News Release
June 23, 2020

Funded by PetSmart Charities® of Canada and donations from Toronto residents, the City of Toronto is providing assistance to pet owners in under-resourced communities and those facing homelessness, who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A $30,040 grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada has provided 240 pet owners with gift cards to purchase pet food and supplies, such as cat litter and pee pads for dogs.

Thanks to donations to Toronto Animal Services directly from residents worth nearly $36,000, the City is continuing to help pet owners affected by COVID-19. To apply for assistance, pet owners can contact Toronto Animal Services by doing one of the following:

The best place for a pet during COVID-19 is with their owner. However, if pet owners become seriously ill or require hospitalization, the best place for the pet is with a family member or friend.

In case of emergency, pet owners are advised to ensure pets are cared for by taking the following precautions:

  • Fill out an emergency information form and attach a picture of the pet to ensure  care needs are known. Keep the form in an obvious location.
  • Identify a family member or friend who can temporarily take care of the pet.
  • Have crates, food and extra supplies available for the pet.
  • Have the pet’s vaccination records and identify all medications, dosages, and administering directions, including the prescription name and the vet’s contact information.
  • Ensure the pet has an identification tag, such as a City of Toronto licence or rabies tag.
  • Place a list of pets in the home on the front door for emergency responders. Include a description of each animal and the location in the home or on the property.

More information and advice for pet owners is available on the City’s website.

Residents and businesses wanting to support the City’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts can visit DonateTO at to make their gift and find out more about how they can help.


“Our pets provide much needed emotional support and I want to thank PetSmart Charities of Canada and our generous residents for providing the grant and donations, which is allowing us to help people take care of their beloved pets and keep them close. During this crisis, our pets are here for us and we are here for them.”
– Mayor John Tory

“Through this grant, PetSmart Charities is proud to support the pets and people of Toronto, and our hearts go out to those impacted by COVID-19. Throughout the uncertainty of this pandemic, PetSmart Charities of Canada remains committed to the health and welfare of pets during this extraordinary time of need.”
– Dani LaGiglia, Regional Relationship Manager, PetSmart Charities of Canada

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