Thursday, December 30, 2010

Santa Pet Pics – A Huge Success

Thank you to all who helped make this year's Santa Pet Pics another success. Events were held at Westgate, Lincoln Fields and Elmvale shopping centres and raised over $5,700 for the animals. Our volunteer Santas and elves loved watching the happy animals and children as those post-card moments were captured on film.

Thank you to everyone who came out, especially to all the volunteers who gave their valuable time to take part in this holiday event. We also appreciate the support of ZoomPhoto and all the participating shopping malls.

We are looking forward to adding another location for Santa Pet Pics next year – our new shelter. Watch for details in the new year!

Two cat photo bloopers

Our new photography volunteers, Dale and Jan, caught these two cute photo bloopers in the past few weeks:

Oscar (A125181), a 3 year old neutered male cat, is a little camera shy!

Chanel (A121932, a 1 year and 9 month old spayed female cat, prefers her kibble served in a martini glass! Yum!

Both cats are currently available for adoption at the Ottawa Humane Society.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

OHS Pet of the Week: Keenai A123537

Attention all wall-flowers! Have you been longing for a feline friend who understands what it's like being shy? Then Keenai (A123537) may be the cat for you. This handsome and sweet cat may appear shy at first, but he quickly warms up once he gets to know you. He enjoys sturdy scratching posts and watching TV in the evenings. Five years old and neutered, Keenai would prefer a quiet, adult home with only one other feline friend.

To learn more about Keenai, contact our Adoption Centre at 613-725-3166 ext. 258 or send an email to

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Help a Scared Cat: Purchase her a Hide and Perch Box

A scary new environment, full of strange sounds and smells can be terrifying for a cat. When cats are scared they try to appear as small as possible, and they shrink and cower in the back of their kennels. A cat who is scared is less likely to be adopted into a loving home, and sadly, stress is a major cause of disease and death in shelter cats.

To help reduce the fear and stress, the OHS provides hide and perch boxes so a cat can retreat to a safe cubby and perch to see what is going on. The box goes home with the cat upon adoption to ease transition to the new home.

One hide and perch box will provide a cat safety, security, and a calm stay at the OHS, helping to ensure a new life in a loving home.

There are so many stressed cats in our overcrowded shelter. Keep 15 cats healthy for only $25.

$1,600 buys 1000 hide-and-perch boxes
$250 buys 156 hide-and-perch boxes
$100 buys 62 hide-and-perch boxes
$75 buys 46 hide-and-perch boxes
$25 buys 15 hide-and-perch boxes

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

OHS Pets of the Week: Jamie and Vincent

They say that opposites attract, and Jamie and Vincent certainly live up to this cliché. These two best friends enjoy each other’s company and like to do feline things together (napping, eating, watching birds from the window) but they have different personalities.

Vincent (A105810), a sleek orange tabby male with a bubblegum-pink nose, loves to play. He enjoys spending part of his days hunting his toys and engaging in play with people. Jamie (A104821), on the other hand, is a plump female brown tabby with white. She prefers to watch Vincent pounce around the room while she rests comfortably on a favourite perch.

These 1 year 8 month old sterilized cats are suitable for families with older children. Both cats would prefer a home with comfy couches, sunny windows, and lots of sturdy scratching posts! If you’re looking for two feline friends, contact the Ottawa Humane Society at 613-725-3166 ext. 258 or at

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ottawa Humane Society Provides Twelve Pet Safety Tips for Christmas

The Ottawa Humane Society is reminding pet owners that the holidays present many hazards for pets. The same things that make Christmas special to people may cause problems for their animals. Here are the OHS's Twelve Pet Tips for Christmas to keep your companion animals safe, healthy and happy.

The busy social season

1. Holidays are a busy time for visiting and being visited – you may be away for extended periods or have a house full of guests. If you're away, have someone check in on your pet or board your pet. Note that your pet's vaccinations will have to be up-to-date to be accepted at a boarding facility.

2. If you're entertaining, you may wish to keep your pets in a quiet room away from the noise and activity. If they're mingling among the guests, make sure you're monitoring them so that they don't share your guests' holiday finger foods!

The glittering Christmas decorations

3. Christmas ornaments should be "pet-friendly." Avoid using tinsel on trees! Curious animals are attracted by the shiny strings and may swallow them, which can lead to serious injury-and expensive surgery! Ornaments hung on lower tree limbs should not be breakable. Also, keep your tree free of decorations made of food!

4. Barricade the water trough around the tree to prevent your pet from drinking the water, which may be dirty and contain pine needles, which are indigestible.

5. Be careful with Christmas lights! Secure electrical cords and conceal outlets. Pets may chew on cords; and keep pets away from open flames.

