Friday, January 28, 2011

A History to be Proud of…

I recently read a book called “The Tower Menagerie”, a history of the collection of Royal animals kept in the Tower of London. The book includes fascinating stories like the Polar bear, a gift from the King of Norway, that was kept in the tower beginning in 1252. When the bear became too expensive for the Royal purse to feed, it was allowed into the Thames river daily to fish for salmon!

The latter part of the book was particularly interesting to me, describing the passage of the world’s first animal cruelty legislation in 1822. Two years later, our British ancestor, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was created. (“Royal” was added to the name in 1840 when Queen Victoria granted them a Charter) What particularly interested me was that the new group secured 149 convictions under the new Act in there very first year alone, “...a surprisingly high figure bearing in mind that this was not only the first animal welfare organisation in the world, but also Britain’s first law-enforcement agency of any kind, preceding even the Metropolitan police force by five years.”

Aspects of the book reminded me of our own Ottawa Humane Society history that was captured in the wonderful, “Helping Hands” published by the OHS in 1988 in honour of our 100th anniversary. Our OHS history is pretty amazing too.

When founded, in the 1880’s the Women’s Humane Society of Ottawa, as it was then known, was concerned with both animals and children, it was,“... focused on bettering the lot of neglected children by urging legislation to provide foster homes; supervising the overhaul of Ottawa’s only ambulance; and stirring up the public conscience to the fair treatment of all animals..” Several years later, the Children’s Aid Committee of our Society became the Children’s Aid Society. The same Children’s Aid Society that is in operation today!

Our history includes many ‘firsts’ and outstanding contributions to the Humane movement.

Our Humane Education Program has encouraged a compassionate community and has been in continuous operation since 1905!

Before the advent of the automobile, a great deal of the Society was in addressing the welfare of horses that were then the primary means of transportation. The Society must have done its job very well. A 1940’s visitor to the Capital noted about Ottawa’s 500 or so delivery horses that, “I do not know a city where one can see so many healthy, well-groomed horses, of adequate weight for their work”

In 1962, the OHS convinced the City to pass a bylaw banning the sale of baby chicks as pets – the first such law in Canada. In 1981, the OHS convinced the City to ban all live animal sales in Byward Market.

The OHS took a leading role and was the initial ‘host’ of the first national humane association, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies in 1956.

The OHS established the first companion animals program in Canada in 1980. The now much-expanded program continues to bring pet visitors to senior’s residences, hospitals and other institutions.

‘Helping Hands’ examines many of the other outstanding contributions that the Ottawa Humane Society has made to animals in Ottawa and the animal welfare movement in our city, province and country since our founding 123 years ago. I am very proud to be associated with such a tremendous organisation with such a long and proud history and I hope that you are too.

~ Bruce Roney

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thank you!

Thank you to our friends at the Rideau Centre! Sales from the mall Christmas photos raised $10,000 for Ottawa's animals.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Rosso (A121061) is very cuddly, and a lovable, devoted, adoring and enthusiastic lap cat. This cute five month old orange tabby and white cat is currently available for adoption. Because he has found it difficult to adjust to the shelter environment, he's staying at an OHS Foster Volunteer's home until the purr-fect family is found for him!
Rosso as a kitten with his mom.
Rosso has had no experience with animals besides his foster siblings. He has lived in an environment adapted for kitty cats with appropriate toys and scratching posts and pads always available. He enjoys rough and tumble play and has been gently corrected for inappropriate scratching and biting behavior.
Rosso prefers dry food and will eat when it suits him. He does not over-eat. He does nibble on canned food when he sees his foster siblings eating it.
He likes his furry toys, newspapers, yarn and foil balls and will entertain himself endlessly. Rosso is very energetic and active and played well with his foster siblings. He seems not to tire as quickly as the other kitties and will be bothersome when they are trying to relax. He plays hard and crashes hard. Rosso is reported to playing well with school age children although he has no experience with small children.
Rosso, only a few weeks old in this photo, shows his tough side.
To learn more about Rosso, or to make arrangements to meet him, contact the OHS Adoption Centre at 613-725-3166 ext. 258 or at

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

OHS Pets of the Week: Mischief and Majick

While their names suggest they are trouble-makers, Mischief and Majick (A121702 and A121699) are two laid back cats. These 9 year old brothers love nothing more than to nap and spend time with human companions. Older cats may be a little slower, but they are also smarter, calmer, and less likely to drive you crazy. Older cats will romp like kittens sometimes, but not all of the time.

