Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ottawa Humane Society Prepares for Busiest Day of the Year

How can you help? Leave your pet at home on Canada Day!

With the annual Canada Day festivities around the corner, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is preparing for its own traditional event—the busiest day of the year.

“Every Canada Day, we receive a flood of calls about lost animals,” says Bruce Roney, OHS Executive Director. “We know that hot weather and fireworks are the symbols of a great holiday, but both things pose a significant danger for pets.”

Almost all animals are terrified of fireworks, so the OHS recommends leaving your companion animal at home when you head out to the Hill, or to a neighbourhood celebration. “Even a well-trained dog can become spooked at the sound of fireworks and bolt quickly,” says Mr. Roney. “Many, many animals turn up at the OHS each year because they panicked and ran away after hearing such loud noises.”

With Canada Day as the traditional start to summer, it’s also important to be mindful of how hot weather can affect pets. The OHS receives calls all summer long about dogs left in hot cars. Dogs can’t cool themselves as efficiently as humans can, and on very hot days, temperatures in parked cars can rise to dangerous or even deadly levels in mere minutes. So when the temperature soars, it’s best to leave your companion animal at home, with access to shade, and lots of fresh water.

And if you leave your animal with someone else this summer while you’re on vacation, make sure you provide that person with appropriate documentation (including an emergency number, letter of consent, past vet bills etc.). This proof of owner information will give your designated caregiver the authority to claim the animal, or seek veterinary care on your behalf should your pet become lost and turn up at the shelter, or require veterinary attention.

By following these simple precautions, both you and your pet can enjoy safe summer celebrations. Anyone who sees an animal in distress should contact the OHS Rescue and Investigation Services immediately at 613-725-1532.

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