We appreciate your generosity - and so do our animals

A Permanent Animal Shelter in Pickering

Pickering Animal Services is responsible for the care and housing of stray and homeless pets in our community.  If you would like to help make a difference in a pet's life, donate today.

We thank our donors for improving the well-being of our animals, and contributing to their bright and healthy future.

The City has over $5 million in development charges earmarked for the new Animal Shelter, and over $670,000 in reserves and funds raised through the generosity of the community. Staff will also be exploring other revenue generating streams to help meet its target, including naming rights agreements and sponsorships. Ultimately, the funds will go towards the construction of a brand new, permanent animal shelter here in Pickering.

Staff are currently finalizing the site selection process and anticipate construction to begin in early 2025. 

Financial Donations

One Time Gift - your contribution will bring us one step closer to building our permanent animal shelter here in Pickering. Tax receipts will be issued for donations over $20. 

Donate NowDonations may be made online or can be mailed or dropped off to:

Pickering Animal Services
Clerk's Office, City of Pickering
One The Esplanade
Pickering, ON, L1V 6K7

Fundraising Events

Throughout the year the City runs a variety of fundraising events with all donations going towards the new animal shelter. We also encourage residents, community groups and animal lovers to plan and run their own fundraising events. 

History of Animal Sheltering in Pickering

Below is a brief outline of how Animal Sheltering in Pickering has evolved over time!

1985 to 2006:  The City of Pickering was part of service partnership agreement between the Municipality of Pickering, Ajax and Whitby to create P.A.W. Animal Services.  The Town of Whitby was responsible for animal enforcement and animal shelter services.

January 1, 2006: The City of Pickering decided to take full responsibility of Animal Services.  The City hired 1 Supervisor and 2 part time staff and began handling all functions of the service.  At that time, a temporary agreement was made with the Municipality of Clarington for all animals to be housed at their Municipal animal shelter, approximately 30 minutes away. After a year, it was decided that due to distance, it was time to make alternate arrangements.

July 2007 – October 2009: The City entered into a public-private agreement with a boarding kennel located in Toronto. The agreement stated that the Kennel would provide feed, care and housing for all Pickering Animals, while City staff would be responsible to staff the facility each evening, for residents to reclaim or adopt.

2011: The property was sold and purchased by a new owner. At that time it was determined that it would be more cost effective and provide better customer service to residents if the City took full ownership of running its own animal shelter.  An agreement was made to rent and retrofit a building in North Pickering to be the first ever Pickering run Animal Shelter. 

2019: The City entered into an agreement with the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville. All stray cats and dogs found within their municipality are temporarily housed at the Pickering Animal Shelter and ones that are not claimed are assessed and placed into the City’s adoption program.

During the 2019 Capital Budget process, Council allocated money for the site selection for a new Pickering Animal Shelter.

As a result of COVID19, the planning stages for this project were delayed however City staff continued investigating potential sites for the new animal shelter.

2022: Funds approved in the 2022 Capital Budget to proceed with hiring an architect and move ahead with the design and construction of a new animal shelter. 

2023/2024: Investigating site selection and working with consultants to determine shelter size and key design elements. 


Requirements for our New Animal Shelter

When designing our new shelter, The City of Pickering will be incorporating the Capacity for Care model. This model helps shelters better meet the needs of animals by creating conditions necessary to provide shelter animals with the 5 Freedoms, thereby improving the welfare of each animal, including its physical and mental state.

The 5 Freedoms include the following:

Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
By ready access to fresh water and a diet to  maintain health and vigor
Freedom from Discomfort
By providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease
By prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
Freedom to express Normal Behaviour
By providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind
Freedom from fear and distress
By ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering

Below are just a few of the criteria that staff are looking for in the new animal shelter facility:

  • Nursery for nursing moms or orphaned kittens
  • Separate room for small animals to be housed that allows them to get daily exercise
  • Group housing rooms for cats that allows them to socialize with one another in a warm and friendly environment
  • Real life room for dogs that simulates a dog living in a home setting – couch, chairs, etc.
  • An adoption interview room. This room will give potential adopters a meet their potential adoptee and well as have a chance to sit with staff in a safe environment
  • Education/Community room that will be utilized for public education programs.

cat play room  real life room for dogs  adoption interview room

What can I donate?

