Friday, September 27, 2013

Ottawa Humane Society Honours Community Members at its AGM

The Ottawa Humane Society honoured several volunteers and members of the public last night at its annual general meeting, celebrating the many dedicated and passionate individuals and organizations working together to make our community better for the animals.

Sit With Me Shelter Dog Rescue received the Muriel Davies Kindness Award for its help providing medical and training attention to the OHS's harder-to-place mixed-breed and senior dogs. The partnership with Sit With Me has allowed the OHS to give more than 45 dogs a second chance at a forever home.

The Community Foundation of Ottawa was awarded the Community Spirit Award. The OHS and the animals in its care have been fortunate to receive annual grants from donor-directed funds within the CFO since 1999. Grants have helped kick-start projects such as a foster care program expansion, a pet identification program, programs for at-risk youth, and a feline disease control program.

Esther Becker received the Eleanor Prowse Volunteer Service Award for generously giving her time through volunteer work and continued participation in a wide range of OHS programs, including Off-Leash camps, Brightening Lives Animal Visits, and the humane education program.

Pet Valu Canada received the Special Recognition Award for its role in growing the OHS's Pet Adoption Location program, or PAL. Pet Valu Canada has been instrumental in helping find forever homes for more OHS cats through its participation in the PAL program as an adoption partner.

Ron Eade received the media award for his efforts to raise awareness of OHS events, such as the FurBall Gala and Summer Harvest Garden Party, furthering the OHS goal of helping nearly 11,000 animals every year.

Kathy Lane, a dedicated foster volunteer, was awarded the Siobhan Shefflin Memorial Award, acknowledging her devoted work providing help to many of the neediest cats and kittens that come into the care of the OHS. Ms. Lane cares for them in her home until they're ready for adoption, giving them a second chance at a bright and healthy future.

Dr. Glenys Hughes was awarded the Dr. James Hutchison Animal Welfare Award for her work saving animal lives as a volunteer veterinarian at the OHS. She has been an active volunteer in the clinic since 2009 and has contributed above and beyond to the welfare of Ottawa's animals.

Emily, David and Sarah Aaron were awarded the President's Special Recognition Award for their outstanding contributions to the goals and mission of the OHS. They generously supported the campaign to build a new shelter, helping to make the dream of a new home for the animals a reality.

A Word About the Ottawa Humane Society:
The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The Society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

For media enquiries, contact:
Natalie Pona, Manager: Communications
Ottawa Humane Society
613-725-3166 ext. 261
245 West Hunt Club Rd.
Ottawa, ON K2E 1A6

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ottawa Comes Through for the Animals

I am always grateful to live in a community that cares.  And I am grateful to work for a great organization that has your trust and support to do the very best it can to care for homeless, abused and neglected animals.  When we tell you that we need help, you are there for us and for the animals.

Several months ago, our food sponsor has experienced supply chain problems with certain types of food that it normally provides the OHS to feed the animals in its care.  For a period, the sponsor was giving the OHS cash payments with which to purchase the food, but then informed us that we had reached a maximum.

This is a big problem. 11,000 animals a year eat a lot of food—over six thousand dollars worth a month, in fact.

We aren’t going to let the animals go hungry, and animals, especially stressed or ill ones, require a consistent high-quality diet to get well and maintain their well-being.  Changing diets suddenly causes gastro-intestinal problems.  We have been making so much great progress in improving our care and our services, cutting back on other services and programs to buy food would jeopardize our ambitious goals for today and into the future. So we reached out for help.

The result has been heart-warming and inspiring.  Every day you are arriving at our shelter with not only food, but blessedly, the exact food we asked for. Some of you have gone to two or three stores, just to find the right kind of food, some stores having sold out because of the shortage, and others because the limited supply had been purchased by others to help our homeless animals! You have sent us over $10,000 in cash gifts to buy food through our own channels. It’s amazing to experience and it reminds me what a great community this is.

Thank you Ottawa for caring and once again being there for the animals.

~Bruce Roney, Executive Director

Friday, September 20, 2013

United Way and the OHS – united to help make change happen for the animals

Britta arrived at the shelter after
being hit by a car last February.
The United Way and the Ottawa Humane Society have a long-standing partnership to help save animal lives in our community.

Each year, thousands of United Way donors like you direct all or part of their United Way gifts to the animals at the OHS. United Way-directed gifts help the OHS rescue lost, abandoned, neglected and abused animals in our community and give them a second chance at a new life by adopting them into loving homes.

United Way gifts have helped animals like Britta. Britta, a three-month-old puppy, was hit by a car last February and suffered head trauma and a broken leg. She was rushed to the OHS for surgery. After recovering in shelter, Britta spent a couple months with OHS foster volunteers who helped the pup finish her healing before going to a new forever home.

