Friday, June 29, 2012

When Owners Can’t Afford Vet Care

Things at the OHS are almost never as simple as they appear. Among these is the OHS policy on owner surrender.  We write a lot about owners relinquishing their pets, particularly when the pet is sick or injured and requires veterinary care that the owner cannot afford, but we don’t always delve into why our policies are as they are.

With over 11,000 animals requiring our care every year, we certainly have no desire to add to our work.  We also don’t have the resources to pay for veterinary care whenever an owner asks us—and we are asked daily.  Our only solution to prevent animal suffering, do what we can afford, and at the same time hold an owner somewhat accountable for his or her pet, is to accept sick and injured animals as surrenders, help them as best we can, and, we hope, rehome them to a family that is willing and able to provide all of the care the animal needs.  Otherwise, what happens to the dog next time he needs veterinary care? What happens to the cat when she requires dental care?
We also provide a great deal of programming, information and advice about both planning ahead for a pet’s medical needs and for taking steps to limit the possibility of injury to a pet.  When an owner doesn’t plan ahead, and/or contributes to their pet’s injuries, the situation becomes even less simple.   I don’t think that our donors wish to support maintaining the animal in the home under many conditions, but rather would prefer we care for, and then rehome the animal.
Certainly we know the health and other benefits of having pet in our lives. Does that mean that everyone should have a pet? Does it mean that only people with money should have pets?  If a charity like the OHS had the funds to assist people in caring for their pets, should it be a gift or a loan? What about taking away money from homeless animals to help owned animals?  Would it be for emergencies only, or a lifetime of care?  What if the owner contributed to the injury by not protecting their pet?  Or what if the owner isn’t very responsible with the care of their pet in other ways?  How would all of this be assessed?
These issues are not easy or straightforward. What do you think?  Have your say here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bruce's Video Blog: A Visit to the Cat Condos

The Adoption Centre at our 245 West Hunt Club facility boasts an open-concept, inviting atmosphere for the cats (as well as those interested in adopting).

It always amazes me when I walk by members of the public peering throught the glass admiring the cats. "You know, you can go in and visit with them," I explain, and always get the same astonished, excited reaction.

I hope you enjoy this video, a glimpse into the lives of the cats at the OHS. There are a LOT of cats available for adoption, so if you or someone you know is considering bringing home a new feline, now may be the time to find your perfect match.

Read more about adopting from the OHS.

Bruce Roney
Ottawa Humane Society Executive Director

Friday, June 15, 2012

We’re full up

For the first time since the new shelter at 245 West Hunt Club opened, our Adoption Centre is completely full.

With no room in the Adoption Centre, new adoptable dogs can’t be moved from the holding area into the more spacious dog pods for the public to see.

A total of 26 dogs are currently available. Although our website profiles only 16, we’re currently calling potential adoption matches – people who have previously filled out an adoption request form – to try to find homes for the newest adoptable canines. The dog pods in the Adoption Centre are all occupied with dogs of all sizes, shapes and ages – with one thing in common – they’re all looking for a forever home! Summer can be a great time to welcome a dog into the family! Everyone is outdoors, bike riding, walking, being active – all things you can enjoy with your dog.

We also have more than 100 catsavailable for adoption at the West Hunt Club Facility as well as throughout the city at PAL (Pet store Adoption Location) partners.

Ally is just one of the beautiful canine companions waiting for a new home.

And we also have 44 small animalsand birds looking for new homes.

There is a pet for everyone at the OHS – large, small, furry or feathered.

Please spread the word and tell your friends to take visit our Adoption Centre. You might meet your new best friend!  

Please don’t shop, adopt.

Send this link to your friends and spread the word about what’s happening at the new OHS.

View animals available for adoption.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bird is the word

A feathered friend has taken up residence outside our director of operations’ office, proving that all types of animals benefit from the Ottawa Humane Society.

A staff member discovered the mother Killdeer and her nest, which is nestled amongst the rocks, the perfect place to camouflage her eggs. The spotted eggs could be mistaken as stones, and the nest blends in with its background.

Although Killdeer are considered shorebirds, they often live far from water, but they most frequently inhabit grasslands, fields, meadows, and pastures.  This bird chose her spot to call home close to our building and hasn’t abandoned ship even though there are dogs and people walking by frequently.
Home is where you make it, and this bird has chosen to snuggle up with the OHS. She must like the new shelter just as much as the anaimals here do!
We’ll keep an eye out and send an update if we see her hatchlings, though we don’t expect them to be around for long because Killdeer hatchlings are able to see and forage soon after birth.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer’s coming at the OHS!

Spring is starting to give way to summer and a lot of really exciting things are happening here at the OHS!

Our first ever day camp begins on next week’s school P.D. day and our weekly summer camps will start shortly after. This programming will not only bring needed revenue to the OHS to fund our animal welfare mandate, but is expected to bring long-term change in our community as our fresh charges graduate more compassionate and aware young citizens.

Overall, our new space is starting to be really well-used.  Birthday parties are taking off.  Colleagues and community groups are renting space in the building for meetings and events.  A celebration of our first anniversary in the new shelter is in the works.

Our spring deluge of animals has hit, but it feels very different than any other year in my 12 here at the OHS.  It doesn’t feel like a crisis.  Our shelter, clinic, foster and other staff are very busy, for sure. About 240 animals came into our care in the last week alone.  That’s a lot of animals in a week, and a lot of care was needed.  But moving to the new facility has changed a lot for the OHS and the animals.  Many fewer animals are stressed, and so are not becoming ill in the shelter.  Staff can perform their work more efficiently. The Clinic staff is performing spays and neuters faster and making sure animals are moving to the adoption centre quickly. The centre is getting full, as are our Pet Adoption Locations (PAL) in the community, but we know they will find forever homes very soon.

Enjoy your summer. It’s always too short and if you are like me, you never do all you hoped to.  Now and   again, though, take a few minutes to remember the animals.

Bruce Roney
Ottawa Humane Society Executive Director

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