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Animal Welfare Advisory Network of BC Releases Rescue Standards of Practice

Maple Ridge, BC – The Animal Welfare Advisory Network of BC (AWANBC), an initiative of the Paws for Hope Animal Foundation, has released its Rescue Standards of Practice for BC’s animal welfare sector. These guidelines, the first of their kind in Canada, establish standards of practice for community-based animal rescue organizations and provide a comprehensive framework that organizations should strive to meet in order to operate a professional, safe, and sustainable animal welfare and/or rescue organization.

“In this unregulated sector, we are seeing an increasing number of stories about individuals operating under the guise of animal rescue who are ultimately doing a lot of harm,” says Kathy Powelson, Paws for Hope Executive Director. “The call to create standards of practice came from within the AWANBC membership as a response to what has been happening over the past several years. This is an important first step on the path toward increasing accountability among those doing the incredibly important work of protecting animals.”

The Rescue Standards of Practice have been in development for over a year. They draw on an extensive review of literature on animal welfare and are informed by existing standards and best practices in other jurisdictions. The guidelines were drafted in consultation with animal welfare professionals across BC to ensure they were peer-reviewed, comprehensive, and embodied the best practices and goals of animal welfare experts. The Rescue Standards of Practice will also inform the development of an accreditation program currently underway that will further help organizations improve their quality of care and provide consumers with a valuable guide to help them select organizations to adopt pets from.

The Rescue Standards of Practice can be viewed here. This important work has been funded by the Vancouver Foundation and supporters of Paws for Hope.



The Animal Welfare Advisory Network of British Columbia (AWANBC) is a Paws for Hope Animal Foundation initiative. The purpose of the AWANBC is to enable organizations to work together and to support strategies around specific projects and initiatives associated with companion animal welfare. Through issue-driven project work and a strong collective voice, AWANBC members are making a difference in the lives of animals and building a system that is no longer responding to crises and creating lasting solutions.

About Paws for Hope

Paws for Hope envisions communities that embrace all pets as family, ensuring they are loved, free from harm, and where no pet is left behind. To that end, our mission is 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.

To arrange interviews, or for more information, contact:
Kathy Powelson, Paws for Hope Executive Director
[email protected]   604-396-9297 

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