Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year

I’ve never been much for New Year’s resolutions, at least not in my personal life. I have always thought it was a bit silly and likely to fail. At work, though, it’s a different story.

I have two work resolutions for this coming year:

First, I want to respect and honour the many donors and many gifts that made our wonderful new shelter possible by using it to its absolute fullest to improve the lives of today’s and tomorrow’s animals.

Second, I want to spend more time with our supporters, getting to know them and learning about their aspirations for the animals and the future, and of course thanking them for making the work of the OHS possible every day.

Happy New Year everyone!

Bruce Roney, Ottawa Humane Society Executive Director

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Community cat rooms cause contentment

As I walked through our new Adoption Centre yesterday, I passed by a couple in their twenties with their faces pressed to the glass of one of the community cat rooms.

“You can go in to the rooms you know,” I told them.

The young woman’s eyes widened. “We can? You just MADE my day!”

I led them into the room where they could visit, stroke and pick up the cats. Of course, I immediately ceased to exist as they explored the room with a dozen or so mostly dozing cats.

We first saw community cat rooms when researching successful newer shelters across the country. In Edmonton, we saw visitors coming and going from these rooms. It went against everything we thought we knew about healthy housing of cats in shelters, but it was so astoundingly wonderful in so many ways we knew we had to try to make a visitor’s — and a cat’s — day.

Bruce Roney, Ottawa Humane Society Executive Director

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A message from the Executive Director

The coming year looks very promising at the Ottawa Humane Society, and it is looking great for the animals in our care.

After 43 years, we have finally moved to a bright, modern and spacious facility. If you haven't visited yet, this is the perfect time, as the shelter looks particularly beautiful decked out for the holidays.

I am particularly thrilled with the live outdoor Christmas tree, as that is what I chose to name along with my gift to the Breaking Ground Building Campaign! I am proud that this symbol of peace and joy will forever have my name on it.

From me and from all of us here at the OHS, please accept our very best wishes for a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and all the best in the New Year for you and everyone you love.


(Bruce Roney, Ottawa Humane Society Executive Director)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hoppy Holidays!

HO HO HO Hop over to the OHS to find your next best friend!

This is Speedy, A138365, an unaltered female, brown Dwarf rabbit.

She is about 2 years and 7 months old, and was surrendered by her owner on November 23.

Speedy is one of severeal rabbits and other small animals currently looking for a new home.

Rabbits are unique creatures who form tight bonds with their families and can make great companions. They are very social as well as active and playful. While their life expectancy varies with breed, rabbits can live anywhere from 5 to 15 years.
Why Rabbits Can Make Good Pets
·         Rabbits are social and with gentle handling are generally quite tame.
·         They are playful and entertaining to watch.
·         They can be litter trained. They also respond well to gentle training and sometimes can be trained to perform special behaviors or tricks.
What You Need to Know Before Deciding on a Rabbit

Rabbits need a great deal of interaction with their owners or other rabbits to be happy. Daily playtime and exercise outside of their cage are a necessity.

Rabbit pellets alone are not a sufficient diet – these pets need lots of roughage in the form of good quality hay and a variety of fresh vegetables. They do need to chew, so lots of safe chew toys should be provided, and any spaces where the rabbit is allowed to run must be carefully rabbit-proofed.

Rabbits need veterinarians, too! They should be spayed or neutered to keep them happy and healthy.
Click here for more information about adopting a pet from the Ottawa Humane Society!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Quick catch saves cat

Early in November, OHS Rescue and Investigation Services agent Hammond responded to a call about a cat up a tree. When she arrived on the scene, she saw that the six-month-old kitten appeared bright and responsive.  She requested that the property owner bring an can of tuna and leave it in the area, monitoring regularly to see if the cat would come down on its own.
The following day agent Hammond returned as the kitten was still 40 feet up in the tree, so attempted to coax it down again, and this time it worked! A few quick shakes of some dry food in a bowl got the kitty’s attention and she immediately tried to climb down. 
A misstep on a thin branch caused the poor kitten to lose her grip and she was suddenly dangling by her front paws.  With no time to retrieve a net from her vehicle, agent Hammond removed her jacket hoping she could catch the cat if it tumbled. Sure enough, the kitten lost its grip entirely, and fell right into agent Hammond’s arms. She was taken right away to the OHS and checked out by a veterinarian.  Miraculously, she was not injured.
When no owner claimed the wayward cat, the beautiful tortoiseshell feline was spayed while she was at the OHS and was quickly adopted into a new home.  The new owner was very grateful that agent Hammond made the life-saving catch.  We bet “Amber” as her new owner named her, is thankful too!

