Municipal Animal Services, formerly Shelter of Hope. Port Hope, Cobourg, Hamilton Township,

Municipal Animal Services & Pound – formerly Shelter of Hope – Port Hope & Cobourg Ontario Area

November 27, 2019 –

Local Municipal Animal Services (formerly Shelter of Hope) leads the pack of No-Kill facilities

Municipal Animal Services is governed by the Joint Animal Control Municipal Service Board of Management representing the Town of Cobourg, Municipality of Port Hope, Township of Hamilton and Township of Alnwick / Haldimand. Its four member board consists of a councillor from each its four funding municipalities.

 Most definitions of a “No Kill” shelter or pound specify that 90% of the animals are saved. Local Municipal Animal Services (MAS) has not only qualified as a No Kill facility for the past four years but boasts a higher annual save rate average of 95%, and 2019’s save rate to date is 96.6%. Sadly, a small number of terminally ill or injured animals are not able to be saved. 

Since the implementation of the Barn Cat Adoption program in 2015, cats that would formerly have been considered aggressive and not socialized enough to be a house pet, have been going to barns and warehouses, etc where they can be “working cats”.

Among the many progressive policies implemented at MAS is the microchipping of all cats and dogs prior to adoption.  A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at shelters showed that dogs without microchips were only returned to their owners 22% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned 52% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 2% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 39% of the time.

All dogs and cats, even kittens, are spayed or neutered before adoption from MAS.  Adoption fees which include: spay/neuter, vaccinations, deworming, and microchipping, are priced at $205.(plus a $20. dog tag) for a dog, $95. for a cat or $125 for a kitten. Barn cat adoptions are by donation.

Municipal Animal Services is governed by the Joint Animal Control Municipal Service Board of Management representing the Town of Cobourg, Municipality of Port Hope, Township of Hamilton and Township of Alnwick / Haldimand. Its four member board consists of a councillor from each its four funding municipalities.

The municipal pound, formerly the Shelter of Hope, was renamed as Municipal Animal Services in January 2017.  Its previous name had caused confusion in the community with some people mistaking it for the Northumberland Humane Society (NHS) which has a different mandate. The NHS accepts owner surrendered animals but not strays,  whereas the MAS only accepts stray cats and dogs. 

Another difference is that the NHS is a registered charity,  MAS is not a registered charity but  is authorized to issue official tax receipts for donations from the public   MAS’s operating costs are funded by the four municipalities it services, therefore 100% of donations received can go towards the fund the donor chooses: either the Mercy Fund (emergency veterinary care), Spay/Neuter Fund, Barn Cat Program, or General Donations.

Will bequests to Municipal Animal Services are welcomed and go towards extras not in the municipal budget.  In 2019 a generous bequest from the estate of Mildred Greta Hannah and William Brodie Hannah allowed the pound to purchase 12 specialty kennel cages for feral cats with a unique layout that reduces stress and stress-related illness.

Municipal Animal Services welcomes visitors to their on-site adoption room to meet prospective furry family members or prospective barn cats.  Enquiries for volunteering and fostering are also welcome.

The MAS Facebook page at not only posts animals available for adoption at the pound but also photos and information about local missing or found pets which often leads to reunions. An upcoming website will be at

Municipal Animal Services is located at at 2363 Theatre Road South in Hamilton Township (north off Hwy #2 between Port Hope and Cobourg) in Ontario and is open to the public Mon-Fri 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sat 9:00am to 1:00 pm., and can be contacted at 905-885-7808.

The Shelter provides impound services, area patrol services, issuing of dog tags and animal adoption services.

Find out about the Shelter of Hope’s BARN CAT ADOPTION PROGRAM.

Find out about the FRIENDS of the Shelter of Hope Ad Hoc Committee.

Animal Adoption

Before The Shelter of Hope can place a stray animal up for adoption, the animal must first be held for 4 business days. During this holding period the owner is able to reclaim their lost pet. If the animal’s owner is not located in this time, the Shelter staff begins the process of placing the animal up for adoption. The Shelter of Hope’s goal is to place all unclaimed and surrendered animals into new loving homes.

The Shelter of Hope is a pound for a large area and must take in all strays from the four municipalities it services. Although there are times when the Shelter cannot find new homes fast enough during the peak periods. Foster care homes are needed to help out in these temporary situation. Contact Municipal Animal Services to find out how you can help animals by becoming a Foster Care Volunteer.

For more information:
Municipal Animal Services (formerly Shelter of Hope) Facebook page:

Municipal Animal Services (formerly Shelter of Hope)
2363 Theatre Road South, Box 1060
Cobourg, Ontario K9A 4W5

Telephone: 905-885-7808
Fax Number: 905-885-6804
Emergencies: 905-885-8092

Contact by email

Shelter of Hope Normal HOURS:
Mon. to Fri. 10 am to 4 pm
Sat. 9 am to 1 pm
Closed to the public on Sundays and Holidays

Animal Control services remain the same continuing to receive calls up to 5:00 p.m.
Emergency calls only after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends and holidays.


Due to the current status of the COVID-19 virus, the facility will be closed to the public until further notice. The facility is operating by appointment only. Please call 905-885-7808 for assistance if you have found a stray dog or cat. Do not bring an animal to the facility unless you have called ahead and made arrangements with staff. Staff will make arrangements to return an animal outside of regular hours so please call 905-885-8092 to arrange a pick-up time. This is an emergency only line between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Please call 905-885-7808 about dog tag sales, animals available for adoption, to arrange an appointment time for viewing, or any other inquiries. Thank you for your cooperation and we apologize for any inconvenience.

FIND OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE SHELTER AND ITS GOVERNING BOARD – Read the board meeting minutes and agendas:


(Agendas include Minutes plus all Reports)