The OHS and the animals in our care do not receive grants or funding from the United Way, unless animal supporters like you, direct your gift to us. It’s EASY! Write in "Ottawa Humane Society" in the charity section and fill in our charitable number: 123264715 RR0001.

Britta recovered thanks to
generous supporters like you
Programs such as our rescue and investigations services are also funded by gifts from generous United Way donors like you. RIS agents investigate cases of animal cruelty, helping to bring criminals to justice, and they rescue injured animals with nowhere else to turn.

If you have already directed your United Way gift to the animals at the Ottawa Humane Society, please accept a BIG thank you from all the animals at the OHS.

My last plea to you is to help even more animals by encouraging you co-workers who love animals to join you in directing their United Way gift to the animals at the OHS. You can also post it on your Facebook page for your friends and blog about it or tweet it out to your followers.

Thank you once again for helping change the lives of animals in our community.

Rob McCulloch

Director: Development

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happy Ottawa Humane Society Week!

You may not have heard, but last week was Ottawa Humane Society week in Ottawa.  Last Tuesday, Mayor Watson visited us to attend a ceremony declaring the week in honour of the 125 years that the OHS has been serving our community and its animals. It was a moving tribute to the many thousands of people who have come together over many years to build not only a strong humane society but more importantly, a more compassionate community.

Mayor Jim Watson declared Ottawa Humane Society Week
on September 3 at a ceremony at the shelter.
The event was one of a series to mark our long history of service. And what a history it is!  Founded in 1888 as the Women's Humane Society of Ottawa, a small group came together to enforce the new animal protection laws.  It also took responsibility for the lot of children in Ottawa, until the Children's Aid Society spun off from the group several years later. 

The OHS history was first chronicled in 1988 in the book Helping Hands:  The First 100 Years, written for the 100th anniversary of the OHS.  This book described many of the people, issues, challenges and successes that formed the OHS over its long history.  It is a fascinating read. It manages to describe not only events, but also captures the huge extent to which our community and culture has changed.  Imagine the humane society lobbying council to not fully clear snow from streets, since completely cleared streets caused the horses to slip. 

The Helping Hands book is
available for purchase at the OHS.
 To mark the 125th anniversary, the book has been updated, expanded and republished as Helping Hands: The First 125 Years. The new book is in colour and brings the history of the OHS up-to-date with several new chapters and many old and new photographs that have not been published before. 

The book is available in our Buddy and Belle Boutique for $20 plus HST.  The book can be ordered by emailing us at with your address and credit card information or by calling 613-725-3166 ext. 297. An additional $4 in postage will be added to the price. 

Bruce Roney,
Executive Director

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What we do in schools and why!

Most people are familiar with the Chinese proverb “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” With 11,000 animals requiring our care every year – we truly see how essential humane education is, in reducing overall rates of animal abandonment, neglect and cruelty in our community.

Humane Education examines the relationship between humans and animals, recognizing that we share many of the same physical and emotional needs.  We hope that through inviting humane education into the classroom curriculum, students begin to understand what it really means to be a responsible pet owner – recognizing that adopting or purchasing a new pet is a long term commitment. Families must be able to provide for an animal’s needs throughout its entire lifetime, before inviting any new pet into the home.

Last year we gave just over 200 humane education presentations at various schools in the Ottawa area. During our visits we teach responsibility, and inspire youth to become humane individuals, who embody life-building and character skills such as, empathy, respect, compassion and kindness towards animals. Our purpose is to engage students in a cause they are innately passionate about and encourage them to be ambassadors of kindness to all living beings – big and small. As our humane education program continues to expand, we hope see a new generation of responsible pet owners – who take care of their pets and educate others on what they've learned through our humane education presentations.

Some of our more popular presentation topics include:
  • The needs of animals (cats, dogs and small animals)
  • Being safe around animals
  • How to create a pet-friendly community (following animal by-laws, etc)
  • The cause of pet overpopulation (the importance of spaying and neutering)
  • How to prevent animal neglect and cruelty

For older groups, we also discuss more advanced topics such as:
  • The cosmetic industry
  • Animal cruelty and the link to interpersonal violence
  • Circus animals – entertainment or exploitation?

We let students know that they too can make a positive difference in their communities and the world around them, by showing them the impact our short-term decisions make on the lives of Ottawa’s animals. By giving students the opportunity to learn about animal welfare, we are building a more compassionate community and a brighter future for Ottawa’s animals.

For more information or to book a presentation this fall, please contact Ottawa Humane Society, coordinator: humane education by phone (613) 725-3166 ext. 235 or email

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