Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding and joyful experiences we can have as humans. Our dogs (and cats!) are loyal, love to cuddle and spend time with us, and most importantly they never judge us. In exchange for our love, food and shelter, they provide a lifetime of enjoyment.

However, in Facebook terms, that relationship can switch to “it’s complicated”. Dogs may develop leash aggression, or not play nice with other pets, or start guarding their food and toys a little too much. They may start regressing on their training, or they may be young and need direction. Cats also can be challenging when they don’t receive enough stimulation and may have a propensity to “play rough” or litter box issues (etc.) can arise.

The Winnipeg Humane Society developed the Yelp Line to help pet owners, and we offer behaviour and training courses. However, when our facility was built there was not sufficient funds left to build a section that will be solely dedicated to the thousands of pet owners in need of assistance. We received hundreds of calls every year and our dog behaviour and training classes are always full. But commencing this fall, thanks to the generosity of Jim Gauthier in memory of his wife Joyce, The Winnipeg Humane Society will have an addition devoted to the betterment of the owner-pet bond: The Joyce Gauthier Behaviour and Training Centre.

We are humbled and grateful to have received Mr. Gauthier’s incredibly generous gift of $1 million dollars to build the Joyce Gauthier Training & Behaviour Centre. The WHS will now be able to expand our training and behaviour courses, partner with other organizations for dog gymnastics and other programs, and also increase the quantity of our educational offerings for youth.

Today is a great day for each and every pet owner in Winnipeg. Thank you Jim Gauthier for your trust, your generosity, and your leadership. We pledge to use this new facility to bring back the smiles of owners going through a rough time with their pets, enrich the quality of life of the animals under our care, and host many more youths that want to learn more about responsible pet ownership and the amazing link between domestic animals and humans.

Expanded classes will begin in November and I can’t wait to see you all at the Joyce Gauthier Behaviour and Training Centre.

Javier Schwersensky, CEO