Mischief is a social butterfly, while Majick loves to play in boxes and paper bags. Both just had their teeth cleaned, so they have bright smiles!

To learn more about these best fur friends, contact the Ottawa Humane Society Adoption Centre at 613-725-3166 ext. 258 or at

Monday, January 24, 2011

Help Homeless Pets find love this Valentine's day!

Show Us Your HeartEvent: February 12-19

Participating Locations: Global Pet Foods Orleans and Global Pet Foods Strandherd

Donate as little as $1 and Global Pet Foods and Hill's® Science Diet® will match it. Plus enter in-store to win a year's supply of Hill's® Science Diet® pet food for your furry Valentine.

For more information: please contact stores locations, or visit:

Global Pet Foods

Twitter: Share your
reasons to donate followed by #showusyourheart.

To donate: please visit Global Pet Foods Orleans, 613-837-0350, 1675 Tenth Line Rd, Unit 2B or Global Pet Foods Strandherd, 613-825-5615, 3191 Strandherd Dr, between February 12-19.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ottawa Humane Society Launches Foster Me First Program

Animals to recuperate faster in loving homes

The Ottawa Humane Society is excited to launch a first-ever Foster Me First program, developed to place adoptable animals undergoing treatment for minor ailments, or recovering from surgery, into their forever homes sooner.

The new program enables animals still under the care of the OHS, to be cared for by families willing to foster them first—during the treatment period—prior to adopting them. As with all adoptions, people must be matched with animals, and meet all standard adoption criteria.

"It's much better for animals to recuperate from illness or surgery within a home environment, rather than in our crowded shelter," says Bruce Roney, Executive Director, Ottawa Humane Society. "They get better faster, so they can be adopted sooner. By accelerating the adoption process, we can create a positive outcome for more animals, and meet the demands on our resources and facility more efficiently."

The Dugan family was the first to take advantage of the Foster Me First program. They fostered Oliver, a six-month-old Boston Terrier. When Oliver recovered from his illness, the Dugans finalized the adoption as his forever family. "We came to the Ottawa Humane Society as soon as we saw Oliver available on the Web site. We all met him, including our dogs, and everyone got along right away," says Catherine Dugan. "We talked about adopting a dog two months ago and decided now was the time. We helped him get well with the OHS and now he'll get ongoing vet checks as part of our regular animal care routine."

The OHS covers care costs, makes all medical decisions and maintains ownership of the animal while it is being fostered. Participating families bring their foster animal into the OHS for care until it is well, and then the final adoption can occur.

Descriptions and pictures of animals available for the Foster Me First program are featured on the adoption page of the OHS Web page and on the adoptions bulletin board in the OHS lobby at 101 Champagne. Ave. South, Ottawa. For more information on Foster-Me-First, call 613-726-3166 ext. 258.
Catherine and James Dugan, with Oliver, their Foster Me First Boston Terrier
For more information, visit

Mindy the Holland Lop Rabbit: OHS Pet of the Week

Mindy (A125794) is a 6 month old Holland lop rabbit. This white and grey girl is inquisitive and social with people. Rabbits are affectionate and rewarding pets when given plenty of attention. Mindy needs a family who has the time to provide her with plenty of exercise. She requires nutritional food, fresh water and hay. Just like cats, rabbits can be trained to use a litterbox! To learn more about Mindy and owning a pet rabbit, contact the Ottawa Humane Society at 613-725-3166 ext. 258 or at

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Help us keep OHS animals healthy!

The OHS' in-house clinic relies solely on donations, so we’re extremely careful about the supplies we order and use. We simply can’t afford to have anything go to waste!

That means we’re also very careful about how we store the supplies we do have. Many veterinary vaccines need to be refrigerated at a constant temperature. Most regular refrigerators fluctuate in temperature, and these fluctuations can cause entire batches of vaccines to spoil. Medical-grade refrigerators safely store batches of vaccines and medicine in a regulated, constant environment, allowing us to help more animals and keep them healthy.

You can help keep the animals healthy by sponsoring the much-needed medical refrigerator to store medications.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cold Weather Alert: Keep Your Pets Inside!

As it's chilly outside today, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) reminds pet owners that plunging temperatures can be dangerous and even life-threatening for pets. While the OHS strongly recommends that you bring your dog inside in extreme temperatures, owners of outside dogs need to be especially vigilant about providing appropriate care on days like this.

