Thursday, July 17, 2014

Off-Leash Camp at the OHS

Off-Leash Camp at the OHS is well into the third week of the summer session and, as expected, campers are paws-itively loving every minute of it. Most kids come to camp because they love animals and some are budding veterinarians. Camp programming offers campers hands-on opportunities to explore OHS shelter life in a way they never have before.

Through weekly visits from internal guest speakers, campers are able to catch a glimpse of the compassion and dedication of OHS staff.
Off-Leash campers get to examine ear mites
and tapeworms with veterinary technicians.

  • Rescue and Investigation Services agents share vivid stories such as helping a skunk with its head stuck in a jar and they also share information on the dangers of leaving a dog in a car in the hot summer sun.
  • Adoptions counsellors share animal adoption stories and ask campers about what makes a good home for a variety of animals.
  • Animal care attendants describe what they do in a typical day – from feeding or walking dogs to taking a minute to show animals a bit of extra love.
  • Veterinary technicians often bring specimens such as ear mites or tape worms (contained of course) for the campers to examine. They explain what happens in a typical day and the variety of animals they see.
  • The canine co-ordinator demonstrates how dogs are temperament tested.
Camp programming is filled with multiple animal interactions as well as animal-related crafts and games.

As with all OHS children’s programming, campers are always encouraged to ask questions and express their opinions about any animal related topic we discuss. At the end each week, our goal is to ultimately have inspired this younger generation to understand what responsible pet ownership and animal welfare really means.

Lori Marcantonio
Director: Outreach

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Returning Lost Cats: We Need Our Community's Help

Last year 3,841 lost cats weren't claimed by their owners. We tried, but we need your help.
We have made some tremendous progress in many, many areas, particularly since our move to West Hunt Club. Almost every one of our measures shows improvement. The one glaring exception? Our one stubbornly low statistic is our cat return-to-owner rate. Last fiscal year, it was an abysmal 5.2%. Worse, it has only exceeded 6% one year in the last decade. That means of the 4,052 stray cats admitted last year, only 211 went home, most because no one came looking for them. When added to the several thousand cats surrendered by their owners, that creates enormous pressure as we care for and rehome this huge number of cats.
Even indoor cats escape - a tag and microchip on every cat
would ensure that every lost cat would get home.

We have tried many strategies over the years to return more lost cats to their homes, but none have had a significant effect. We are coming to realize that we can't do this on our own. We need our community's help.

What can you do?
First, keep your cat indoors. We estimate that this one step in responsible animal ownership would reduce the number of stray and injured cats by over a half.

Second, identify your cat. Even indoor cats escape, especially in the summer, when the screen door is opened and closed a lot, and when the outdoors is full of tempting sights sounds and smells. A tag and microchip on every cat would ensure that every lost cat would get home. A city registration even comes with a free ride home!

If you find a cat:
Don't assume that her owner isn't looking for her. File a found report through our web site or contact our lost & found department or 613-725-9998 right away. You can also:
  • Place a free notice in the “found” section of the newspaper or on-line lost pet sites
  • Put up fliers in your neighbourhood and talk to your neighbours
  • Take the animal to the OHS or a veterinary clinic to check for a microchip
If you have lost your cat:
Search the area at dusk and/or dawn - be cautious around cars and garbage cans. Inform your neighbours and ask them not to feed your cat. Visit the Humane Society as soon as possible.
You can also:
  • Make fliers that include the lost date, description and any unique markings, a picture and your phone number - a reward motivates people!
  • Make familiar sounds to attract your pet and walk around your neighbourhood in the morning and evening calling your pet's name
  • Put fliers up around your neighbourhood, shops, vet clinics and anywhere else, including your old neighbourhood if you've recently moved
  • Place the kitty litter outside - while it may sound strange, this helps nervous or shy cats who may have bolted return to a site that "smells" familiar
  • Place a lost ad in the paper and on-line. Check the found section
  • Check with the neighbours, mail carrier, newspaper and other delivery people, local vet clinics, etc.
By working together as a community, we can help all of our feline friends return to their home!

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Elephant That Brought Down a King

Juan Carlos, the King of Spain, abdicated on June 19, 2014. The once-popular monarch's popularity had sunk dramatically over the past several years.  The last straw for the Spanish people, according to most reports, was a hunting trip the King took to Botswana in April of 2012. Juan Carlos was hunting elephants.

According to newspaper reports, the principal concern of Spaniards was the cost of the trip, which "... cost upwards of $8,700 a week, with an elephant costing a further $15,000 to kill." The whole trip was estimated to cost a total of 44,000 Euros. Spain, of course, has been suffering a poor economy, and has undergone severe austerity measures. People are suffering.  

Juan Carlos was the honorary head of the Spanish branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature, until July 2012, when WWFN-Spain held a meeting in Madrid and decided to remove the king from the honorary presidency.

I don't think that the cost of this expedition is the bigger problem. What do you think?  

Bruce Roney
Executive Director 

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