The shelter is always in need of many animal related items.  Below is a list of some of the items we commonly need:
  • Check out what item's are listed on our Ren's Pets Gift Registry. Order online and have the items shipped directly to us.
  • Check out our Amazon Wishlist. Order online and have the items shipped directly to us.
  • Gift Cards are always appreciated (PetSmart, Pet Valu, Ren's, Global Pets, Walmart, etc.)
  • small animal bedding (not wood shavings)
  • small animal food (pellets, treats, hay)
  • dog and cat beds
  • Enrichment toys for the animals
  • dog biscuits, denta bones and other treats
  • cat treats, cat nip
  • leashes, collars
  • brushes, combs, nail trimmers
  • dog and cat toys
  • scratching posts (cat tree or cardboard)
  • litter boxes
  • laundry detergent (pods)
  • towels, blankets and dog/cat beds (please no fitted bed sheets)
  • small animal bowls, water bottles, hide boxes and other enrichment toys
  • and more...feel free to contact us if you have an item that you think would be of assistance to us

Recent Donors


Special thanks to Emily and Richard for running a lemonade stand earlier this year and raising funds for Animal Services.

Emily and Richard Lemonade Stand


Special thanks to the staff and residents at Westney Gardens for helping our dogs and cats by making snuffle mats!

Residents in pet friendly retirement communities  such as Westney Gardens cherish their animals, and recognize how lucky they are to be able to share their home and their lives with the creatures they love and care for. The residents were made and donated pet snuffle mats while working to raise awareness about the importance of pet companionship and adoption.

Snuffle Mats


This past year Animal Services receive overwhelming support from our community.  The amount of financial donations as well as towels, toys and treats that have been donated is just remarkable. 

2019 was the first year that Animal Services participated in the Furry Friends 5K. This fundraising event resulting in over $1400 being raised for the new animal shelter.

Furry Friends 5K   Furry Friends 5K

Animal Services was also fortunate to have received donations from many young children who decided that they wanted to give back and help the animals. Both Kaylie-Anne and Yara had saved up their birthday and allowance money and were kind enough to choose our shelter to donate to.

shelter donation  shelter donation

In December, Animal Services hosted it's first ever Santa Paws Photo Session. The 2 hour event saw over 40 people and raised just under $1000. Future photo events are currently being planned.

2019 Santa Paws


The Fairport Beach Neighbourhood Association hosted another charity BBQ for Animal Services.  Thanks to the generous support of the community and local residents, they have raised over $2,6000 which will go to help build our new animal shelter. Thanks again for your support!

 Fairport Beach Neighbourhood BBQ

Animal Services would like to thank all of our supporters who donated online this past year. So far this year we raised $3,0000 in online donations alone! Thanks again to everyone who donated, we're now one step closer to building our new Animal Shelter.


Paint NightAnimal Services received a $200 donation from attendees who participated in the first Paint Night Fundraiser held on September 26th at the George Ashe Community Centre. Everyone had a great time and the paintings turned out wonderful.  Thanks to everyone who participated and Samantha from Paint Date for helping organize this fun event.  Feel free to contact us if you are interested in running your own paint night fundraiser.

For the second year in a row, the Fairport Beach Neighbourhood Association hosted a charity BBQ for Animal Services.  Thanks to the generous support of the community, local residents, the Pickering West Shore Community Association and Joe Fischer they raised $1,119 which will go to help build our new animal shelter. Thanks again for your support!

The City’s Animal Shelter, and its furry residents, were the recipients of a random act of kindness last week, after a local man dropped off $5,000 worth of donations. The generous individual, who has requested to remain anonymous, unloaded a truck full of animal supplies, which included food, toys, treats, and care items, on behalf of his animal-loving family. "We are beyond grateful for the warmth and generosity of this family," said Lindsey Narraway, Supervisor, Animal Services. "The gentleman expressed that he drives by our shelter on a daily basis, and simply wanted to give back, and provide for less fortunate animals." The donations will allow staff to provide socialization and enrichment activities for animals temporarily housed at the shelter, while waiting on their forever home.

Items donated to Animal Services


December 2017

Tyler and Danielle with their festive cat house creations

Tyler and Danielle stopped into the Animal Shelter recently to drop off their awesome festive cat house creations. Thanks Tyler & Danielle, your donations are always greatly appreciated!

Animal Services would like to thank all of our supporters who have donated online this past year. So far this year we raised $2,500 in online donations alone! Thanks again to everyone who donated, we're now one step closer to building our new Animal Shelter.

Photo Gallery: Kuranda Beds will appear here on the public site.