"As long as the weather remains bitterly cold, we'll have zero tolerance for dogs that are found outside without appropriate shelter," says Miriam Smith, an OSPCA inspector for the OHS. "If we find a dog outside under intolerable conditions and we can't locate an owner, there's a good chance that dog will be removed for its own safety."

Dogs that live outside require as a minimum a doghouse soundly built of weatherproof materials facing away from prevailing winds. It should be elevated and insulated, with a door flap and bedding of straw or wood shavings. Animals who are outside need a constant source of fresh water, so check your dog's bowl often to ensure it hasn't frozen.

Keep your animals away from ice-covered bodies of water-even small ponds you think may be frozen over. Although many surfaces may appear solid, ice is often uneven and thin in places, and your pet may fall in and possibly suffer hypothermia or even death.

It's best to limit the amount of outdoor time for any animal in frigid temperatures, so take your dog for lots of quick short walks instead of one long one. Consider a sweater for your pet on cold days when you go out, especially if your dog is very young or old, or is sick or short-coated. Be sure to wipe down his paws each time you return home to remove chemicals or salt often used to melt ice and snow. These can be poisonous if ingested and can irritate sensitive feet.

Cat owners also have to be careful in winter. Cats are especially susceptible to the cold and don't have the body mass to keep warm in cold temperatures. If your cat does go outdoors, make sure it's only for short periods, and ensure your cat is inside overnight.

Remember never to leave an animal in an unheated car for long periods of time, and be sure to knock on the car hood each time you start the engine to scare any cats away. Cats often crawl under car hoods to find warmth and can be injured or killed by a starting motor.

If you see an animal in distress or without adequate shelter from the cold, call the OHS Emergency Unit at 613-725-1532.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Changed Date: Poker Run in Larose Forest

Mush LaroseThe Poker Run at Larose Forest has been rescheduled to Sunday, February 20th due to current poor trail conditions.

This will be a FUN event with the purpose of getting out with your dogs and having a great day while helping other animals in need.

It will also be a team event, so grab a friend, your spouse or anyone you like to have fun with. You may go out with 2 dogs, 4, 6 or 12 dogs - it is entirely up to you: but you must go as a team. You may have one team member skijoring and the other sledding; you may have your team member in the basket of your sled; whatever combination you wish.

Cost: $10.00 per person
Registration: 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Event starts: 10:00 a.m.

There will also be a BBQ and Bake Sale at the event, again with all proceeds going to the Ottawa Humane Society. So get out your skis and/or sleds, check all your harnesses and come out for a fun day to support a great cause.

For more information, to volunteer, or to sign up, contact Susan Giles at

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Starsky: OHS Pet of the Week

This big-eared bundle of energy is Starsky (A122904). Almost a year old, this neutered male Rat Terrier mix dog has the potential to become a great dog. He has a submissive nature, so obedience classes are recommended for him to build his confidence and self-esteem. This cookie monster will excel in obedience training and agility: he is very smart and highly food-motivated!

Starsky loves other dogs, but he's not so great with cats. Due to his active nature and vocal proclivity, a family with older kids and a detached house is best. So if you're looking for a new friend who needs a little encouragement and guidance, then Starsky's the dog for you! For more information, contact the Ottawa Humane Society at 613-725-3166 ext. 258 or send an email to

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Cuteness

Two very cute kitten photos taken by OHS volunteer photographers Dale and Jan.


Billy Bob: A Buddy & Belle Animal Profile

Meow! My name is Billy Bob (A117883) and I am a two-year-old, black, long-haired domestic cat. I was found by Ottawa Humane Society EAPS agents and brought to the shelter because a cement pallet had fallen on me.

The kind staff at the OHS noticed many wounds on my legs including a large area where skin was completely torn off. After having some x-rays, the vet noticed my left front paw and my left hind leg were fractured.

To lessen my pain, a device was placed on my hind leg to help the fracture heal. This worked! Sadly, due to complications, my front leg did not heal properly and had to amputated.

Unfortunately, while I was recovering from my surgery, I developed an upper respiratory infection (URI), which is a bad cat cold. I was given more medication and lots of attention from staff and volunteers to make sure I was recovering properly. After spending almost six months at the OHS, I finally found my furrever home just before Christmas.

Please help Billy Bob, and other animals like him in need of emergency animal treatment, by making a donation.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Photo Bloopers

I had time today to help the Adoption Centre staff photograph some dogs outside in the snow, and caught a couple of great "photo bloopers".

