December 22, 2005 VANCOUVER – The Humane Society of Canada is asking the news media to help spread the message that humane education is vital to stopping the spread of cruelty to animals and helping to heal a wounded earth. Clips can be downloaded from here.


There’s no question that reports of cruelty to animals or a toxic spill makes for more dramatic headlines, but we also need to focus on how to prevent as many of these tragedies from ever happening --- and that is the real challenge, according to The Humane Society of Canada (HSC). “We can never forget for a moment, that each time we prevent a single act of cruelty, or harm to our precious natural habitat, this is our greatest victory,” says Al Hickey, Western Regional Director for The Humane Society of Canada (HSC).

That an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is best underscored by taking a closer look at the people and animals hit by Hurricane Katrina, and by the lasting damage it did to their homes and their environment. “By working alongside many dedicated individuals and groups we were able to save thousands of animals by sending in badly needed supplies of food, clean water and veterinary medicines. This massive multimillion dollar relief, recovery and rebuilding effort was because governments ignored the dangers posed by global warming, underestimated the power of Katrina, and refused to let people evacuate with their animals,” said HSC Executive Director, Michael O’Sullivan, who has decades of experience in rescuing animals from disaster and war zones.

“However, as Hurricane Rita closed in on the Gulf Coast, government agencies relented, and allowed people to take their animals with them, immediately saving over 20,000 dogs and cats and over 10,000 horses and farm animals,” he said. “In our experience, preventing cruelty is at least as important as relieving the immediate suffering caused by cruelty.”

“At the end of the day, we all need to remember that we rely entirely on donations to protect animals and the earth. Governments generally cause the problems, rather than come up with the solutions. And that preventing cruelty and harm to the environment is kinder, gentler, more cost effective and puts common sense ahead of tragedy,” said O’Sullivan.

Violence towards animals leads to violence towards people; and everything we do the environment, we do to ourselves. “Only by encouraging kindness towards animals and respect for nature, can we create and sustain a truly ‘humane society’ that includes people, animals and the environment,” concludes O’Sullivan.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.