No Place Like Home: Intake Diversion Works

Room: St Laurent

Karen Reichheld, Manager, Animal Care and Adoptions, Hamilton/Burlington SPCA

All too often, cats are surrendered to shelters because their owners are no longer able to care for them for a variety of reasons. However, there are instances where cats in safe and loving homes have very treatable conditions and yet for whom treatment by a community veterinarian is not affordable for the pet family.

The No Place like Home program at the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA treats cats at risk of surrender on an ambulatory basis where the best option for the cats is to live out their lives with their owners – healthy, safe and wanted – in their own homes. The Forever Home Fund was generously seeded by a donor family who continue to fund the program directly.


  1. Range of ambulatory conditions treated to date in the program.
  2. Three case scenarios and outcomes.
  3. The impact of intake diversion on the HBSPCA adoption program and shelter case mix.

Karen Reichheld is Manager, Animal Care and Adoptions, at the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA. With 20 years of experience in the animal welfare sector, Karen has provided leadership at the shelter for growing the capacity of the Companion Animal Hospital, ensuring best practice adoption processes and building programs that keep people and pets thriving together. Her "just do it" attitude and consistent focus on "what is the right thing to do for the animal" leaves no pet companions behind. Karen is a registered caregiver to a colony of seven cats, as well as Mom to Andy, an 8-year-old Boston Terrier, and Chase, a 15-year-young cat.