Agent Hammond visits with Amber, the six-month-old kitten she managed to catch when it fell 40 feet from a tree.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Good things come in small packages!

Dogs and cats aren’t the only adoptable pets at the Ottawa Humane Society! The OHS has gerbils, rabbits, degus, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, mice, birds and other small animals. In fact, we have almost double the number of small animals this year (44) in our new facility as we did last year at this time!

Adopting a small pet can be a great experience. These friendly, easy-to-care-for pets are very social and benefit from regular handling and interaction with their owners. A small animal could be perfect for you if:

  • You want a pet, but don’t have the energy for daily dog walks or jogs

  • You don’t like having a big furry pet following you or jumping on your lap

  • You think small animals like ferrets and chinchillas are fascinating and you want to learn more about them

Before adopting a small animal, be sure you have taken the time to learn about their specific requirements and behaviours. The OHS Adoption counsellors are happy to provide you with the information you need and to help make the best match for you.

Click here to check out the many different small animals available for adoption at the OHS now!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reasons to become Santa for a day – or two!

Have you ever donned a white beard and red coat to keep the hope alive during the holidays? Have you thought about it, but never had the opportunity?
Here is your chance!
Santa Pet Pics is the Ottawa Humane Society’s holiday fundraiser that allows four-legged family members to take part in the traditional Santa portrait fun.
It is one of our most popular fundraising programs at the Ottawa Humane Society. To guarantee the success of the program, we need many special helpers – especially volunteer Santas wanting to brighten the lives of families during the holiday season and help the animals at the OHS.
If you like to see children’s faces light up and love to interact with animals, we want to hear from you. If you have previous Santa experience, great! If not, we are willing to train if you’re willing to learn!
To be an OHS Santa Paws, you’ll need:
·         A good sense of humour!
·         Animal handling experience (dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.)
·         Experience and enjoyment working with children
·         A Criminal Records check

The Santa is assisted by the pet owner and photographer’s assistant to position the animals, but owners and kids will often get into the picture as well, which is lots of fun and makes for a great photo!   
The Volunteer Manager will follow up with interested Santas to review fit and availability.
We’ll provide the red suit, you provide the smiles.

If you are interested in volunteering as a Santa for a variety of dates in December, please contact

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Frost-bitten cat rescued by Good Samaritan

Marlah (A126590), a one-year old black, short-haired cat discovered just how brutally cold Ottawa in February can be.
She had been left on her own in the cold until a Good Samaritan found her – suffering from frost bite to her ears, paw pads and her tail.
Marlah was brought to the OHS and examined by the OHS veterinarian. Some of the damage was permanent. Her ears and tail could not be saved and her tail had to be amputated.
Marlah was prescribed medication to help manage the pain, and given antibiotics to ward off infection. After the surgery, Marlah went to a foster volunteer’s home to recuperate in comfort.
Click here to make a donation towards Marlah’s treatment.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Black goes with everything, dahling!


Add some style to your life with a beautiful black cat or dog from the Ottawa Humane Society. 

The OHS  currently has 15 black cats, including Abracadabra A136451, Nibbler A135159, Velvet A135658 and other kitties, and three black dogs – Johhny A136232, Rufus A136119 and Bear A135570 – all waiting for forever homes.


Don’t discriminate against these dark-furred beauties!  Meet your new best friend online at or visit the adoption centre weekdays 11 to 7, Saturdays 10 to 5.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Adoption "tail" contest challenge

We adopted our dog from the Ottawa humane society, and initially she was very shy and almost subdued. She has since become very comfortable and is much more relaxed. She is extremely eager to please! 

She was nervous about being out in the backyard at night when we first brought her home and she wouldn’t move away from the door. She’s over that now though and enjoys running around the yard finding the her favourite red ball!

She loves her long walks also and has gotten good on the leash. She loves her after-walk cookie and her new dog bed. She loves to chase our cats, they don’t love that too much but are getting used to her.  

I am so happy we have her as a new addition to the family!  We had lost our beloved previous dog earlier this year and the void that left was unbelievable. Our new addition has certainly helped fill that void. We are still learning to understand each other and are having a wonderful time.  She is a very gentle soul, eager to please and loves everyone.

I also wanted to mention that she is not a dog I would  have originally looked at in the shelter because I had pre-conceived ideas about her breed mix. I was completely wrong. As a result of this experience, I would encourage anyone coming into the shelter to be open to looking at different breeds. It was a “fluke” that my daughter asked about her, and the staff was able to tell us about her personality... we met her... and here we are! She has a home and we have her!!

