May 19



In 1981 Elaine Matthews along with 12 volunteers that were passionate about animals and determined to help abused, abandoned and neglected animals within the Muskoka community began to raise awareness by collecting funds to build a shelter for the creatures. For about four years the team worked restlessly by holding bake sales, setting up information booths at festivals and farmer markets and started to conduct events that include ‘Dog Walk-A-Thon,’ ‘Telethon‘ and also ‘Tag Days‘ where they would sell pet licenses. In 1985 with all the hard work Elaine and the team provided they finally opened up Muskoka’s first shelter, a school portable that is still used today. Over those years the shelter became a huge success in the community that was sometimes known as ‘The Little Shelter That Could‘ because of its ability to do so much with so little resources. For over 20 years the small branch has provided animal welfare services that include animal cruelty investigations, animal rescues, taking in animals and finding a home for them, abandoned and stray animals and humane education programs in Muskoka at local schools. In the last three years the shelter has improved dramatically for the benefit of the animals, staff, volunteers and visitors where they added an addition of three outdoor cat gazebos, eight new dog runs, a room for cats and also many safety and efficiency renovations. Each year individuals come forward to take their time and expertise by giving a better life for the abandoned, uncared animals.


The Ontario SPCA Muskoka Branch is part of over 50 Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(SPCA) branches that work together that provides care and shelter for over 10,000 animals a year.

Programs & Services they provide:

  • Cruelty Investigations
  • Sheltering and Adoptions
  • Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation
  • Government and Industry Advocacy
  • Humane Education
  • Reducing Pet Overpopulation
  • Emergency Rescue and Treatment
  • Reuniting Lost Pets with their Owners
  • Family Violence Assistance Program

Adopt a pet in Muskoka today.

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