Our History

The history of the PEI Humane Society goes back over 70 years to the 1940’s when, by an act of the legislature, the province created and incorporated the Prince Edward Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. During the next three decades the PEI SPCA received little support from the provincial government. As a result it was ineffective in achieving its aims and objectives, and inactive for many years. All this changed in the late 1960’s and from then, we have gone from strength to strength.

A group of concerned citizens formed an organizing committee to establish a new organization. The new group chose for its name The Prince Edward Island Humane Society in an attempt to give the Society a new name which more aptly described the work of a modern organization. In doing so, they followed the example of other provinces.

Our timeline:

1968 — Concerned citizens form a new organization – PEI Humane Society

1971 — The brief to the PEI Government

1974 — Incorporation of the PEI Humane Society

1974 — Opened shelter facilities at Ten Mile House, Mount Stewart

1974 — Objectives are established

1977 — The shelter moves to Hazelbrook

1977 — Permanent staff hired to manage the shelter

1993 — New shelter facilities are built on Sherwood Road

2000 — The shelter opens the new off-leash dog park

2010 — Appointment of a new Adoption Counsellor

2010 — The shelter’s reception area is renovated to make it more customer-friendly and efficient

2011 — Work stared on the exterior renovation project: the addition of new vinyl siding, soffits, facia, eavestroughs and windows.

The 1971 Brief to the PEI Government

The new group presented a brief to the provincial government outlining their concerns, and presenting a vision for the operation of the new Prince Edward Island Humane Society. At that time, there were no adequate animal shelter or pound facilities in the province. The new PEI Humane Society argued that a modern animal shelter was urgently needed, and that the provincial government should meet this cost. This group asked that the government repeal the PEI S.P.C.A. Act and replace it with a more modern piece of legislation modeled on the acts that existed in other provinces where humane societies were successful in their aims and objectives.

Incorporation of PEI Humane Society, 1974

On July 22, 1974, the PEI Humane Society was incorporated under Part II of the Companies Act. The Society was described as a charitable (non-profit) organization. Contributions could be counted as charitable donations for the purpose of income tax laws. The Society’s founders were primarily concerned with the welfare of companion animals and the establishment of a shelter to provide care for animals in distress, abandoned or no longer wanted by their owners. The new PEI Humane Society was also concerned about livestock. At approximately the same time, the provincial government enacted the PEI Dog Act to protect livestock from roaming dogs. The PEI Humane Society was designated to administrate the PEI Dog Act. It has done so for the last 25 years.

The objectives of the new organization were and still are:

  • to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals within the province;
  • to administrate the PEI Dog Act;
  • to provide education relating to the humane treatment of all animals; and
  • to promote, organize, conduct, and manage the PEI Humane Society.

PEI Humane Society Shelter Facilities

The PEI Humane Society opened its first shelter in 1974, in Ten Mile House, near Mount Stewart. The shelter then moved to Winsloe. These shelters depended heavily on volunteers for day-to-day operations, animal rescues, and investigations. In 1977, the shelter moved to Hazelbrook. At this time, a shelter manager, animal control staff and cleaners were hired. The PEI Humane Society operated from the shelter in Hazelbrook for almost 16 years.

The current shelter on Sherwood Road in Charlottetown was built in 1993 and was made possible by a bequest from a generous supporter. The shelter includes separate holding areas for dogs and cats, and other small “pocket pets.” It also has separate holding areas for animals in the adoption program, impounded animals and animals under assessment and evaluation.

In August 2000, the PEI Humane Society opened its Dog Park to the public. This off-leash park provides over an acre of exercise space and agility equipment for dogs accompanied by their owners. There are now over 1000 registered members of the Dog Park. The fee is a modest $20.00 per annum per household. Link to dog park registration form

In 2010, the Board of Directors approved the creation of a new Adoption Counsellor position.

Also in 2010, the Board’s Buildings & Premises Committee instructed work to begin on completely renovating the reception area which was showing its age. The area was redesigned to make it more customer-friendly and efficient, floor coverings were replaced, offices moved to create more space for adoptable cats and critters, walls painted and a dedicated office was created for the Adoption Counsellor so that anyone surrendering or adopting a pet has the privacy he or she needs.