Friday, August 30, 2013

IAMS Wiggle Waggle Walkathon – More than Just a Walk for Dogs!

A dog grabs a drink from a toilet water bowl!
The 25th anniversary IAMS Wiggle Waggle Walkathon is so much more than just a dog walk. The original organizers would be amazed at how it has grown since the first event in 1988. This year, our goal is to raise $185,000 for the Ottawa Humane Society’s animals.

There are now even more reasons to walk and many more fun activities for the whole family to enjoy:

  • Walkers now come to our IAMS Wiggle Waggle Walkathon without a dog and simply walk because they love animals and the great work that the OHS does in our community. It’s common to see couples, families and co-workers all walking without a dog in tow.
  • We have added a 5K and 10K run this year. We’ve also added a unique-to-Ottawa 3K Companion Animal run so that runners can Run for the Animals with their favourite four-legged friend.

In addition to the walk and run, here are some of other great activities happening this year:

  • Raise or donate $125 and receive an entry ballot into our WestJet draw for 2 tickets to anywhere they fly!
  • Great food from Ottawa’s Food Trucks!
  • “Ask the Vet” presented by Alta Vista Animal Hospital
  • Pet Pavilion Marketplace where you can buy that special item for your best friend
  • A KIDZ zone and entertainment on our main stage
  • Yoga warm up and stretching from Yogatown
  • Check out equipment from Ottawa Fire Services and speak to Ottawa firefighters 
  • Create your very own "mutt-sterpiece" at Picasso Puppies
  • Get your family or team photo taken with Milo the spoksdog
  • Visit with City of Ottawa Bylaw Services
  • Speak with an actual OHS animal rescue and investigation services agent
  • Bring your favourite teddy bear or stuffed animal to be bandaged and fixed-up by OHS Vet Dr. Shelly Hutchings
  • View some OHS adoptable animals in person and speak to an adoption representative

Friday, August 23, 2013

Why are animals homeless?

Like  many issues in animal welfare, the answer of why there are homeless animals is not a simple one. There are many reasons for homeless animals. The root of the problem, as with most issues in animal welfare, is irresponsible human behaviour.

Humans who allow reproduction is one of the biggest problems in cats. Too often, people show up the OHS with a litter of kittens. "The mother isn't mine. She has just been living under my porch for the last eight months. I feel sorry for her, so I feed her, " is the common refrain. Guess what? That is your cat. She is in your custody. She is your responsibility.   

The second biggest problem is cats that are allowed to roam. It is irresponsible not to have your animal under your control at all times. Cats are subject to all manner of risk: cars, disease, fighting,  and too often, intentional harm by neighbours. As many as forty a day end up here at the OHS. Too few owners come looking for their roaming cat and the result is an owner claim rate that hovers around five per cent.

In dogs, the more common problems are poor bre
eding practices leading to either congenital health or temperament problems, failure to address (or creating) behavioural problems, and failure to plan for emergency veterinary care. All of these result in homeless dogs to be cared for at the OHS—several thousand every year.

In the end, our community doesn't have an animal problem. Our animals have a human problem. 

Bruce Roney,
Executive Director

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Do we have a deal for you...

Visit our Cat of the Day each day during our August adoption
promotion and be sure to share him with a friend!
This August, in celebration of the OHS’s 125th anniversary, we’re going all out for cats. Our goal is to place a higher number of cats than ever into new, loving homes this month. Our adoption fee for adult cats, at our West Hunt Club shelter and in our 24 “PALs” (Pet Adoption Locations), has been reduced to $125 — that’s just one dollar for every year the OHS has been helping Ottawa’s animals.

We truly believe our cats are the best deal in town. All cats have been sterilized and microchipped. They come with initial vaccinations, six weeks of free pet insurance and a two-week health guarantee.  We are even offering draws and special discounts at our Buddy & Belle Retail Boutique: anyone who adopts an adult cat from the OHS or one of our pet store partner locations will be entered to win a fabulous cat climbing tree, donated by PetSmart, and all cat adopters will receive 25 per cent off purchases in our boutique (excluding food) when they adopt their new friend.  

While you can put a price tag on all of the above (and believe me, it’s an incredible deal!), the endless purrs and companionship that a new feline friend can provide are simply priceless. There’s also no price you can put on the help you’re providing ... not just by giving a loving home to a homeless animal in need, but in doing so, by opening up a space for one of the more than 30 cats arriving at the OHS every day this summer.

