Toronto Humane Society - Who Is NOBODY?

  • Toronto Humane Society & other shelters are popular with Who Is NOBODY? Students
  • Who Is… John J. Kelso?
  • Learn how you can be a hero to animals in your community!

The Toronto Humane Society and other animals shelters, are a popular Who Is NOBODY? Project.

In fact, over the 13 years Who Is NOBODY? has been in schools across Canada, the United States, England, Saudi Arabia, Australia and soon, in Spain, we have tracked several 1000 individual projects that have helped homeless animals in cities and towns across these countries.

Some students have donated:

  • Time – Walking shelter dogs and feeding cats and other animals such as rabbits
  • Money – Doing entrepreneurial projects to raise and donate funds via baby sitting, shoveling snow, making friendship bracelets and painting greeting cards to sell
  • Materials – Collecting and donating materials like towels and baby blankets for animals waiting to be adopted (while deviating waste from landfills by recycling these soft materials)

It’s incredible to see how resourceful even the youngest Who Is NOBODY? participants are in finding ways to help homeless animals.

In fact, raising awareness about how many animals need a safe and loving home is one of the most powerful ways to reach out.

There is a feeling of hope at the Toronto Humane Society

I love the Toronto Humane Society!

Scaramoosh - Toronto Humane Society - Who Is NOBODY?One of our first pets, a cat named Scaramoosh, came from The Toronto Humane Society. He changed us forever. People always say we helped him but we KNOW he helped us much, much more.

There is a real feeling of hope when you visit the Toronto Humane Society. It is a turning point for animals who have come from all sorts of situations. It’s amazing how passionate all the staff and volunteers are about animals. Their attitude is contagious!

Do what you love to do

Seeing people do what they love and love what they do for a living (or as a volunteer) is inspiring.

Our point of contact at the Toronto Humane Society is Eric Jensen. A man who started as a volunteer after university because he wanted more dog time. But he loved helping the animals so much that he resigned from his job to work at the Toronto Humane Society full time! It’s exciting to see where volunteering can lead you.

Service learning is important for people of all ages

The Who Is NOBODY? Headquarters doesn’t have a backyard. So we have adopted a number of cats over the years. But when we heard about a dog who had been at the shelter for quite a few months, after being seized by the OSPCA, we figured there was room at the inn! While we might not offer the perfect home, we certainly can reach out and provide the time and love an animal needs to get back on his paws. When there’s a will there’s a way to make things work!

Our new dog has been living with us for a little while now. We’ve enjoyed every minute of it; I love watching him run in his sleep! Our cats have been very good about inviting a big monster into their home. And we’ve appreciated the extra walks.

Just looking at him crashed out on his bed makes us feel relaxed and happy too. And it’s all thanks to the Toronto Humane Society. The ultimate match makers!

We can’t thank them enough for giving our dog the chance for a new start. And giving us the opportunity to be part of it.

Toronto Humane Society - Who Is NOBODY?

Where did the Toronto Humane Society get it’s start?

A few summers ago I came across a story by Bruce Bell in The Bulletin Newspaper. Bruce is a dedicated Toronto Historian, who wrote an article about the History of The Toronto Humane Society. It was in this article that I first learned about one of Canada’s greats, John J. Kelso.

Why don't we have a society for the prevention of cruelty?— John J. Kelso

-John J. Kelso, Newspaper Reporter and Social Crusader

“John Joseph Kelso (31 March 1864 – 30 September 1935) was a newspaper reporter and social crusader who immigrated to Canada from Ireland with his family in 1874 when he was ten years old. They suffered hardships of hunger and cold in their early years in Toronto and, throughout his life, this motivated Kelso’s compassion towards the poor and unfortunate. While a reporter for the World and the Globe, Kelso founded the Toronto Humane Society in 1887 for the prevention of cruelty to children and animals, the Fresh Air Fund and the Santa Claus Fund in 1888 to provide excursions and cheer for poor women and children, and the Children’s Aid Society (Canada) in 1891.”

John J. Kelso is an inspiring person. Imagine how proud he’d be to see what a thriving and devoted organization The Toronto Humane Society continues to be today.

The expression: You can’t take it with you, is said to help us focus on what is real and important in this world. But animals don’t need to be reminded of this. For there is nothing they want but love (and some food to keep them going!)

How can I get involved?

Sign up for the Toronto Humane Society Newsletter.

Sign up here!

It’s full of:

  • Stories
  • Tips on being a good pet parent
    (i.e. cold weather warnings, dental care, spay/neuter program, etc.)
  • Opportunities (big and small) to get involved, including –
  1. Donating yarn for volunteers to knit into blankets
  2. Submitting a picture of your pet for the Toronto Humane Society Calendar
  3. Watching a comedy night where part of the proceeds go to the Toronto Humane Society
  4. Volunteering to build shelters
  5. Picking apple branches to use as treats for special species
  6. Taking part in annual fundraisers like Paws in the Park
  7. Participating in the March Break and summer camps for kids
  8. Turning your birthday party into a fundraiser with the option to still get gifts
  9. Planning your own fundraising event!
  10. Applying to be a Junior Leader Volunteer at the Toronto Humane Society for high school Mandatory Community Involvement Hours, etc.

Take Action Challenge:

The most frequent, and most important feedback we get from Who Is NOBODY? participants is how:

A little bit makes a big difference.

So here’s a little challenge to you… Can you think of one person in your life who might want to get involved in one of the activities above, including simply signing up for the Toronto Humane Society Newsletter? If so, please forward this blog post that lists and links many exciting ways to make a difference at the Toronto Humane Society.


Stay In Touch Sign up for our biannual newsletter
Stay In Touch Sign up for our biannual newsletter
Have you ever been to an animal shelter?

How have you donated to animals in need? Was it with your time, materials, funds or by creating awareness?

Do you have a pet? Leave us a comment and picture as we’d love to see your furry friend!