What We Do
Working together to help animals.
Building a stronger and more
sustainable animal welfare system.
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.
The Animal Welfare Advisory Network of BC welcomes animal organizations working in the animal welfare sector in BC. The strength of the network and our ability to successfully address companion animal issues throughout BC depends on a diverse, dedicated membership.
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.
Animal Rescue Standards of Practice
Prior to this year, there were no criteria required for groups involved in animal welfare or rescue. There is rarely accountability or funding support for these organizations and the patchwork of animal protection legislation from community to community is outdated and has often been difficult to enforce. There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of organizations created to import dogs from other countries.
As a result, advocates and organizations both within the AWANBC membership and outside have been calling for the creation of animal rescue standards of practice. In the summer of 2019, AWANBC began work on such guidelines. And, in August of 2020, the Animal Rescue Standards of Practice were finalized and released to the public.
Supporting remote, northern communities
B.C.’s stray dog problem exists largely in northern and remote communities where it is estimated that over 2,000 female dogs are having litters each year. Many of these communities are hours away from the nearest veterinary clinic and even where veterinary care is local, it is unaffordable to low-income earners. When the stray dog problem grows too large in a community, it is not uncommon for dogs to be culled in an effort to deal with the problem.
In addition, communities across the province struggle with abandoned cats and family pets that are left un-spayed and un-neutered as they roam their neighbourhoods. As a result, a large number of kittens are born outdoors and left to fend for themselves—a cruel and harsh life.
The first step we took was to map out what services and resources are available in these communities and developed maps to illustrate our findings. Our next steps are:
- To formalize a community, peer based education program which will empower community advocates and leaders to engage young people in humane education.
- To create a community mentorship program that can support communities who want to develop animal welfare and management strategies.
The Animal Welfare Advisory Network of BC is comprised of a volunteer membership and steering committee. Membership is open to any non-profit organizations registered in the province of BC who provide services for companion animals.
Animal welfare organizations and rescues can submit applications to AWANBC at any time of the year. Reviews of applications are conducted four times per year at Steering Committee meetings. There is no fee to become an AWANBC member. Learn more about AWANBC membership, our projects, initiatives, and grants on our website.