The BC SPCA believes that all animals should enjoy, as a minimum, five essential freedoms, which were first described by the Farm Animal Welfare Council of the UK:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom from distress
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being
What does animal welfare mean?
The objectives of the BC SPCA are to prevent cruelty and to promote the welfare of animals. Animal Welfare means an animal’s quality of life, and it is affected by animals’ physical health and the feelings they experience.
Animals experience good welfare when they are able to experience positive feelings (arising from pleasurable activities and the fulfillment of behavioural needs) and when they are free from poor physical health and negative feelings (such as pain, discomfort, hunger, thirst, fear and frustration).
Animals that are healthy, pain-free, comfortable and unstressed are said to have good welfare.
Horses and farm animals come into the BC SPCA’s care through cruelty investigations. Sadly, they are usually in poor condition. In many cases they require extensive nutritional and medical rehabilitation due to starvation and health issues.
The BC SPCA has the extremely difficult challenge of finding care for these horses and adopting them out to experienced, permanent homes. In 2015 the Cruelty Investigations Department opened the Good Shepherd Barn in Cloverdale and the Kelowna Recovery and Adoption Barn to accommodate horses and farm animals involved in cruelty investigations. A third farm animal facility is being planned for Nanaimo. The BC SPCA does not have the resources to take in surrendered horses and farm animals at this time.
We rely heavily on donations to provide foster homes and boarding facilities for horses in our care. Other expenses include food, veterinary and farrier care during rehabilitation and recovery from injuries or illness.
To adopt a pig or any other animal from the BC SPCA, please visit our adoptions page. But before you adopt a pig, please consider the diversity of pig needs, which are much different from the needs of a pet dog or cat. For example:
- How big should you expect a mini, micro or teacup pig to actually grow?
- What kind of manners do pigs have – how do they behave?
- Are pigs compatible with other pets?
- What do pigs eat?
- Who will be your pig’s vet, and does your local vet accept pig patients?
- Should you get a pet pig spayed or neutered?
- What type of house-training is required?
- What costs are involved?
Get the answer to these and other important questions on our pet pig information page.
To adopt a chicken or any other animal from the BC SPCA, please visit our adoptions page. But before you decide to raise your own backyard chickens, please consider the following:
- Does your municipality allow the keeping of backyard chickens?
- What do chickens eat? What should you feed to chickens?
- Do you have access to suitable veterinary care in your community?
- What do you plan to do with your chickens once they stop laying eggs?
- How will you protect your chickens from bad weather and natural predators?
- What are you going to do with all that chicken poo?
- What are the risks associated with owning chickens?
- How do you transport a chicken? Do you know how to humanely catch a chicken?
Get the answer to these and other important questions on our urban chickens information page.
Yes, you can adopt horses from the BC SPCA. Horses come into the care of the BC SPCA as a result of cruelty investigations. These horses are rehabilitated on-site at the BC SPCA Good Shepherd Barn, the Kelowna Recovery & Adoption Barn, or in foster homes across the province. Interested in fostering horses? Apply to become a foster home online.
Viewings are by appointment. A completed adoption application and a home check are required as part of the adoption process.
Adoption fees vary from $250 to $750, or more. Basic medical exams are performed by a veterinarian when horses are in our care; however, it is recommended that potential adopters carry out pre-purchase exams when considering horse adoption.
It costs the BC SPCA $25 per day to care for a horse. In addition to this, there are other costs of care:
- Intake exam and blood work when necessary: $150+
- Hoof trimming every 4-6 weeks: $40 per trim
- Internal and external parasite treatment/control: $20
- Castration of intact male horses: $500
- Other medical care/medications as needed