Thursday, July 28, 2011

Daring Duckling Rescue

A Good Samaritan called the Ottawa Humane Society on Wednesday, July 27 to report six ducklings trapped in a storm sewer near the South Keys shopping complex.

The ducklings were stuck in a grate in a small ravine, and the mother duck was outside sounding quite anxious – squawking for her ducklings to follow. Along the bottom of the grate were piles of dirt, branches, and other debris that had accumulated, stopping ducklings from coming up and out.

Agent Hammond reported to the scene. The agent walked down to the waters’ edge and removed debris about 2 feet wide from grate then stood back. The mother duck immediately entered the grate, rounded up her ducklings, jumped up and out and the ducklings followed, all except one.

The last little duckling kept running back and forth along the grate, not catching on as quickly as his siblings. But the mother remained, squawking until the last little guy managed to get out.

The family then swam up the stream toward a wooden area.

All in a day’s work for the hard-working Rescue and Investigations Services agents at the Ottawa Humane Society.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hey OHS supporters!

Want to save 5% on your next home improvement project? Want to help Rona to make a donation of up to 5% back to the Ottawa Humane Society?

Head over to both Ottawa Rona locations and receive a discount card in support of the Ottawa Humane Society. Rona, a Canadian company, is partnering with several local charities for this pilot project, which will save you 5% on any purchase and in addition send a donation of up to 5% our way. You don’t have to pay a cent for the charity card – download one from our website, pick one up at the shelter or any of the two Rona stores and keep the card in your wallet for all future purchases! It’s a win-win all around!

So if you’ve been meaning to install that fence in your backyard to help keep your canine companions in, now’s the time to do it! This promotion will save you about $100 on a $2,000 fence, and help make a donation back to the animals in our care.

Rona is located at 585 West Hunt Club (just down the road from our new facility at 245 West Hunt Club) and at 1880 Innes Road.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cool ways to beat the heat

Summertime and the livin’ is easy, until a heat wave strikes.

The recent weather in the Ottawa area makes it difficult for furry friends to stay cool.

You may think that a backyard pool party or a trip to a local beach that allows dogs is a perfect way to beat the heat, but there are some things to think about before you dive in.

If you’re swimming with your dog, don’t get in over your head. Many dogs will try to climb on their guardian’s head or shoulders when they tire.

Keep a close watch on dogs near pools: an untrained animal will probably head for the nearest edge of the pool to get out, but slippery pool walls do not offer an easy exit. Panic can lead to exhaustion. Barking may be difficult for a dog in the water, making it tough for them to cry for help.

Use a canine life vest or personal floatation device (PFD). A well-fitted canine life vest is an easy way to keep your dog safe on a boat or while swimming in lakes and larger bodies of water. PFDs are made just for dogs and are available at many stores – including the Ottawa Humane Society’s retail store at our new facility at 245 West Hunt Club Road.

A good PFD will have flotation all around your animal’s body, not just along their backs, will be brightly coloured and have a large grab handle along the back of the jacket.

If your dog has never worn a PFD, give them time to get acquainted with it before actually getting on the boat. Get your pet used to the PFD in small steps. Start with wearing it in and around your home, then outside for short walks and finally aboard the boat. Make sure the life jacket fits properly and allow your dog to practice swimming in it.

To keep your dog from swimming too far away, use a long nylon lead. Keep a close watch to make sure your dog doesn’t get tangled in the lead. This is a great way to make sure new swimmers are relaxed and comfortable in the water.

If you can’t head out on the water with your dog, why not keep your friend cool at home with this great beat-the-heat recipe courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States (

Peanut butter popsicles

In a small mixing bowl, combine peanut butter with a little water or half a mashed banana. Line an ice cube tray or cookie sheet with wax paper to make prying the cubes out easier. Spoon the mixture into the cubes, or drop onto the tray just like you would cookie dough.

Freeze. If you need to reuse the tray right away, pop out the cubes and store them in a bag or container in the freezer.

Serve. Turn any hot dog into a happy – and cool – camper. Pet popsicles can be made out of all kinds of things that your dog (or cats) eat normally.

Tip: You can fill up a rubber Kong-style toy and freeze—a great cool-down treat for when you will be away for a few hours.

Pictured at right is the newer style
of canine life jacket, available at
the Ottawa Humane Society, and
below the older style that only
had straps around the torso.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ottawa Humane Society Full After Two Weeks

Two weeks after moving into its new facility, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) was full. During that period the OHS took in 531 cats and 175 dogs.

“We moved into our new building June 23rd. By July 1st, we’d reached our capacity for cats,” said Bruce Roney, OHS Executive Director. “In the first two weeks we admitted an astounding 34% more cats and 66% more dogs than the previous year.” The new facility is designed to accommodate more animals annually, but on a day-to-day basis, it is currently operating at maximum capacity.

This was not unexpected. “New shelters generally experience an increase in admissions when they first open; however, we understand that it normally occurs after two months. It was a surprise when we were full in two weeks,” said Roney.

