Thursday, May 29, 2014

Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Cat Month by Making a Homeless Cat's Dreams Come True

June is a busy month at the Ottawa Humane Society. Not only is it the time of year the shelter starts experiencing seasonal overcrowding, but it’s also Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, an occasion that’s close to our hearts.

All OHS cats, from the youngest kitten born at the OHS to the 15-year-old surrendered to the OHS, are shelter cats. They’re all different, with unique personalities. Some are purebred, some are beautiful mixes. Some love to play with toys, others love to cuddle, while many love to do both. The one thing they have in common: the need for a forever home.

This month, to help more homeless kitties find that perfect match, anyone who adopts an adult cat from the 245 West Hunt Club Rd. shelter or an OHS Pet Adoption Location will be entered to win a brand new iPad, courtesy of Petsecure pet insurance. Qualifying adopters also get up to 25 per cent off at the Buddy andBelle Boutique that day, excluding food.

However fantastic the take-home gifts, they aren't the only bonus for adopters who choose to bring home an OHS cat. All pets from the OHS come spayed or neutered, microchipped, with six weeks of insurance from Petsecure, and with a health guarantee. That’s an estimated $625 in services that are included in the cat adoption fee.

If you've thought about bringing home a new cat friend, June is a great time of year to do it and the OHS is the place to go. Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Cat Month by making a homeless cat’s dreams come true this month.  

Natalie Pona
Manager: Communications 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

There Is No Such Thing As a Free Kitten

With the advent of social media and on-line classified sales, the box of cute but unwanted kittens brought to the office has been replaced with on-line ads for these surplus felines. “Free to good home” advertisements are now disseminated much more widely and have become much more common.

Is there such a thing as a free kitten? No! Once even the early costs of caring for a young animal such as sterilization, vaccination, deworming, etc. are factored in, the OHS estimates that it will cost more than $600 for a kitten and even more for a puppy in its first year, not including food and basic supplies. Sadly, many people are shocked by these costs, and either simply ignore the animal’s needs or bring it to us at the humane society.

That is why the Ottawa Humane Society and societies like it sterilize animals prior to adoption. Even with good adoption screening and counseling, we cannot 100% guarantee that an animal will be well cared for once in the adopter’s home. But we can ensure that we are not contributing to pet overpopulation. We include other procedures like vaccination and many times, even dentistry to ensure that all the animals we adopt gets the best start for their new lives. We are able to provide all this for a cost that is far less than an adopter could obtain for themselves. Everyone, especially the cat or dog, wins. 
Once the early costs of caring for a kitten are factored in,
the OHS estimates that it will cost more than $600.

But money is not the only issue. The root cause is irresponsible human behaviour. People that take the free kitten, don’t sterilize it, and let it roam are a major source of unwanted litters. In an Ottawa climate, potentially one cat and her offspring can produce a stunning 172,000 kittens in only seven years. Unvaccinated cats become a reservoir of infection that eventually migrates to any place where cats come to together in significant numbers—a feral cat colony or a shelter or other animal organization. 

Too often, I hear people say that they let their cats breed—even multiple times—but that it was “okay” since they found them all homes. Over 7,000 cats end up at the Ottawa Humane Society every year. Thirty-five percent of them are believed to have been acquired either from a friend or relative or from some form of “free to good home”. Our community suffers from a major cat overpopulation problem and the people who allow their cat to breed are a large part of it. But the people who take the “free kitten” also contribute to the problem, by either being irresponsible themselves or by sparing those that breed from the consequences of their actions. Unwanted and neglected “free” cats ultimately suffer and have to be euthanized by someone other than the irresponsible person that brought them into the world.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Does that Baby Bunny Really Need Your Help?

While stumbling upon a baby animal brings out the maternal
instincts in all of us, spotting a baby animal all alone doesn't 
necessarily mean he's an orphan.
At this time of year, it’s not unusual to see teeny bunnies or squirrels wandering around alone.

While stumbling upon a baby animal usually brings out the maternal instincts in all of us, spotting a baby animal all alone doesn't necessarily mean he's an orphan.

Many wildlife parents leave their young alone during the day, sometimes for long periods. The mother is usually nearby and quite conscious of her young. Also, keep in mind that despite their small size, many young animals are actually independent enough to fend for themselves.

How can you tell if an animal needs your help or should be left alone? If an animal needs your help, you will see one or more of the following signs:

  • A wild animal presented to you by a cat or dog
  • Bleeding
  • An apparent or obvious broken limb
  • Shivering or coldness to the touch
  • Evidence of a dead parent nearby
  • Unusual or uneven loss of fur
  • Difficult or raspy breathing or sneezing
  • Body covered in fleas
If you have found a sick or injured wild juvenile or baby animal, please contact Ottawa Humane Society's Emergency Services at 613-725-1532.

For more information related to wildlife, visit the OHS website at

Natalie Pona
Manager: Communications

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The One Person We Couldn't Be Here Without

There is one person that the Ottawa Humane Society could not exist without. Every single day, this person does a huge amount for the animals and our efforts to help them. 
OHS donors care about animals and
understand that how they are treated is
a measure of our humanity.
This person is a donor, whose regular generosity makes sure that we can be here when Ottawa's animals are lost, sick, injured, or just have no place else to go. This person always attends the Wiggle Waggle Walkathon, Summer Harvest Garden Party and FurBall, making sure each will be a great success for the animals.

When we experienced a food shortage last fall, this person scoured the stores, not just to find any pet food, but the kind that we always use, so the animals wouldn't become ill from a sudden change in diet.

This person is a great ambassador for the OHS, spreading the word about our work and our stories about the plight of animals in our community. This same person helps others to become responsible owners.

This person never ignores neglect and abuse, by being vigilant and reporting it to us, and by advocating for more effective laws to end it.

This person truly cares about animals and understands that how they are treated is a measure of our humanity.

Who is this amazing person that we couldn't be here without? You. You are amazing. Thank you.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Readying Animals for Happily Ever After

Before Fluffy curls up on your windowsill or Fido plays ball in your backyard, these pets spent time at the Ottawa Humane Society getting the medical and other care necessary to live happy and healthy lives in forever homes.

The furry friend you adopt into your family will have arrived at the OHS in one of many different ways: surrendered by a previous owner, rescued from cruelty, or brought in as a stray. The OHS never turns away an animal in need.
All animals that come into the care of the OHS are spayed
or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

OHS vets may treat the animal for broken limbs or for other serious conditions and will provide life-saving medicine as needed. They spay or neuter the animal. It’s vaccinated and microchipped.

A specialist temperament assesses dogs before they’re ready for forever homes, ensuring the best match possible for a successful, permanent placement.

Some animals spend time living with OHS foster volunteers before they’re ready for adoption. These animals may be recovering from surgery or may be nursing kittens and puppies or pregnant cats or dogs.

When they’re ready for forever homes, OHS adoption staff work to make sure adopters are matched with the right pet for them – and for the animal.

The OHS follows up with adopters and offers community programs to help strengthen the bond between the owner and their new pet, such as dog obedience classes.

The journey from arrival at the OHS to your doorstep is a comprehensive process with the goal of a happy and healthy life for your pet in its new forever home – with you.

Natalie Pona
Manager: Communications

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