Dakota is such a handsome fellow; my camera caught him shaking the snow off his head:

I tossed a treat to Bauer but it landed in the snow. She burrowed her nose around in the snow until she found it!

Both Dakota and Bauer are currently available for adoption. Check out the OHS Dog Adoption Page to learn more about them!

:) Michelle

Resourcefulness at the OHS

Ottawa Humane Society staff and volunteers tend to be a resourceful bunch. We have to be. Unlike some workplaces, there simply isn’t someone to do everything. There are fewer resources overall and finding creative solutions isn’t only valued, its an absolute necessity. Our staff and volunteers tend to have more in common with small business owners — who have to learn and do outside of our immediate job — because, if we don’t, there is no one else to do it for us. And of course, we care for the animals and deliver programs for our community without the one tool that we and the animals need the most: an appropriately-sized and up to date shelter.

You see examples of resourcefulness all the time here at the OHS: 50 cats admitted in one day? Put them in rabbit cages in offices. An unexpected discovery of pigs? Build a makeshift pen in our back dog run. Aging pipes burst? Put on toques and long underwear and keep cleaning, treating and feeding the animals.

Overcrowding of cats
Our existing shelter presents a great many everyday challenges, beyond the obvious concerns regarding animals overcrowding and health. Just getting down a hallway that generally has cats housed in it, along with bags of food, treatment carts and more can be like running an obstacle course. Our staff have one small room that has to serve as a lunch room, kitchen, change and locker room. Several months ago, a staff member walked passed a wall-mounted sink and it suddenly and spontaneously fell off the wall! These problems haven’t been with us for the past few months, or even the past few years – OHS staff and volunteers have been facing these challenges for at least two decades. Thankfully, with our community’s support, these challenges will end soon.

Piglets in the dog run
Beyond the obvious love and concern for animals that you see all around here every day, lately, a major motivator for all of us has been the prospect of finally having a permanent solution to many of our problems: a new shelter. If we don’t always have to create “work-arounds” then all of our creativity can be devoted both to enhanced care and long-term solutions for the animals in our community. We all envision new programs and strategies made possible by the space: ones that will enhance care, reduce animal suffering and decrease the numbers of animals that need our services over time.

A day without heat!
Another motivator has been our community’s enthusiastic response to our Breaking Ground Campaign. Knowing that the community supports the work we do means so much to all of us at the OHS. While we have not yet achieved our goal, more and more of the people who care about our community and its animals have come forward, made their pledge and assured a brighter future. As a result, we are 82% of the way to our goal and feel confident that we can achieve the amount necessary to make this project a reality, after so many years.

We all look forward to welcoming our community to a new facility; one of which we can be proud and where we will be able to house animals the way they should be housed. In the meantime, though, our staff and our volunteers endure, make do and find creative solutions, to help the animals that so desperately need us.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

OHS Pet of the Week: Sweetheart

Sweetheart (A076987) is a four year neutered male cat. This white feline has a beautiful, chirpy purr. This social butterfly loves people of all ages, and is most content when curled up in someone's lap. He gets along splendidly with other cats, so he would be a great addition for a family looking for a second or third cat. Sweetheart arrived at the Ottawa Humane Society with severe periodontal disease, so he had to have all but five teeth removed! To learn more about Sweetheart, contact the OHS at 613-725-3166 ext. 258 or at

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New OHS Kids poll: Which cartoon dog is your favourite?

Poker Run at Larose Forest

Mush LaroseMush! Are you a skijorer or a dog sledder? If so, there will be a Poker Run at Larose Forest on Sunday, January 16, 2011 as a fund-raising event to help the animals in the area that the Ottawa Humane Society covers.

This will be a FUN event with the purpose of getting out with your dogs and having a great day while helping other animals in need.

It will also be a team event, so grab a friend, your spouse or anyone you like to have fun with. You may go out with 2 dogs, 4, 6 or 12 dogs - it is entirely up to you: but you must go as a team. You may have one team member skijoring and the other sledding; you may have your team member in the basket of your sled; whatever combination you wish.

Cost: $10.00 per person
Registration: 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Event starts: 10:00 a.m.

There will also be a BBQ and Bake Sale at the event, again with all proceeds going to the Ottawa Humane Society. So get out your skis and/or sleds, check all your harnesses and come out for a fun day to support a great cause.