6. Some Christmas plants are toxic to pets. Keep your pets away from mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and amaryllis. If ingested, they may cause vomiting, diarrhea and/or other problems. If your pet has ingested something you're unsure about, call your veterinarian!

The carefully purchased and lovingly wrapped gifts

7. After gifts have been unwrapped, discard or store wrapping paper and ribbons, which could be dangerous, play toys for pets.

8. You're not the only one looking under the tree with curiosity. If you don't know what's in a package, don't leave it under the tree! You may find out the hard way that Aunt Jane got you a delicious box of Belgian truffles. Note that chocolate is toxic for cats and dogs.

The sumptuous holiday fare

9. Table scraps and left-overs aren't just too rich for your pets. Bones in the meat could lead to serious complications or death.

10. Ensure that edibles in Christmas stockings or on the tree are unreachable by your pet and away from dangerous places, such as the fireplace.

The winter wonderland

11. Always ensure that your pet is wearing adequate identification. With more frequent comings-and-goings, it's easy for your pet to slip out of the house unnoticed.

12. On colder days, limit your pet's exposure to the out-of-doors to short time periods.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ottawa Humane Society Experiences Fundraising Shortfall

Donations down 40% on holiday campaign

The Ottawa Humane Society is experiencing a 40% shortfall on its seasonal fundraising campaign. The drop in funding will directly impact the animals in its care. As a result, the OHS is appealing to supporters to donate now.

"Due to a supplier problem that resulted in the delay of a major campaign mailing we haven't received a response from many of our regular donors, many of whom support us once a year, at Christmas time," says Bruce Roney, Executive Director, Ottawa Humane Society.

"Our community's expectations of us continue to increase. We will always do the best for the most, but the best depends on the resources we have. Unfortunately, with this campaign shortfall, we have less at our disposal," Roney adds.

Gifts can be made by mailing cheques to the OHS, online at or calling our fundraising office at 613-725-3166 ext. 252.

Puppy abandoned in box at toboggan park finds shelter at Ottawa Humane Society

A tiny Dachshund — cold and shivering — was discovered by a woman and her daughter in their neighbourhood toboggan park Tuesday evening in -12º C temperatures. They immediately brought the three-month-old puppy to the Ottawa Humane Society, where staff quickly dubbed her Noelle.

Noelle, the three-month-old abandoned Dachshund discovered in park.
Shocked and upset, the mother and daughter had no idea how the puppy got there. Fortunately, other than being frightened, the puppy appears to be in good health and spirits, despite its exposure to the cold and lack of food and water.

"Since the puppy seems well cared for, the owner may have been overwhelmed or felt they got more than they were bargaining for," says Bruce Roney, OHS Executive Director. The OHS emphasizes the importance of people doing their homework before bringing an animal into their home. "Owners need to ask questions and plan ahead — that's the beginning of responsible pet ownership," says Roney.

Noelle is being cared for at the OHS shelter. If no owner comes forward, she will be assessed, sterilized, and placed for adoption.

Each year, the OHS takes in thousands of stray or abandoned animals. Unfortunately, not all are discovered right away and in winter, they are at risk for frostbite, dehydration, exhaustion and worse if they are not rescued quickly. The OHS admits and cares for approximately 11,000 animals each year, in a shelter designed to accommodate 2500.

"Lucky for this puppy she was brought to us right away and now has a second chance at finding a home where she'll receive the love and care she deserves," adds Roney.

A word about the Ottawa Humane Society
The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The Society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

OHS Pet of the Week: Pudding

Meet Pudding (A117725)! He is a handsome, 3 year old, neutered male fawn tabby and white with a lot of personality.

He finds anything within his reach to be a toy! Needless to say, he is easily entertained. He is looking for a home with an experienced cat owner as he is an exuberant player and can get a little too rough with his play behaviour. He would be suited in a home with older children who can help teach him how to play gently.

He needs a very large litter box to support his larger body and give him space to cover things when he is done. People have been known to say he is a dog trapped in a cat’s body. He enjoys following you around the home and greeting you at the door.

Does Pudding sound like to purr-fect feline friend for your home? Visit with him at the shelter today to see if he is the right match, or contact us at 613-725-3166 ext. 258 or at

Ottawa Humane Society Thanks Donors and Veterinary Community

Backlog of treatments and surgeries cleared thanks to donors, volunteer vets, and local clinics

Thanks to the efforts of community donors, local veterinarians, animal hospitals, volunteer and staff vets, the Ottawa Humane Society clinic is back on track and no longer backlogged.

"We did not have a staff veterinarian for two months this fall," says Bruce Roney, OHS Executive Director. "Local animal hospitals assisted us by taking our backlogged cases during that time. Our regular volunteer veterinarians donated more of their time, more frequently. Our fill-in vets took on additional shifts, and our generous supporters donated funds so that we could outsource medical procedures as we needed. We want them all to know how deeply grateful we are."