Think YOU can top this story? Enter our contest for a chance to win a prize worth $250! Share your "tail" and help the OHS promote pet adoption as the right thing to do.

Make us laugh — make us cry. Give us your best adoption story; a story we can share with others to promote OHS adoption as the best way to add a pet to your family.

The contest closes Thursday, December 1 at 12:00 pm. For all the details on how to enter, please click here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Safety first for a Happy Howl-o-ween

While Halloween can be frighteningly fun for families, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is reminding pet owners that this holiday may be too scary and potentially dangerous for your pet.

The OHS recommends taking these precautions to help keep pets safe this Halloween:

Keep pets safely indoors while trick-or-treating.  Dogs can become easily excited and difficult to handle during the noise and commotion of the festivities.  If they get loose, they may dart into traffic or become lost.  It’s best to keep pets indoors in a separate room of the house, so they don’t slip out when the door is opened.  It’s especially important to keep black cats indoors during the period around the holiday, as they may be the target of pranksters.

Parents should keep their children away from strange animals.  Animals are easily frightened at the sight of noisy, costumed children and may bite.

Make sure your pets are properly identified.  In the event of an accidental escape, a collar, tag and microchip are your best bet your animal will make it home.  Frequently-opened doors provide a great opportunity for animals, especially cats, to run out of the house unnoticed.

Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know he/she enjoys it.  Confining costumes can cause stress and injury to pets if it restricts their movement, hearing or ability to breathe, bark or see.  Small dangling pieces may be chewed off and cause choking or intestinal obstruction.  Never leave your costumed pets unsupervised. 

Use decorations with caution.  Keep your pets away from lit pumpkins and electrical cords to avoid shocks and burns.

Keep candy out of your pet’s reach.  Chocolate can be toxic to many animals including dogs, cats and ferrets.  Wrappers can be dangerous too.  Remember that any change in an animal’s diet can cause digestive upset.

If you observe an animal in immediate distress or danger at Halloween or any time, please contact the OHS Rescue and Investigation Services team at 613-725-1532.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fly away home

The benefits of bird and small animal adoption

Fall is typically the time when birds fly south in search of warmer climates. The Ottawa Humane Society is hoping that many of its birds currently available for adoption will also find a warm place to stay this fall!

Birds make fascinating companions. With their colourful plumage and melodic songs, birds can provide hours of entertainment for doting owners. They require a cage large enough to allow for exercise and flight, perches and toys to provide stimulation and a diet that includes seeds, nuts, fresh greens and fruit. Many birds are compatible in pairs, and in fact are happier living with a bird buddy. So, during the month of November, consider adding two finches, budgies or lovebirds to your family!
Armana, A129619

To find out more about the the birds and other small animals currently available for adoption at the OHS, click here!

This is Armana, A129619, a female, yellow and green Budgie. She is almost two years old and was surrendered to the shleter by her owner on May 9, 2011. She is one of several budgies currently available for adoption at the Ottawa Humane Society.

The average lifespan of a budgie is 8 to 10 years. It is not unusual for a budgie to live to 14 years of age and the occasional budgie makes it to 20! To insure your budgie has a long and happy life, he or she needs : a clean cage, daily exercise, a healthy diet, and plenty of activity and companionship.

Stop by the adoption centre at 245 West Hunt Club Road and visit with Armana and the other animals, or call 613-725-3166 ext. 258 to speak with an adoption counselor about what type of pet is right for you.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Buddy & Belle: Balou

Balou (A128330), a black Labrador retriever mix, was picked up at a local veterinary clinic by the OHS Rescue and Investigation Services team. He had suffered a broken leg and his owner could not afford veterinary care.

When he arrived at the OHS he was examined and given medication to help with this painful injury. After consultation with an orthopedic veterinarian, Balou’s leg was put into a Velpeau sling - a special type of sling to allow his leg to heal comfortably without surgery. Balou was fostered by a Registered Veterinary Technician (also an OHS employee) so he could have daily physiotherapy on his healing leg.

Balou is on the road to recovery! Please help Balou, and other animals like him, by sponsoring his medical treatment.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fire Prevention Week: What does that mean for your pet?

October 9 - 15 is Fire Prevention Week - the week to safeguard you, your family and your pets against fire! And what better time to "fire proof" your pets to help prevent a disaster from happening in your home.

Never leave a burning candle unsupervised! Even leaving the room for a minute is enough time for a curious cat or a tail-wagging dog to knock over a candle.

