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 www.ottawahumane.ca.

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.

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