The shortage caused surgeries to be backlogged, which caused increased risk to the animals’ health as they waited in the crowded shelter environment longer than originally planned. Animal adoptions were also delayed since animals must first be spayed or neutered before adoption.

Thankfully, the OHS clinic is back at full strength now, performing more than 3,000 routine spay/neuter surgeries and more than 450 life-saving surgeries in-house each year.

The OHS would like to thank Dr. Vicki Bamberger, Dr. Don Caldwell, Dr. Glenys Hughes, Dr. Tina Chou, Dr. Tara DaCosta and Dr. Cheryl Laite for volunteering their time when it was so urgently needed, and for their ongoing volunteer work and commitment to the OHS clinic.

A word about the Ottawa Humane Society
The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The Society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Deliveries

Puddy, a 3 year old neutered male cat, would love a home for Christmas.
Are you planning a quiet holiday at home this holiday season? Are you thinking of adopting a pet in the near future? Why not welcome your new furry friend to his or her forever home on Christmas morning? The staff and volunteers at the Ottawa Humane Society are once again offering a Christmas morning delivery program to personally bring animals to their new homes. If interested, here’s what you need to know:
  • Parents must come in to the OHS to pre-adopt their pet prior to December 23. Our trained Adoption Centre staff can help you pick out a suitable pet for your family.
  • We’ve invited local media to take photos of the happy deliveries. Your picture and story may be used in local news pieces.

For more information, contact our Adoption Centre at 613-725-3166 ext. 258, or send an email to

Adopt an Older Cat

My late cat, Cake.
In September, my husband told me he was ready for another cat. We had to put our beloved senior cat to sleep in the spring. Devastated at that time, Nik told me “no more cats.” But after a few months he missed the purrs and antics of a cat, so he changed his mind.

I pounced on this opportunity and rushed to the Ottawa Humane Society's Adoption Centre. I knew exactly what I wanted: a quiet, indoor-only cat; friendly with a big purr; and had lived with other pets (we have two dogs).

I turned my attention to the older cats. Don’t get me wrong, I love kittens! But the benefits of adopting an older cat are many.

Older cats are usually victims of unfortunate circumstances
Most older cats arrive at the OHS because of owner allergies, a move into pet-unfriendly housing, divorce, illness, or an unexpected death. They aren’t defective or worn-out: their families simply aren’t capable of keeping them anymore.

What you see is what you get
With an adult cat you get to see the cat for who it is. If you like to know what you’re getting yourself into, an older cat is a safe bet.

Lessons already learned
Adult cats already know their limits, and know that climbing on top of the book-case to check out a vase is a really, really bad idea.

Energy Levels
Adult cats sleep more, play less, and are happy to hang out with you in front of the TV. And they certainly are less likely to bite your toes through the blanket in the middle of the night.

Financial Benefits
Most of the older cats at the OHS have had dentistry. This costs about $500 - $800 at a vet clinic, so it’s nice to have it done already and not have to worry about that financial expense. As well, if you prefer declawed cats, you can usually find an adult cat who has already had this surgery.

I ended up adopting Pie (pictured above), an 8 year old cat who had previously lived with an animal hoarder. He had dentistry done at the shelter (three teeth pulled!) and has extra toes. He settled into our home quickly: he loves to help me read a book, and on sunny days he lounges in the sunshine. He has picked out a corner of the bed to sleep on at night. My vet said I picked the perfect cat! My husband agrees.

For the abandoned, forgotten, and heartbroken adult cats, you just might be their best chance to have the love and warmth of a home where they can live out their years in comfort. Please consider adopting an older cat. You can see photos and profiles of all the cats currently waiting for new homes on our website, at

When cared for properly, cats can live well into their late teens, and sometimes into their early twenties. Typically, they will remain active and playful throughout most of their lives. Some may need a little extra patience while adjusting to a new home, but once they feel safe and secure again, most will give you years of faithful companionship and unconditional love. Just like my Pie.

~Michelle at the OHS

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

OHS Pet of the Week: Reba the Rotti mix

Need a friend to help you beat the winter blues? Or how about a friend to help you stay in shape during winter? Then we have the girl for you! Meet Reba (A121100), an eight year old, female/spayed, Rottweiler mix looking for a new forever home. She is an older girl with Rotti-wiggle and big heart. She is looking for a dedicated family who has done their research on caring for a canine friend.

Although she may not want to admit this, she does have some weight to loose. Her new family needs to be ready to take her out DAILY, even during the winter season, to help her loose the weight and keep it off! Not to mention daily activities will help her stay happy and healthy in mind and body. She is not a fan of other canines and does have some stubbornness with her food. She is suited for a family with slightly older children (8 years+) provided they are sturdy on their feet and can take part in her training!