Make sure that all cords are either inaccessible to your pets, or that you unplug the cords when the electrical device is not in use. Some dogs, cats, rabbits and rodents like to nibble on cords, which can result in serious burns and can cause a fire.

Keep certain appliances, such as irons and hair dryers, out of pets' reach. These appliances can produce enough heat that, if knocked over by a pet, they could start a fire.

Install a barrier in front of fireplaces, campfires, barbecues and portable heaters. It is a myth that pets are afraid of fire - in fact, many pets like to lay close to a source of heat to stay warm. Lying too close to a fire could result in your pet's fur catching fire; and it is possible for most pets to knock over a portable heater or a barbecue. Always ensure your pets cannot get near these items.    

If your pet does get burned, put cool water on the burned area quickly, followed by a cold compress, and seek veterinary assistance immediately.

Want to let authorities know you have a pet in your home, in case of an emergency? Visit the Ottawa Humane Society at 245 West Hunt Club Road to pick up your window decal to place in a window or door.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Help the animals through the United Way!

If you haven’t yet decided how to direct your annual United Way gift, please consider directing all or a portion of it to the over 11,000 animals the Ottawa Humane Society cares for every year.  United Way gifts are used in critical areas like the in-house clinic where we perform more than 3,000 surgeries including life saving operations and spay and neuter procedures every year.   You can join thousands of individuals from our community who choose to direct their United Way donation to the animals at the OHS. 

How to make your gift
Simply fill in our organization name (Ottawa Humane Society) and our charitable number (123264715 RR0001) in the appropriate space on the United Way donation form. See the sample form on our website by clicking here.

You can also help the Ottawa Humane Society by letting your colleagues know about the option to direct their United Way donations to the OHS. Visit our website to print a poster which can be posted in your lunch or break room!
Even a small donation can help save the life of an animal who was neglected or abused. Help make the future bright for Ottawa’s animals!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Double your support for the OHS this weekend!

Supporters can donate their Air Miles to the Ottawa Humane Society, and supporters can also participate in the Rona Charities programs that saves them 5% and sends a donation to the OHS. 

Until Sunday, September 18, Air Miles is giving out extra miles on certain products at Rona -- so why not combine these two programs and support the OHS? 

This weekend, purchase a featured product at Rona and receive extra Air Miles that will go to the OHS, and in turn, receive 5% off your purchase which will convert into a donation to the OHS. 

Click to find out more about both programs: Air Miles or Rona Card 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Raccoon rescue

The OHS Rescue and Investigations Services (RIS) group receives many calls about wildlife in distress, but on September 12, an agent was dispatched to a precarious situation. 

A raccoon had  fallen down a 20-foot storm sewer as a result of having a plastic peanut butter jar stuck on its head.

An OHS RIS agent responded to a call from a Multi Drain Inc. worker who discovered the raccoon while working on sewers in the area.  One of the crew members volunteered to go down into the sewer to assist with the rescue, following some quick lessons on how to use a dog pole. 

When the raccoon was out, the RIS agent transported it to a nearby woods and spent the next 15 minutes removing the plastic jar.  After much twisting and pulling, the confused critter was freed and back where he belongs.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sandy Sharkey to match donations until midnight tonight!

The 93.9 Bob FM Morning Show was broadcast LIVE from the OHS Adoption Centre this morning.  A few months back, DS Plumbing won the broadcast in an auction that benefitted the animals at the OHS.  DS Plumbing chose to air the show LIVE from the new OHS facility.

For the past month, DS Plumbing earmarked a percentage of each service call to donate to the OHS.  On air today, they presented a check for $1,250 and host Sandy Sharkey announced that she is matching all donations made to the Ottawa Humane Society until midnight tonight!

What a way to kick off a weekend of fundraising! Funds raised through Sharkey's challenge will help pay for play structures and other items for the community cat room at the OHS.

Coming up on Sunday is the 23rd annual Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon to be held on Riverside Drive across from Billings Bridge Shopping Centre. This huge fundraiser for the animals at the OHS has already raised more than $70,000 online! The grand total will be announced at Sunday's event.

To make a one-time donation to the Ottawa Humane Society, which will be matched by Sandy Sharkey until midnight tonight, click here.

To find out more about the Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon, click here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Armin's leg

Armin (A129756) is an eight-month-old orange tabby kitten who was found in May with a noticeable limp. The finder, concerned for Armin’s leg and unable to find his owner, brought him to the Ottawa Humane Society.

The OHS veterinarian quickly determined Armin had a broken leg. Armin was immediately prescribed pain medication to make him feel better. An x-ray confirmed that his leg was broken – very badly. A consult with an orthopedic surgeon determined that due to the complexity of the break, his leg had to be amputated.

