Thursday, May 23, 2013

Someone in here needs you!

Cats like Freckles (A118662) are waiting patiently
for a purrfect home here at the OHS.

It happens every year about this time:  the number of cats admitted increases dramatically.  In the first week of February this year, we took in an average of 17 cats a day.  In the past seven days, we took in an average of 28.  By June, we will see some days that 35 or 40 cats with nowhere else to go will come into the care of the Ottawa Humane Society. 

Even in our new shelter, our capacity for cats on a given day hovers around 400. (It depends on how many are single adults versus queens with kittens.)  If 35 to 40 cats a days are coming into our care, it is easy to imagine that even this very large facility can fill very quickly at this time of the year.

Over the past winter, we have done a lot of planning and preparing for this annual reality.  More space is not the answer, and our efforts in the community to stem the flow of newborns will only pay off over the long-term.  The key to being able to provide for so many cats is velocity or length of stay.  That is, if we can care for the cats for a shorter time, then our capacity to care for large numbers increases dramatically. 

With so many adoptable cats, cages are starting to fill up,
and we are now housing cats in the Greeting Rooms.
Imagine two scenarios:  Let's say those 17 cats that we cared for in one day in February were with us for 16 days - six days being a reasonable time to assess, vaccinate, sterilize and otherwise prepare the cats for adoption, and then ten days waiting to be adopted.  17 cats for 16 days is 272 care days.   But let's say we could shave two days off the time it took us to prepare those 17 cats for adoption, and four days off the time it took them to be adopted.  Those same cats would only require 170 care days—over a hundred or a whopping 38 percent fewer care days required!

Armed with this knowledge, we began to develop systems that would identify bottlenecks in our systems that added to care days, dramatically increased our number of pet adoption locations in the community, and increased resources in our foster program, all with the aim of reducing the number of days that a cat needs to be in our facility.

Of course all this only works if our community chooses to find their best new feline friend at the Ottawa Humane Society. So we need your help:  Choose the OHS for your next adoption.  Get the word out to your friends and family, your co-workers and contacts that the OHS is the place to complete their family with a pet. 

Someone in here needs you.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thank you for everything that you do for the animals

OHS supporters - young and old(er) are the BEST! You help us save animal lives by being involved with the Ottawa Humane Society in so so many ways.

Many of you simply cannot get enough and participate in countless programs and activities to help the animals in our care.

Here are three recent shining examples that warmed my heart:
Ringo lounges in his forever home!

Alena MacDonald is very committed young supporter of the animals at the OHS. She donated all of her allowance to help us care for the animals. She even went so far as to make her own posters encouraging others to help the OHS - which she then put up in her neighbourhood. Parents Jayor and Heather are monthly donors and have adopted their cat Ringo from the OHS - making this truly a family affair!

Alexa shows off her
"Off-Leash" Camp gear!
The Shaw-Preece family adopted their special cat Cupcake in February, right around the same time mom Jennifer won free tickets to the OHS FurBall after purchasing tickets in our annual Warm Hearts Raffle. Daughter Alexa has been to OHS PD Day programs and also attended our "Off-Leash" Summer Camp. Alexa is planning on coming back to camp this year and learning first-hand about how to be a responsible animal owner.

Zoey and Molly Purves are two special supporters who involved their neighbours to help the OHS. Zoey wants to be a vet and attended our "Off-Leash" Summer Camp last summer as part of her plan to find a new family cat. Her hard work paid off and the Purves family welcomed a new member - Candy. Zoey and Molly recently held their own raffle to help the animals. They made ballots and sold them to neighbours. Zoey, Molly and their two friends Catherine and Elizabeth ended up raising $18 to help us care for Ottawa's animals. By the way, first prize in the raffle - a picture of their cat Candy!

Zoey Purves (8) and Molly Purves (5) enjoy a high-stakes game of Monopoly
with Candy. Photo by Mark Purves,
Thank you to all our supporters - for adopting an animal into your home, volunteering, donating or raising money or participating in our many community programs. Your involvement allows us to rescue lost, abandoned, neglected and abused animals and give them a second chance at a new life by adopting them into new and loving homes.

Rob McCulloch
Director: Development

Friday, May 10, 2013

Night-Owl Spay-a-thons at the OHS!

Dr. Bamberger prepares a cat for a routine spay.
Love is in the air for the cats of Ottawa.  As the days lengthen and warm up, their kitty-hormones rage, and instinct drives them to seek out a mate (multiple mates, in many cases).  These actions, as we all know, have consequences – two months down the road, these “consequences” (kittens!!!) enter the world and often make their way through the doors of the Ottawa Humane Society in need of shelter and the chance at a better life.

We can expect to take in 200-300 kittens under the age of 8 weeks every month from May to October.  And these kittens represent only about one third of the total number of cats we take in during these months.  Kittens are adorable, but in such large numbers they can be downright overwhelming for our staff, volunteers and resources.

One major "stop on the road" to getting these cats re-homed is spaying and neutering them so that they can’t make the same mistake their parents made.  At the OHS clinic, we average 15 sterilization surgeries each day.  This can feel like a daunting task, but luckily we have help.  Ottawa’s veterinary community is full of vets willing to generously donate their time and skills to help these cats (and other OHS animals) find new homes faster.

 Volunteer, Jan Stark, comforts a dog waking up from surgery.
To get the most out of our surgical facilities we have planned a series of “Night-Owl Spay-a-thons” this summer, an after-hours event where a group of volunteer vets and support staff get together to sterilize as many animals as they can in one evening.  We had our first Spay-a-thon last week and it was a huge success!  Dr. Vicky Bamberger (from Alta Vista Animal Hospital) and Dr. Kim Holzman (from Cedarview Animal Hospital) generously donated their evenings, as did a couple of recovery volunteers, Ann Smith and Jan Stark, who ensured the animals woke up from their surgery safely and with ample snuggles.

So long as love remains in the air for Ottawa’s cats, we will be holding several more of these "Spay-athon" events over the coming months to help control pet overpopulation in Ottawa.

Dr. Alison Green
Veterinarian, Manager: OHS Clinic 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mark September 8th on your calendar for as one-of-a-kind community celebration for the animals at the Ottawa Humane Society!

Join me on September 8, 2013 for a special 25th anniversary edition of our annual Wiggle Waggle

Walkathon for the animals.

Our Wiggle Waggle Walkathon has finally come home! Queen Juliana Park (Carling and Prince of Wales). This is where it all started - 25 years ago when a small but dedicated group of volunteers decided to organize a walkathon to help raise money for the animals the OHS.

This is also the 125th anniversary of the Ottawa Humane Society. In honour of 125 years of helping Ottawa's animals, I am challenging you and everyone in our community who loves animals and wants to help the OHS save animal lives - to raise $125.

Registration is now open and you can register today and set up your personal fundraising page at

Walk or run for the animals - you now have a choice!

Are you a runner? Slow, fast, or in between, no worries, we have a new and exciting addition for the festivities on September 8th. We’re introducing our first annual Run for the Animals, to be held concurrently with the walkathon. It’ll be a timed 5KM, 10KM with a 1KM Kids Fun Run, and a very special 3KM Companion Dog Run.  Details will be announced soon - so mark that day on your running calendars to run for the animals!

I will be running in the 5km run and hope to see you there - running, walking, enjoying our family fun zone, K9 activity area, Pet Pavilion shopping area and most of all celebrating 125 years of the OHS helping animals in our community.

Rob McCulloch
Director of Development and runner

Share on Social Media