

She said donations of pet supplies, toys, and food are always welcome at the shelter, and that volunteers are needed as well.

“We really couldn’t do what we do here at the Humane Society without all the amazing volunteers that we have, and all the great kids that have come out to help us.”

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