History / overview

The original name of the Upper Credit Humane Society (UCHS) was the Erin and Hillsburgh and District Humane Society (EHDHS). The EHDHS was founded as a Branch of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA) in 1991. The original founders of the Society were Robert and Anne Burr, who, with a group of concerned local citizens, began holding meetings in an Erin church basement. During the first year, the EHDHS concerned itself primarily with the welfare of local wildlife and investigating reports of cruelty to animals.

As more volunteers offered to help, the Society was able to take on more responsibilities. An office with a dedicated phone line was set up in the home of one of the volunteers. Volunteers provided foster homes for dogs and cats. A large foster home for dogs was set up on a farm following a cruelty case involving more than one hundred dogs that had to be removed from their owner. More than a dozen cats were fostered in a playhouse in the back yard of another volunteer. As the number of animals cared for by the Society increased, so did the amount of fund-raising required to support the work.

Eventually the Board of Directors and the membership of the EHDHS voted to become an independent society. In 1995, the Society incorporated as charity under the name Upper Credit Humane Society and was granted affiliate status by the Ontario SPCA.

The UCHS took over the pound contracts for the towns of Erin and Eramosa to ensure that no local stray animals would be euthanized unnecessarily or sold for research. The society utilized donated kennel space from the animal hospital in Hillsburgh until funds were raised to build an animal shelter.

Construction of the UCHS animal shelter, education center, and thrift and collectables shop started in 2002 and was completed in March 2003 on a piece of land donated to the town of Erin to be used for the construction of an animal shelter.

Once again, the number of animals requiring care increased and in 2006, the thrift shop moved to its current location in Moore Park Plaza in Georgetown.

In May 2011, the UCHS Board and membership voted to again become an independent humane society. As an independent, community-based organization, the UCHS refers all reports of animal cruelty or inhumane treatment of animals to the appropriate branch of the OSPCA, which is mandated to investigate all accusations of animal neglect, abuse and cruelty.