Thursday, August 18, 2016

Politics and Animal Lives

The OHS has been providing rescue and investigations
services for 128 years.
The Ottawa Humane Society was founded in 1888. It was created to enforce our the new animal welfare legislation in the capital of our almost-new country. And ever since, it has been core to what the OHS does for our community and for its animals.  

Unfortunately, we are not individually empowered to conduct this work. It flows through the Ontario SPCA, the organization named in the Act. And as an affiliate serving a community — one of the 28 voting members — of the OSPCA, we have had a voice in animal welfare in Ontario. It is enshrined in the Act and we think it is important. That is, we had a voice until the sitting board of the OSPCA unilaterally, and without notice, and we contend, illegally, decided that we didn't. Local communities and local humane societies would no longer represent their communities in animal welfare in the province, only the sitting members of the board. We thought that was wrong. We said so. The result? The OHS was suspended for objecting. 

We could no longer provide investigations into animal cruelty and neglect for a community and its animals that have come to rely on us. No voice for Ottawa provincially. No OHS investigations in Ottawa. We think this is a dangerous game. It is playing politics with animal lives. 

I worry. The OSPCA has told our partners that they will provide the service here. But your complaints are coming in. You are telling us that animals are not served. I worry a lot because I believe in the work we do and I care about our community's animals. In the end, we just want to get back to work — the work we have been providing for 128 years — rescuing animals and bringing the perpetrators of cruelty to justice.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Why IS summer so busy at the OHS shelter?

It will come as no surprise that the busiest months at the OHS shelter are July and August. One of the reasons may surprise you though. Here are our Top 3:
  1. Animals and people are both outside more, leading to more stray animals.
  2. Many animals, especially cats, give birth throughout the spring and many are brought to us eight weeks or so later.  
  3. Early summer is the beginning of summer holiday season, and many people surrender their pet before going on holidays. 
Naomi  (A189212) is just one of the many cats at the
OHS looking for a new home this summer.
I know that the third reason will shock a lot of people. You likely are very bonded to your pet and would not dream of surrendering her to a shelter because she doesn't fit with your holiday plans. But many, many people do.

You know what may shock you more? I am mostly ok with that. I say "mostly" because I believe that being a pet owner is a serious commitment. But I also believe that, if all else fails, bringing your pet to a shelter is a responsible choice. Too many pets are simply abandoned when not convenient, dumped somewhere alone and left to their own devices. And that is much, much worse than surrendering him to a trustworthy shelter.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wiggle Waggle Walkathon Team Showcase: Algonquin Animal Hospital’s Pet Angels

Wiggle Waggle Walkathon and Run for the Animals Spokesdog Betsy interviews Natalia Hanson, Algonquin Animal Hospital team captain. 
Betsy: So, first off Natalia, tell me why the walkathon is so important to you? 

Natalia: I have always wanted to help animals as they are the most vulnerable members in our society. I started fundraising when I was a teenager and I like to think that I am part of a bigger picture, that I am helping fund spay and neuter surgeries and finding pets their forever homes. 

Betsy: And why is the walk so important to Algonquin Animal Hospital? 

Natalia: Our former owner, Dr. Barrie Stewart, who passed away in 2014, was a big supporter of the OHS. In fact, one of the dog kennels at the shelter is named after the Prince of Wales Animal Hospital, our sister clinic. I started the team in 2013 and Dr. Stewart was very supportive of the idea, so we decided to make it a yearly tradition. Plus, we have been the animal hospital/vet clinic that has raised the most funds for two years in a row, so we hope to maintain our title. 
Algonquin Animal Hospital’s Pet Angels

Betsy: Do you have any tricks or tips for others who are new to fundraising for this event? 

Natalia: I think using the emotional appeal helps a lot. Donors like to know how their money is directly benefiting the animals in Ottawa. The Algonquin Animal Hospital’s team gives donors something in exchange. We sew bandanas and sell them at the hospital for a donation. 

Betsy: What is your favourite thing to do/see on walk day? 

Natalia: We get to meet so many people and animals! I remember a lady who always walks with a tiny horse. We’ve also seen some ferrets and cats in carriers. Everyone is in a good mood and walking together for a good cause. My teammates always get excited about the Puppy Picasso paw prints for dogs!

Betsy: Do you have any suggestions for keeping your team excited and encouraging them to fundraise? 

Natalia: I try to get them excited by looking forward to the actual event; it’s a day when we can get together, wear our team jerseys and be a team outside our workplace. 

Betsy: Woof! Is there anything you would like to say to people who have never been to the walk or run or who are considering registering? 

Team T-shirts
Natalia: I would tell everyone to please go! This is the OHS’s biggest annual fundraiser, there’s no minimum required donation and people can choose to walk on their own or form teams. Come meet other animal lovers, talk to the exhibitors, meet adoptable pets, and walk/run for a worthy cause. It’s an event for the entire family. 

Betsy: Thank you so much for your time, Natalia! Can’t wait to see you and your team on Sept. 11, 2016! Woof woof!

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