Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We Love Our Volunteers! Happy National Volunteer Week!

This week, National Volunteer Week, the Ottawa Humane Society is celebrating close to 600 volunteers who give so freely of their time, energy and passion to support the animals in our care. The OHS would simply not be where it is today without the commitment of these volunteers.

Over the past year, dedicated OHS volunteers have logged an incredible 41,805 hours—that’s over 800 hours every week—to help save animals’ lives. They have touched every part of our work, supporting our daily operations, programs and services. Dedicated volunteers have fostered hundreds of sick animals in their homes; others have supported the OHS by entering data to ensure that generous supporters were acknowledged and thanked. Our volunteer dog walkers have walked in rain, snow and sleet to provide daily outings for canines in our care, while other volunteers have driven hundreds of kilometers, delivering cats to our 22 partner pet adoption locations across the City. Our generous volunteer veterinarians donated almost 400 hours last year to sterilize animals prior to adoption, and to provide other critical life-saving surgeries to give so many more animals another chance. Board and committee volunteers have helped ensure that our future is bright and healthy, while, thanks to the efforts of so many other volunteers, we can ensure that our daily administration is as efficient as possible. From teaching kids—and adults—about the humane treatment of animals, to taking animals on visits to brighten residents’ days in long-term care facilities, OHS volunteers reach out and help us ensure a strong community devoted to animal care and welfare.  So many more volunteers, in roles too countless to mention, have made a difference to the animals in our community over the past year.

We do not take any of these hours for granted; we are thankful for each and every one and what it has meant to the over 11,000 animals that need our assistance each year.

We are hosting some special events for our volunteers this week as part of National Volunteer Week, but our appreciation is sincerely ongoing throughout the year. Our volunteers are truly the lifeblood of the Ottawa Humane Society.

Sharon Miko
Director: Operations

Are you interested in volunteering? Please check out available volunteer opportunities on our website at

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Benefits of Senior Animals

Common reasons why people surrender their animals to the OHS is a change in life circumstances: moving, divorce, new baby etc... Why would anyone consider sharing their home and their lives with an older animal when there are younger, cuter animals available?
Mack (A144229), An 8 year-old brown tabby!
Copper (A153275) an 11 year-old Border Collie/Lab
mix, has more energy than you think!
By adopting an older animal, you can make a statement about compassion and the value of all life at all ages, Just as a puppy or kitten has her whole life ahead of her, so too does an older pet have the rest of her life in front of her. You can give that older cat or dog the best years of her life while at the same time bringing a wonderful addition into your family.

1. What You See Is What You Get

Older dogs and cats are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right dog and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime. If you’re not so into surprises, an older companion animal could be for you!2. Easier to train or do a quick refresher

Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Not true! Older dogs are great at focusing on you—and on the task at hand—because they’re calmer than youngsters. Plus, all those years of experience reading humans can help them quickly figure out how to do what you’re asking.

3. Older animals have lots of love to give and receive

These dogs love you—and those of you who adopted dogs already in their golden years told us how devoted and grateful they are. It's an instant bond that cannot be topped!
Prince (A153347) a 9 year-old black Labrador Retriever/
Great Dane mix loves human companionship!
4. Not a 24-7 Job

Grownup dogs don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your “me time,” this is definitely a bonus.

Hercules (153876) a 10 year-old cat just wants love!
5. Easier adaptation 
Older cats and dogs have been around the proverbial block and have already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. They’ll settle in and be part of the family in no time!

6. Fewer Messes

Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be housetrained—and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). With their teething years far behind them, seniors also are much less likely to be destructive chewers.

There are those who yearn for a companion animal of their own, but hold back because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come. And they are wise to do so—a kitten or a puppy can be anywhere from an 8- to 20-year responsibility, which is not appropriate for the very elderly or those with certain long-term future plans. Providing a loving home for a senior animal is no less a serious commitment, but may be a shorter one.

Adopting an animal, old or young is the right thing to do. 

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