Armin underwent two surgeries in one day: neutering and the leg amputation. He came down with an upper respiratory infection (URI) a few days later, so he was sent to a foster volunteer’s home to recuperate in comfort.

You can help Armin, and other animals like him in need of emergency animal treatment, by making a donation.

BOB FM to broadcast live from the OHS

Tune in bright and early tomorrow morning when 93.9 BOB FM broadcasts its morning show live from the Ottawa Humane Society's Adoption Centre.

The radio shosts will be joined by members of the DS Plumbing team during the broadcast, and will also chat with OHS employees.

Radio host Sandy Sharkey is trying to raise $2,500 for the cause. Click here to help her reach this goal.

DS Plumbing and BOB FM are both sponsors of the 23rd annual Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon which will take place THIS SUNDAY September 11 on Riverside Drive across from Billings Bridge Shopping Centre and the R.A. Centre. Find out more at the Ottawa Humane Society website.

Join us for the 2 or 5 kilometre walk and stay for the Kids Zone, Pet Pavilion, barbecue, contests, and prizes with emcees Kurt Stoodley and Sandy Sharkey.
Brought to you by Pet Friendly radio, 93.9 BOB FM.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pumba and Princess

Two pot-bellied pigs found wandering in a busy section of suburban Ottawa have a temporary home at the Ottawa Humane Society.

The staff nicknamed the piggies Pumba and Princess, and they have been enjpying lots of outdoor time at the OHS facility at 245 West Hunt Club Road.

The pigs, which are approximately five months old, were found in the area of Greenbank and Baseline roads and brought in by a member of the public. 

The curious pigs, one found with a pink harness, the other a blue one, will be rehomed outside the city because pot-bellied pigs are a restricted animal in the City of Ottawa.   

Friday, September 2, 2011

Balou blogs from his new home

Hi, remember me?
Guess what?  My new owner loves me, and I love her.  She's never had a cat before so I'm teaching her what I like.

I love to run from the basement, up the stairs and down the hall to the spare room where I like to stretch on the bed and sleep on top of the chest of drawers. 

There are lots of windows to look out, and check what's going on.
Mom chats with me all the time. She knows when I need soft canned food for a treat, because I lead her to my bowl.  She says she's going to get me a scratch post because sometimes I like to pick on the Lazy Boy when she's watching TV.  I love when she scratches me under the chin and kisses me on the head.  I have to remind her to clean my kitty litter sometimes, she'll follow me to it. 

Thank you for giving me such good care while I lived with you at the Humane Society.  I miss my friends there, and hope they find a good home like I have.

Yours truly,


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top walker flies to Hawaii with winnings

In 2010, Angela Crawford raised $4,169 for the Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon making her the highest fundraiser at the 22nd annual event. Her top placement won her roundtrip Westjet tickets to anywhere Westjet flies.

Crawford didn’t hesitate to pick the vacation spot of her dreams and went to Hawaii for two weeks with her boyfriend this past February.

“We went to Oahu where Honolulu is,” explained the member of the Alta Vista Animal Hospital walkathon team. “We stayed at Waikiki beach, and also went to Maui.”

“We snorkelled six times,” she continued. “It was breeding and calving season for hump back whales, so they were all around us.  We saw coral fish and endangered green sea turtles.  We dove with sharks – Galapagos sharks that were 10 feet long. They were all around us.”

Crawford said the trip was amazing, but she loved found snorkelling the most memorable.

“We were so close to sea turtles and a sea snake,” she said.  “We saw endangered monk seals.”

Crawford has been a veterinary technician in the surgery department of the Alta Vista Animal Hospital for the past 15 years and a participant in the Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon for 10 years. She will again participate this year with her co-workers on Sunday, September 11. As a team, the hospital has a goal to raise $15,000.

“As usual, I  have the web page for online fundraising but I will  also sell chocolates and baked goods at work and go door to door in my neighbourhood,” she explained.

Crawford is also organizing a fundraiser night at the Velvet Room and Fat Tuesdays in the Byward Market. Similar to an event she held last year, this year’s pub night will take place September 9.  A $5.00 admission fee will go toward fundraising efforts, as will the proceeds of a 50/50 draw and a silent auction. 

Thanks to Angela Crawford and the walkathon team at Alta Vista Animal Hospital!  There’s still time bring in pledges for a chance of becoming this year’s biggest fundraiser!

Click here to register for the walkathon or to find out more about the event, set to take place on Sunday, September 11, 2011.

Share on Social Media