Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer at the OHS

Now that summer has finally arrived, things will be getting very lively here at the OHS. I say "lively" because both great things and tremendous challenges are a part of the season.

As soon as the weather gets warm, the shelter begins to fill with stray animals and those surrendered by their owners. In fact, our intake rises from a dozen or so a day, to up to 50 animals some days, all of whom have nowhere else to go. A sad fact is that, as summer holiday time approaches in June, the number of animals surrendered peaks, often as a result of pets not being a part of their owner's summer plans. 
The children who attend OHS camps leave with knowledge
and attitudes that will change the future for Ottawa's animals.

Along with challenge of so many animals needing our care in the shelter, we rescue far too many from hot cars. Even before temperatures climb into the 30s, temperatures inside parked cars, even on moderate days, can soar to 40 degrees and beyond. As many as two dozen dogs every week will need to be rescued from these vehicular ovens this summer.

Summer also becomes lively in a good way. One of our favourite additions is the very popular summer camps that begin at the end of the school year. Almost 400 children attended our camps last summer. Not only do they bring life to the OHS, but they leave with knowledge and attitudes that will change the future for Ottawa's animals. In addition to our young summer campers, we also reached 2,444 through our other camps, children's tours and birthday parties and an astounding 6,900 through our school and summer humane education programs. We think that their learning experiences will result in permanent change. They won't leave their pets in hot cars, and they won't surrender their pet to go on holidays.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

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