Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I'm in Love

I have fallen in love. She is beautiful. Her name is Gracie. She has been living with me for a little less than a month.

She is a tiny, 10-year-old blue-point Siamese cat. I think that Gracie is the most lovely, sweet cat ever born. Of course, I am biased.

Gracie — who came to us as Misty — had a long journey into our home. She and her sister were surrendered to the OHS by their owner on Jan. 17 of this year. Both cats had severe dental problems and both were suspected to have undersized kidneys.

Neither sister took well to kenneling and were showing signs of stress. Stress in cats in a shelter can literally be a killer. They weren’t eating and were losing hair at an alarming rate. Staff members took the sisters into their offices to give them a break from the shelter. That is where I met Gracie. She took to me right away.

Gracie still had a long way to go. She refused to eat and was given drugs to stimulate her appetite. Eventually she was force-fed. She developed severe diarrhea and was treated with three different medications before one worked. She had three rounds of dental work: a cleaning and two courses of extractions. She was fostered between each. Between the two extraction sessions, she developed an upper respiratory infection and was treated for that.

We had been considering a cat for some time, but my allergy to them was more than a small hurdle. But amazingly, I didn’t react to this little cat. So, I submitted a request for adoption and hoped that no one else was on the request list for a senior cat like Gracie. We were sad to find out that Gracie’s sister succumbed to kidney failure while in foster; likely an underlying condition worsened by her refusal to eat. We were worried for Gracie, as she too appeared to have undersized kidneys.

Gracie pulled through it all, and on March 26, she came to our home for the first time. She still wasn’t ours though. She was a Foster Me First adoption as she was still recovering from dental surgery and was on antibiotics and pain medication. It wasn’t until after her final exam in April that she became ours.

Gracie’s long story is no longer that  exceptional. While still a huge challenge, once the OHS could not have helped a cat with such a long list of needs. The OHS would not have had the money or the staff resources. Cramped conditions at the Champagne shelter would had virtually guaranteed that she would have become much sicker.

So I am grateful; grateful to all the staff and volunteers that cared for Gracie on her journey. I am grateful to the many generous donors that helped us built the West Hunt Club shelter, and to the thousands of donors that give us the resources to care for her and so many like Gracie today. Thank you for giving us Gracie and for giving so many animals a second chance.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

Friday, May 8, 2015

Light or Dark – there are no sides when it comes to helping animals.

Photos by our wonderful volunteer photographer, Rohit Saxena.

Instagram: @rohit
Twitter: @rohitsaxena

Special thanks to the Capital City Garrison of the 501st Legion for the help with this photo shoot.
Star Wars Photo


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Discover the Kitties Behind the Label: Adopt a Special Needs Cat in May and Get a Free Vet Visit!

Could Tiggs be your purr-fect match?
Even when Tiggs was a kitten, there was something special about him that made him stand out from the rest. Sure, Tiggs has some dental troubles — but they don’t define him. It's really his enthusiasm for playtime, his fondness for catnip, and his adventurous spirit that make this tabby a special kitty.

Go behind the “special needs” label in May and get to know cats like Tiggs at the Ottawa Humane Society. This month, adopt a special needs cat and your new best friend’s initial vet visit is free — an $85 value! 

The OHS special needs adoptions program helps older animals and pets with often easily manageable conditions get a second chance at finding a forever home. Conditions may include food allergies needing a special diet, thyroid conditions requiring regular, though inexpensive, medication, or heart murmurs that probably need nothing more than annual monitoring.

Get to know the cat behind the label.
All pets need to visit the vet to stay healthy, not just those with special needs. But some people see the words “special needs” and move on to the next cat, passing by wonderful pets like Tiggs without a second look, without taking the time to learn about the kitty behind the label. 

Visit the OHS to speak with adoption staff about whether a special needs pet is right for you. Meet Tiggs and other special needs cats at the OHS Adoption Centre at 245 West Hunt Club Rd. or visit the website at for more information.

Natalie Pona,
Manager: Communications 

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