For more information, to volunteer, or to sign up, contact Susan Giles at

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year’s Resolution: Be a Better Pet Owner

It is the start of a new year, and people's thoughts often turn to diet and exercise, making up for holiday indulgences. Pets also suffer from overeating and lack of exercise. But there are more things to consider than diet and exercise when it comes to being a good example for our pets. Here, in no particular order, are 10 tips to a healthier lifestyle for our pets and animals in need.

Be patient

It's easy to become frustrated with a pet's mistakes: Fluffy knocking over the vase of flowers on the table; Fido jumping on guests with muddy paws. Pets aren't human, and it's hard to forget sometimes that their actions aren't deliberate. Cats are curious creatures, dogs are friendly. Remember that pets will sometimes do seemingly naughty things and forgive them. After all, Fluffy forgave you for stepping on her tail that time!

Feed a quality food

Everyone has a different budget, but finding a food that matches your pet's dietary needs and fits into your budget is important. A quality diet means better health for your pet, fewer unpleasant smells, and less money spent at the veterinary clinic in the future.

Groom your pet

Often overlooked, grooming your pet is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Offering baths to your budgies, brushing your rabbit, or taking your dog to the groomer will not only help your pet look better, but feel better too. Brushing your pet is an excellent bonding experience.


Ensuring your pet has adequate exercise also helps keep her healthy and trim. Walking your dog is great exercise for you, too! A well-exercised pet is less likely to be destructive in your house (Less chewing of furniture! Less curtain climbing!). Physical exercise helps to keep your pet happy.
Take your dog for a walk
Provide Mental Stimulation

Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise, and goes a long way to prevent naughty behaviour. Dogs love puzzle cubes and Kongs, cats adore scratching posts and toys, and hamsters love wheels and chew toys! Giving your pets challenging, safe toys will keep them happily busy.

Pet birds love toys too!
Sign your dog up for obedience classes

Many people think of obedience classes like school: useless, repetitive lessons that are boring. While that may have been true of dog obedience classes of the past, they are certainly more fun and more rewarding now! Your trainer can help you train your dog, and give you tips for your dog's unique personality. Training your dog not only helps him be a better companion for you, but helps to shape your dog into a better canine citizen.
Dog Agility
Annual Veterinary exam

Often we associate a trip to the vet as something only required when your cat becomes unwell, however is also important to remember that visiting your cat on an annual basis is equally important for your pet's wellbeing and longevity.

At the annual exam the veterinarian will ask you questions about overall health of your pet, including changes you may have noticed. It is during this examination that potential problems can be picked up. During your visit, your veterinarian will look at and discuss: dental health; weight; skin and coat issues; eyes and ears; parasite control, heart health; and a musculoskeletal exam.

Your veterinarian will ask if you have any questions, this is a good time to discuss any concerns you have or ask questions on health, diet, parasite control and general pet care.

Identify your cat / dog

Fluffy isn't able to give someone your address, so help her return home should she get lost. There are different types of identification: address tags, municipal registration tags tattoos, and microchips.

Microchips provide a permanent, non-removable means of pet identification that will not fade or be lost over time, as can occur with tattoos or tags. Owner information can be accessed immediately, ensuring the rapid return of the lost pet, avoiding delays, which can occur with other methods of pet identification.

And if your pet already has proper identification, now is a good time to make sure the information is up-to-date!

Spay / Neuter your pet

Every year thousands of animals must be euthanized because they are unhealthy, born into poor conditions and not cared for properly or because there are no homes for them.

If your pet has one litter, even if you find homes for most of the pups and kittens, in one year, all the pups or kittens could have litters of their own. Millions of dollars are spend annually to care for lost, abandoned and unwanted pets...and millions more destroy those that do not find homes. Health and safety are threatened by rabies, dog bites, cat scratches and traffic accidents. Property may be damaged when dogs run "wild" or in packs. Yards and walkways can be fouled with urine and feces.

Besides drastically reducing the possibility of various medical problems occurring, spaying or neutering your pet has a variety of benefits such as:

• reducing the tendency in male cats and dogs to roam, and makes them easier to train
• eliminating the inconvenience of the heat cycle in female dogs and cats
• better health in both male and female dogs and cats
•eliminating spraying in most male cats
• easier training, happier pets
• qualifying your pet for a reduced municipal license fee in Ottawa

Speak up for animals in your community

Speak up when you notice neglected or abused pets in your neighborhood. This isn't pleasant, but if you can help even one animal escape a painful life, it is worth it.

Pay attention to animal issues in your community. Speak up for stricter animal cruelty legislation, and to support pet-friendly initiatives, such as local dog parks.

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