Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Best Events

Okay, maybe I am biased, but I really think that the Ottawa Humane Society hosts the best and most exciting fundraising events in Ottawa. 

This weekend will be the Summer Harvest Garden Party with some of the best food I have had in this town.  The oyster bar alone would be enough to make me attend, but for this memorial for Chef Kurt Waldele, Ottawa’s chefs go all out with some of their most creative dishes and the results are stunning.  Sample some fine wine, visit the new shelter,  play spot-the-celebrity,  and it adds up to the best Sunday you are likely to have this summer!

The Wiggle Waggle Walkathon will take place September 9.  The walk is not only the most important fundraiser for the animals of the year, but also the most fun. The huge variety of dogs always amazes me.  I see breeds that I have never seen before--or anywhere else.   It is also amazing to see so many dogs in one place--and they are all getting along!  It’s a great day for children too, given the many family-friendly activities.   

Whether you are a gourmet or a dog-watcher, you can help the OHS help Ottawa’s animals while having a great day out by participating in our events.
Tickets to the Summer Harvest Garden Party and all the tools you will need to raise pledges at the Wiggle Waggle Walkathon can all be found at

Bruce Roney  
Executive Director
Ottawa Humane Society


Monday, August 20, 2012

There is no such thing as a free kitten

With the advent of social media and on-line classified sales, the box of cute but unwanted kittens brought to the office has been replaced with on-line ads for these surplus felines. “Free to good home” advertisements are now disseminated much more widely and have become much more common.
Is there such a thing as a free kitten?  No!  Once even the early costs of caring for a young animal such as sterilization, vaccination, deworming, etc.  are factored in, the OHS estimates that it will cost more than $600 for a kitten and even more for a puppy in its first year, not including food and basic supplies.  Sadly, many people are shocked by these costs, and either simply ignore the animal’s needs or bring it to us at the humane society.
But money is not the only issue.  The root cause is irresponsible human behaviour.  People that take the free kitten, don’t sterilize it, and let it roam are a major source of unwanted litters.  In an Ottawa climate, potentially one cat and her offspring can produce a stunning 172,000 kittens in only seven years. Unvaccinated cats become a reservoir of infection that eventually migrates to any place where cats come to together in significant numbers—a feral cat colony or a shelter or other animal organization.
Too often, I hear people say that they let their cats breed—even multiple times—but that it was “okay” since they found them all homes. Over 7,000 cats end up at the Ottawa Humane Society every year.  Thirty-five percent of them are believed to have been acquired either from a friend or relative or from some form of “free to good home”.  Our community suffers from a major cat overpopulation problem and the people who allow their cat to breed are a large part of it.  But the people who take the “free kitten” also contribute to the problem, by either being irresponsible themselves or by sparing those that breed from the consequences of their actions.  Unwanted and neglected “free” cats ultimately suffer and have to be euthanized by someone other than the irresponsible person that brought them into the world.
Bruce Roney
Ottawa Humane Society Executive Director

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Tale of Lucky Luke... continued

And now... the moment you've all been waiting for... an update on Lucky Luke!

According to his new family, Luke is doing wonderful and has adjusted quite well to his new life. He no longer sleeps in the crate during the night, and has the run of the house during the day. He loves all the attention and enjoys being brushed, having his belly rubbed, and just hanging out. He still doesn’t bother with going up or down the stairs in the house and is very content. He loves long walks and even likes to run a bit.

Every night before he goes to bed he follows his new mom to his crate, gets in and waits for his treats. When he's finished his treats, he comes out and sleeps in the hall.

He gets lots of attention and has been out to a family friend’s farm where he met the horses and made new furry friends (just look at the photos)!

"We are so happy to have him!" the email concluded.
For those of you not familiar with Lucky Luke, the St. Bernard came to the OHS following a puppy mill seizure and was at the shelter for several months having spent the first part of his life in a cage with little or no human interraction. He is now in his forever home and his second chance at life seems to be shaping up perfectly.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What really goes on under the Big Top?

Just down West Hunt Club Road from the OHS shelter, you can see the summit of the Big Top tent. It’s official. The circus is in town. And just like last year, they’ve hauled the elephants along with them.

It’s 2012. We no longer allow bear baiting. We don’t allow dog fights. These cruel and dangerous activities have been relegated to history. So why is an exotic animal circus still condoned by our community?

Circus animals have been trained to do tricks using cruel and inhumane methods, and perform these acts out of fear and submission. Sharp tools, whips, electrical prods, baseball bats and metal pipes are used to train and force the animal to perform. And after the performance, the animals are caged in unnaturally small spaces moving from city to city. 

There is nothing natural about an elephant in a skirt trying to balance on a ball, and by labelling this “entertainment” our community is freely stating that dominating and exploiting animals is acceptable.

In 2002, I represented the OHS with other concerned animal welfare groups as we lobbied Ottawa City Councillors to include the banning of exotic animal entertainment in its new Animal Care and Control Bylaw, citing both human health and safety and animal welfare concerns.

It’s been 10 years, and little has changed. At that time the City agreed to license cruelty, so these circus acts need to fill out some forms and pay the municipality to have the “right” to perform in Ottawa.  

A ticket to the circus costs $20 (or $30 if you want to be as close as possible to the cruelty). The same amount can help us care for a sick, abused, or abandoned animal right here in our own community.

Please take a small step to end animal suffering by saying no to supporting a travelling circus.

Bruce Roney
Ottawa Humane Society Executive Director

Friday, August 3, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

Watch some of our Olympic Adoptables in action as we celebrate
the 2012 Summer Games and cheer on our very own champions!

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