A short history of the Animal Advocates Society

Like so many of us, we started this work (in 1987) with feral cat rescue. We learned the joys of T/N/R, (trap/neuter/release) – of nights with a coffee, in a car, peering into the dark, of taking the cats to be sterilized, vaccinated, tattooed, and having any other necessary veterinary work done, such as rotten teeth and abscesses, and often paying out of our own pockets for everything. And we learned the joys of successfully socializing a feral cat, and then finding it the loving home that it deserved; and to accept of having to give up trying to socialize a truly wild cat, and putting it back out, back into its family colony, for it to live out its life, secure in what is familiar to it.

Then we started to find homes for people’s cast-off dogs.

And that’s when we realized that doing other people’s dirty work was enabling, and that we could find homes for people’s cast-off pets until we burned out, but the vague something that we knew was wrong, was not going to change. In fact, because we’d owned our own contracting business, we knew that we could make money finding homes for people’s cast-off pets, but then we would have to call a spade a spade and admit that we would be in the business of "selling" animals.

That’s when Animal Advocates Society was formed, and we began to meet the people who understood that the problems of animal use and abuse go deeper than homeless dogs and cats, and who would help to make the profound changes that would help all animals, now, and in the future.

In the short space of five years AAS had Humane Treatment of Dogs Bylaws adopted in many BC municipalities, and is working with municipalities on our Too Many Cats (control of cat breeding) campaign, Puppies in Pet Stores campaign, our Puppymill Investigations and reports and our control of dog breeding proposal, Too Many Dogs.

At the same time as we did all this, we put together a package of help for suffering animals called 4-R Friends - Research, Rescue, Rehabilitate, Rehome and put it into practice to save hundreds of dogs and cats from abandonment and suffering.

And we figured out why there is so little concern for animal welfare, and protection from cruelty for animals in BC.

This led us to the 5th R - Reform: reform of the BC SPCA (for which we are being sued).

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