There are many reasons that people give up their pets, according to Roney, but it boils down to irresponsible behaviour that results in animal homelessness and overpopulation: not spaying/neutering; no identification such as collar/tag and microchip; inappropriate pet choices for owner lifestyle; and not meeting the physical needs of the animal for food, water, shelter and veterinary care.

“The number of animals admitted is a sobering reminder of the need for the Ottawa Humane Society in the first place,” said Roney. “We still have work to do in our community, and education is the key.”

For families considering adopting an animal, the summer can be a good time to integrate a new pet into the home. Holidays and a slower pace in July and August usually mean more free time, which can be the ideal scenario to bond with a new animal. Prospective adopters can come to the new OHS Adoption Centre at 245 West Hunt Club Road to see the animals in person. Photos and profiles of animals available for adoption are also available on the OHS website

Meet stitch, a 7-year-old orange tabby Persian who has been at the shelter since April 19. He's a bit of a rock star with a mohawk and a tuft on the end of his tail. He'll size you up pretty fiercly, but then keep to himself until he warms up. He's one of hundreds of cats currently staying at the Ottawa Humane Society hoping to find a forever home.

Chief Vern White to be lead walker at Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon Sept. 11, 2011

Ottawa Police Chief Vern White will join hundreds of other animal lovers at the 23rd annual Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon on Sept. 11 to raise money for the animal at the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS).
The Walkathon, the largest event of its kind in Eastern Ontario and a major fundraiser for the OHS, is a fun-filled day featuring 2km and 5km walks and many displays, family activities, prizes and contests. This year’s walk will also feature a microchip clinic, where pet owners can have their companions injected with a tiny chip to ensure lifetime identification.

Over 1,000 registered walkers and 2,000 participants are expected to attend this year’s event and the goal is to raise $250,000 for the animals. All funds raised support essential OHS programs and services, including Rescue and Investigation Services, which rescues animals in distress, investigates cases of abuse and neglect, and provides ambulance transportation for injured and sick animals in Ottawa.
The Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon begins at 10 a.m. on Sunday at the NCC property on Riverside Drive, across from Billings Bridge Shopping Centre and the RA Centre. Free parking is available at both locations.

Register now and begin collecting pledges online at

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kuranda Beds

These beds are for the dogs!

Dogs love to have a bed of their own. Kuranda dog beds raise dogs off the floor onto a hammock-type bed, which is more comfortable to sleep on. Kuranda beds mimic furniture, giving the dogs a feeling of being “home”. Energetic dogs will often use these beds as a trampoline, helping to burn off excess energy. Staff love Kuranda beds too, as they are extremely durable and can withstand tough cleaning products.

Help a homeless dog rest in comfort. $120 purchases a bed, $140 purchases a bed with a deluxe double-sided fleece pad.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ottawa Humane Society Says “Thank you Ottawa!”

OTTAWA, Ont. (07 July, 2011) – Staff at the Ottawa Humane Society are anxious to publicly thank and recognize the Ottawa community for the donations that made their new facility—officially opened at a ceremony July 6—possible.

The project began in 2005 with research and planning in best practices in animal sheltering and design. It became a reality through the generosity of hundreds of donors, many of whom are honoured on the donor wall and individual rooms, kennels, dog runs etc. throughout the new Ottawa Humane Society.

“Everyone at the OHS, especially the more than 11,000 animals we care for every year, is extremely grateful to our donors,” said Bruce Roney, OHS Executive Director. “We wouldn’t be here celebrating this extraordinary, state-of-the-art building if not for the generosity of our community.”

Unlike the old facility, which was often described as depressing, the new facility is designed to be a warm, inviting environment where visitors can meet and interact with animals before they adopt, and where the facility’s education centre will host such activities as classes in dog training, children’s camps, and birthday parties. The centre will also be available for the public to rent, making it a truly community-focussed centre.

“Education is the key to responsible pet ownership,” said Roney. “We’re very pleased that we can now meet and work with the community directly onsite to provide information on animal welfare, including the importance of spaying and neutering, and pet identification through microchips and tags.”

Please don't leave your pets in cars!

It’s been one year, exactly, since Ottawa Sun reporter Doug Hempstead spent 20 minutes in his car in sweltering heat to prove a point – that cars are no place to leave your pets in hot summer weather.

Dogs don’t sweat. Instead, they cool themselves by taking in oxygen when they pant. If the air they are breathing is over 40 C, they have no way of cooling themselves. Their normal body temperature is about 39 C, and temperatures over 40 C can cause them irreparable brain damage or death. Leaving the windows open slightly doesn’t do a lot to change the temperature in the vehicle.

