Thursday, April 24, 2014

World Veterinary Day

I'll bet you didn't know that April 26 is World Veterinary Day. To be honest, I didn't until recently, but I still think it's pretty important.

A good veterinarian becomes a trusted
partner in the health and welfare of our pet.
Veterinary medicine is critical for your pet of course, and regular veterinary care is an essential part of being a responsible owner. But, the importance of veterinary medicine stretches far beyond the health of our much-loved pets. Veterinarians have a huge role in preventing disease in humans. Zoonotic disease ­– animal illnesses that can be transmitted to humans – are a tremendous threat around the world, but we Canadians rarely give them a thought, and rarely need to – only because of veterinarians. Veterinarians play a crucial role in maintaining food safety, by attending sale barns, investigating and managing outbreaks of illness in livestock, and just assisting farmers in maintaining the health of their herds.

In clinical practice, every pet owner knows that a good veterinarian becomes a trusted partner in the health and welfare of our pet. They also often become part therapist, social worker and sadly, sometimes, grief counsellor.

I am proud of the Ottawa Humane Society and many of the things we have accomplished together. One of the things I am most proud of is the relationship we have with our veterinary community. This is not typical. Many humane societies are at best, in an uneasy peace, and at worst in outright war with their local veterinarians.

In contrast, Ottawa's veterinarians were among the most generous donors to the building of our new shelter. Local vets give generously of their time to volunteer to help the animals in our care. They discount their services, walk in our annual walkathon, host our donation boxes in their clinics and – along with technicians, animal care attendants, and everyone who works with them – are great partners in animal welfare and close friends of the OHS. 

So, this April 26, I hope you will join us in thanking Ottawa's veterinarians and the staff that work with them for everything they do.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

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