Want to give an older girl a second chance at a new life? Then come down to the shelter and meet her today, or contact the OHS Adoption Centre at 613-725-3166 ext. 258 or at

Friday, December 3, 2010

Heart Warming Gifts: Give the gift of love this holiday season

Buddy & Belle Fund: 9 Miniature Poodles

Twelve miniature poodles ranging from 2 to 10 years old were removed recently from a home in North Bay and brought to the OHS. The OHS worked with the North Bay Humane Society when the owner was unable to care for the dogs and refused to surrender them in her area. Already crowded, the OHS was able to find a small, quiet, space where the poodles could be together and recuperate from their journey prior to moving into foster care.

Unfortunately, not all of the poodles were in good health and temperament — three of the animals were euthanized and the remaining dogs were placed in foster care as soon as possible. The nine poodles have been named after Santa's reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolf. When they have gained enough weight, medical procedures such as extensive dental work, spaying and neutering, and vaccinations, will be performed.

Your gift will ensure that these poodles receive the love and medical attention they need until they find their forever homes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Special Delivery from the North to the Ottawa Humane Society

Iqaluit dogs need loving new homes
Santa comes just once a year, but at the Ottawa Humane Society, there's a special delivery from the North every Tuesday!

Once a week, a team of OHS volunteers pick up dogs delivered from Iqaluit, courtesy of Canadian Northern Airlines, as part of the OHS Iqaluit Program which began in 2002. When space is available at the OHS, homeless dogs from Iqaluit, like Anikulu, a four month old Alaskan Malamute puppy, arrive hoping to find loving families and forever homes.

Iqaluit suffers from severe dog overpopulation. Many of the animals would otherwise roam at large up North—unsterilized, and likely starve to death or be shot. Once here, they receive medical attention as needed, and undergo standard health and temperament assessments. Some are placed in foster homes until they're ready to be adopted.

Anikulu is a four month old Malamute puppy from Iqaluit at the Ottawa Humane Society.
This December, Ottawa Humane Society staff are hoping the Christmas spirit will move Ottawa area residents to welcome the dogs from up North into their hearts and homes.

Although the OHS Adoption Centre discourages unplanned, last-minute adoptions and people looking to give animals as gifts, if you've done your homework and planned accordingly, a new addition to the family during Christmas could be good timing. "The holiday season is a good time to adopt a dog," says Bruce Roney, OHS Executive Director. "You may have more time to socialize and bond with your pet before getting back into your busy routine."

What is the difference between the Ottawa Humane Society and the Ontario SPCA?

What is the OSPCA?
The OSPCA stands for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Under the OSPCA Act, the OSPCA is empowered to investigate animal cruelty in Ontario. It is made up of affiliates and branches.

What is the difference between affiliates and branches of the OSCPA?
Affiliates are independent humane societies with their own boards of directors, staff, budgets, etc. Branches report to the OSPCA directly, have OSPCA staff and are given a budget directly by the OSPCA. Branches generally have community advisory boards.

How is the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) associated with the OSPCA?
The OHS is an affiliated member of the OSPCA. The OHS pays annual dues of $3,000 and has voting rights as a member.

What does the OSPCA do in Ottawa and for the OHS?
The OSPCA provides basic training and accreditation for our animal cruelty inspectors and agents and is available as a resource for information about animal cruelty investigations. As well, the OHS relies on the OSPCA to address province-wide issues with the provincial government.

Does the OSPCA fund the OHS?
No. Other than the basic investigations training for OHS investigation staff, all other expenses related to investigations of animal cruelty, including salaries, vehicles, care of animals in the case of removals, etc. in OHS jurisdiction is borne by the OHS and our donors. The OSPCA does not provide sheltering or care of animals in Ottawa.

For more information about the OSPCA, please visit their website at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Dog Adoption Pods: natural light and space to play!

In the Adoption Centre of our new building, visitors will able to see our dogs relax and play, in three separate dog adoption pods (clusters of dog rooms), featuring natural light and hospital quality air. Dogs will no longer have to be housed behind bars. In our current facility, we do not have that option.

Our current adoption dog kennels are old, cramped, and not adoption-friendly.
The new shelter will feature spacious dog rooms for large and small dogs, and the public will actually be able to see the dogs available for adoption. The design of the dog room windows provides natural light and minimizes disturbance or stress to the adoptable dogs.

In our new home, we will have spacious adoption pods very similar to those pictured here, from the Winnipeg Humane Society
Another benefit of the dog adoption pod is the common socialization space the dog rooms are wrapped around. This multi-purpose room can be used as a play area, meeting area for families interested in adopting, and as a back access for staff. This design allows staff to feed and care for the dogs while the Adoption Centre is open, allowing for greater flexibility in our opening hours than in our current location.

We are all looking forward to more dogs finding forever homes because of the design of our new building!

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