Each year the OHS takes hundreds of calls about dogs left in vehicles on hot summer days. A car parked on a hot day, even in the shade, can quickly become a furnace.
Owners leaving an animal in a vehicle can be charged under the Ontario SPCA Act. Investigators have the authority of a police officer when enforcing these laws. The Act permits the investigator to issue a written order to the owner of the animal or to take the necessary steps to relieve the animal from distress. Non-compliance of an OSPCA order may result in the animal being removed from private property (including parked vehicles).
When a heat advisory is issued, it applies to animals, not just people. The older or more vulnerable the animal, the more susceptible they are to heatstroke... or worse.

If you see an animal that may be suffering from heat exhaustion, and the owner can’t be quickly located, enlist the help of a parking attendant, security guard or nearby police officer, or call the OHS at 613-725-1532.

If you missed the 20-minute docu-drama that Doug Hempstead filmed this time last year, or you want to see it again, click here!

Officials officially open new facility

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Buddy & Belle: Demi the cat

After a cow stepped on poor little Demi’s tail, a Good Samaritan brought the injured kitten to the shelter.

The OHS vet cleaned and bandaged the wound and put Demi on antibiotics awaiting a tail amputation. Then Demi came down with a URI, postponing her chance for surgery.

Shelter staff changed the bandage frequently and kept Demi on pain medication, and once she was healthy enough, re-scheduled the amputation.

Now Demi is a happy kitty recovering in foster care and awaiting her forever home.

Ottawa Humane Society Celebrates New Facility

Many furry friends celebrated as the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS), marked the official opening of its new facility at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Government of Canada.

The new 40,000 square foot building replaces the organization's aging and inadequate former location. In addition to housing the municipal animal shelter, an adoption centre, an in-house veterinary clinic, and OHS staff, the new facility will also help fulfil the organization's public education mandate and better accommodate the many thousands of animals the OHS cares for every year. The building was constructed with environmentally-friendly features such as passive solar heating and renewable construction materials.

"The Ottawa Humane Society plays such an important role in our community," said John Baird, Member of Parliament for Ottawa West – Nepean. "This new facility will help the OHS continue to protect the welfare of Ottawa's animals. We are proud to help make this project a reality."

"This project is so important and long overdue for the animals and the community. All of us at the OHS are so happy to see the animals finally in the environment they deserve. We are all so grateful to everyone that helped make this beautiful dream a reality," said Bruce Roney, Executive Director of the Ottawa Humane Society.

The Government of Canada is committing $3.6 million toward the eligible costs of this project. The total eligible project cost is close to $12 million.

Federal funding for this project comes from the Government of Canada's $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, which is supporting over 4,100 infrastructure projects across the country.

For additional information about investments in infrastructure, visit

For further information about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit


Vanessa Schneider
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities

Mandy Chepeka
Manager: Communications
613-725-3166 ext. 261

Infrastructure Canada
613-948-1148 or toll-free 1-877-250-7154

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ottawa Humane Society Honours Community Members at AGM

The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) honoured several volunteers and members of the public last night at its Annual General Meeting. These annual awards acknowledge the many dedicated, passionate individuals and organizations who work to make our community better for animals.

Dr. Michelle Lem, of The Missionary Veterinary Care Program, received the Muriel Davies Kindness Award. In 2003, Dr. Lem founded this unique program, dedicated to providing free veterinary care to animals that otherwise would not receive veterinary care. Dr. Lem offers free examinations and vaccinations for the pets of Ottawa’s homeless community.

Leah Dixon, of RioCan Realty, received the Community Spirit Award for her ongoing enthusiastic support and promotion of the highly successful OHS annual fundraising events Bunny Snaps and Santa Pet Pics, held at three local RioCan shopping malls since 2004.

Doug Hempstead, of The Ottawa Sun, received the Media Award for his work as an ambassador to Ottawa’s animals, reporting on stories that bring animal welfare issues to the attention of our community, and focus on and help educate people about the importance of responsible pet ownership.

Carol Gordon, of The Single Gourmet, received the President’s Special Recognition Award for voluntarily organizing, hosting and publicizing her group’s Meet Your Match dinner dances. Ms. Gordon began the event in 2002 and continues to hold it every year to provide support for Ottawa’s sick and injured animals.

Janette Hamilton-Silcoff and Diana Moodie, an OHS employee, were co-recipients of the Eleanor Prowse Volunteer Service Award. They were honoured for generously giving of their free time through volunteer work and continued participation in a wide range of OHS programs, including Brightening Lives Animal Visits, Comfy Cats, Humane Education, and the Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon.

Julie Peressini, a dedicated foster volunteer, received the Siobhan Shefflin Award, acknowledging her devoted work providing help to many of the neediest animals we see – the many pregnant and nursing cats and litters of kittens. Ms. Peressini cares for them in her home until they’re ready for adoption, giving them a second chance at life.

Dr. Charles Bruce, of Alta Vista Animal Hospital, received the Dr. James Hutchison Animal Welfare Award, for his indispensible and enthusiastic services as a volunteer veterinarian at the OHS, where he performs much needed orthopaedic surgery to help the many animals who arrive at the OHS often suffering from severe leg fractures and injuries.

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