Sharon Miko, 
Director: Operations

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Favourite Event Of The Year

The Summer Harvest Garden Party is my favourite event—not just at the OHS, but my favourite event period. It's not just the food, which is always amazing, but atmosphere is warm and inviting, people are friendly and relaxed, and there always is some good wine to be tasted. This year I'm looking forward to trying  wines from Crush and Coyote's Run Estate Winery. 

Chef Kurt Waldele
The chefs always go all-out to make it memorable and delicious because the event is in honour of Chef Kurt Waldele. Not only did Kurt train half the chefs in the city, but for many years he did so much for Ottawa's animals through organizing and hosting the garden party, with his wife Dr.Suzanne Beauchemin and some very committed friends and volunteers. The garden party has grown with the OHS to be the very special occasion that it is now. It is such an honour to continue to share in this legacy to this great man.

There was so much about Kurt I didn't know until he passed away. I knew him as a tremendously kind supporter of the OHS. It was only at his funeral that I learned how much he had brought to Ottawa's culinary community. The chef "guard of honour" at his funeral was among the most amazing and moving tributes I have ever seen.

You can also expect sweet treats!
This year's party promises to be the biggest and best garden party ever. Twenty-one chefs have signed up to date, among them, Chefs Tim Wasylko from the Prime Minister’s residence, Louis Charest  from the Governor General's residence, and Cory Haskins. All three were mentored in Kurt's kitchens and have gone on to great things. Cory will be preparing shrimp in a pernot sauce—a classic taught to him by Kurt. Cory wanted his dish to honour Kurt by reflecting what he'd learned from him.

This year's National Arts Centre location means our poor dogs won't be licking the glass of their kennels with the hope of tasting what they can smell! Of course, there will be visits from our furry friends, to remind everyone why they support the OHS and this great event.

You won't want to miss this year's Summer Harvest Garden Party. See you on August 25th! 

Bruce Roney, 
Executive Director

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Top Five Questions About Our First Annual OHS Run for the Animals

We are thrilled to offer our supporters a new and exciting event to help the animals in our care: the first annual Run for the Animals. It’s being held at the same time and location as our annual Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon – Sunday, Sept. 8 at Queen Julianna Park near Dows Lake.

As a runner, I thought I would respond to some of the most common questions that we have been asked about the event. Hopefully, these answers will help make this special day for Ottawa’s animals a great one for you too!

1. What will I get for my entry fee?
This is a question I often ask myself as I choose which Ottawa runs to register for.
You get a commemorative run T-shirt, since it is our first annual event. The T-shirt is sure to be a collector’s item! You also get to run on a scenic, closed course along Queen Elizabeth Drive. The run is timed by Ottawa’s premier timing company – Sportstats. And, you get a finisher medal unlike anything else you have ever received from other runs.

2. Are there other activities taking place at Queen Julianna Park?
Yes! We have other events for your family, friends or co-workers:
  • Young animal lovers can participate in the 1.5K Kidz Run
  • Walk with your dog in our 1K or 3K IAMS Wiggle Waggle Walkathon
  • Run with your pooch in a first-ever in Ottawa 3K Companion Animal Run 
3. How do I get my friends, family or co-workers involved?
It’s easy. Set up a team. Be the team captain! Your team can personalize your T-shirts or even dress up in eye-catching costumes. Run together to support each other! Your team will be eligible for terrific prizes and pictures that you can show off at work or home!

4. Ok, I have completed my run – what’s next?
Come back to Queen Julianna Park after your run or walk. There will be a lot going on:
  • Check out our Family Fun Zone – great activities for our youngest supporters
  • Test Rover’s speed and reflexes in our Dog Agility Park
  • Meet some adoptable animals from the OHS
  • Shop in our Pet Pavilion for that special animal-themed gift – all proceeds go to the animals at the OHS
  • Rehydrate and replenish with food and drink from our food trucks
  • Bid on some terrific items from our silent auction – all money from the auction will help Ottawa’s animals
  • Contests – we’ve got ‘em. Do you look like your dog? Is your pooch really big or small, or does he have that special talent or trick? If so, join the fun and games on the CTV Stage.
5. How am I helping the animals at the OHS by running?
Great question! Part of your entry fee goes to help the animals in our care, but if you really want to help save animal lives, you should consider setting up a personal fundraising page. When you do that, 100 per cent of all pledges are directed towards our rescue and investigation services, our in-house clinic, and our adoption programs.

You can personalize your fundraising page by adding a picture of yourself or a four-legged friend. You can even post a heartfelt message or story that will make it IMPOSSIBLE for your friends, family and co-workers to not support you.
Click here to register now and to set up your page.

Rob McCulloch

Director: Development

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