Thursday, December 20, 2012

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps - means a little bit more!

Does anyone remember this advertisement from a decade ago?  It was a tie-in with the release of the live action version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.   The scene and voice over was the famous part near the end of the beloved book, Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps... means a little bit more!"   Then another voice, interjects, “But in case he's wrong, there's always your Visa card!”

Nowadays, Christmas and its symbols are being used to sell everything from credit cards and computers to carpets and coffee and cameras. Lately the ante has been upped. Now it's the “The true spirit of Christmas” that is marketing hook used to sell, sell, sell.  And as with the Visa ad, the irony screams.

I think that everyone that celebrates Christmas wants to find its true spirit, but along the way, “the spirit of giving” becomes “the spirit of shopping” and we are stressed, tired and empty at the end.

What is the true spirit of Christmas?  “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men” seems pretty good to me, though the peace part seems elusive.

So this Christmas, let's all try to spread a little goodwill toward men… and women and children and of course, animals.  Let's practice the arts of peace. One of them is gratitude. I'll start:

Thank you for helping us rescue and care for 11,000 animals this and every year. Thank you for caring. Thank you for volunteering, adopting, and donating. Thank you for the notes of encouragement. Thank you for forgiving us when we make a mistake. Thank you for the cookies that you dropped off yesterday. And most of all, thank you for helping us build a more compassionate community.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2012

For a Safe and Happy Holiday

Christmas is a busy time of the year for most of us, and sometimes safeguarding our pets gets lost in the general chaos that can accompany the season.  I want to remind you of a few things that will help to keep your pets safe and healthy:

If you're entertaining, you may wish to keep your pets in a quiet room away from the noise and activity.  If they're mingling among the guests, make sure you're monitoring them so that they don't share your guests’ holiday foods.

Christmas ornaments should be "pet-friendly".  Avoid using tinsel on trees, as curious animals are attracted by the shiny strings and may swallow them, which can lead to serious injury and expensive surgery.  Ornaments hung on lower tree limbs should not be breakable.  Also, keep your tree free of decorations made of food.

Be careful with Christmas lights. Secure electrical cords and conceal outlets.  Pets may chew on cords.  Remember to keep pets away from open flames.

Some Christmas plants are toxic to pets.  Keep your pets away from mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and amaryllis.  If ingested, these may cause vomiting, diarrhea and other problems.  If your pet has ingested something you're unsure about, call your veterinarian or one of Ottawa's 24 hour emergency clinics.

After gifts have been unwrapped, discard strings and ribbons, which could be dangerous play toys for pets.

You're not the only one looking under the tree with curiosity.  If you don't know what’s in a package, don't leave it under the tree.  You may find out the hard way that Aunt Jane got you a delicious box of Belgian truffles.  Chocolate is toxic for both cats and dogs.

Always ensure that your pet is wearing adequate identification.  With more frequent comings-and-goings, it's easy for your pet to slip out of the house unnoticed and we want to be able to return your pet to you safe and sound.

From our Ottawa Humane Society family to your family, please accept our warmest wishes for a safe and happy holiday.

Bruce Roney, 
Executive Director

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Puppy Mill back in Business: Ask the Quebec Government to Act

OHS supporters have been flooding us with information about the notorious Paws-R-Us puppy mill operators once again selling dogs on-line.  

We were outraged to learn last spring that the operators of the horrendous facility that the OHS helped to shut down would be banned from breeding for only two years.  Now, after less than a year, they appear to be back at callously exploiting dogs for profit.

The Shawville operation is well outside OHS jurisdiction, but we assisted in the rescue and re-homing last year and are very concerned about the fate of the mill's current victims. 

The OHS contacted Quebec authorities at ANIMA-Quebec  who have given us a tepid response.   Now OHS Executive Director Bruce Roney has written a strong letter to François Gendron, the Deputy Premier and Quebec Minister responsible, asking him to take immediate action. You can read the letter on our website.

Stand up for these new victims by adding your appeal to the Minister to act.  Minister Gendron can be contacted by email, mail, fax or telephone.  The Minister’s contact information is:
François Gendron                                                                                               
Deputy Premier, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation
200, chemin Sainte-Foy 12e étage
Québec (Quebec)  G1R 4X6

Telephone: 418 380-2525

Fax: 418 380-2184

Bruce Roney,
Executive Director

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