Friday, February 12, 2010

OHS sees increase in number of animals surrendered for financial reasons

February 12, 2010
For immediate release

Two Ottawa men have been charged with animal cruelty after a three-month-old husky puppy was violently thrown against a table, resulting in severe injuries and head trauma to the animal.

The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) has seen a 57 per cent increase in the number of animals surrendered because their owners are unable to afford necessary medical treatment or general care.

The numbers are confirmation of a trend the OHS has long suspected, as more and more pet owners rely on the organization for help.

"The reality is that we are the last resort for so many pet owners in the community," said OHS Executive Director, Bruce Roney. "Thousands of animals come to us every year because people are either unable or unwilling to care for them. Our job is to open the doors to all of these animals and help them to the best of our abilities."

Jonas the cat is one animal recently handed over by an owner who couldn't afford treatment. The eight-month-old cat has a broken leg, likely the result of being hit by a car while roaming outside. Jonas' owner took him to a local vet clinic when she noticed the young cat limping, and when the costly bill for X-rays loomed, the owner opted to surrender Jonas to the OHS in an effort to save his life. At the OHS clinic, Jonas received pain medication to ease his suffering and his anxious nerves were calmed by staff. If Jonas' leg heals properly, he likely won't require surgery — but amputation is still a possibility. In the meantime, Jonas will be neutered and fostered until he's ready for adoption.

Jonas' companion in the clinic is Roxy, a six-month-old German shepherd/lab-mix puppy who broke her leg after she jumped off a freezer. Roxy's owner wasn't able to pay for the cost to treat her leg, so Roxy was turned over to the OHS to save her life. Roxy's young age means the $500 surgery needed to fix the ligaments in her leg might have to wait until she's older and her bones have finished growing. In the meantime, this friendly pup will go to a quiet foster home for the next month so she can rest and heal.

Jonas and Roxy are just two of the hundreds of animals who will come through the doors of the OHS this year in urgent need of medical treatment and care. While not able to help every animal that arrives with such extensive injuries, with no government funding or support, the OHS relies on the generosity of donors in the community to carry out this life-saving work. To make a gift to help Jonas and Roxy and other animals in need, visit


Jonas the cat and Roxy the dog are two animals recently surrendered to the OHS because their owners couldn't afford the medical treatment needed to repair the animals' broken legs. The OHS has seen a 57 per cent increase in animals being given up due to financial reasons.

For media inquiries, contact:
Tara Jackson, Communications Manager
(613) 725-3166 ext. 261

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