Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wow! Look what you did!

We reached out, through the mail and online to tell you about a few of the animals that needed your special care. You responded. Now I want to tell you about what has happened to those cuties because of your kindness! 

Can you ever forget Chili? He was the seven-year-old cat found wandering the streets last January.  He was special needs, with stomach problems leading to him needing a prescription diet. Placed in our foster to adopt program, Chili found his forever family just days before Christmas on December 22.  
Chili celebrating Christmas in his forever home.
Ramsey was a five-year-old cat who arrived on Sept. 22. He was rushed to the OHS after being hit by a car and arrived limping from his pain. He suffered a horrific eye injury, was gasping for breath and his jaw was left hanging open. He was brought directly into Critical Care. Ramsey had his left eye removed. But because of you, Ramsey recovered and was adopted to his new home as a special needs adoption this past December.  
Ramsey in the critical care unit.
Ramsey ready for adoption.
Penny, a five-month-old retriever with mournful eyes, was rushed to the OHS by ambulance in November. She was diagnosed with a humorous fracture. X-rays confirmed her leg had been broken weeks before and was left to heal improperly. Sadly, her leg was too damaged and needed to be amputated. She spend some time in foster to recover and then was spayed. Penny lucked out and found a forever home on Dec. 10 with someone who also paid the cost of her leg amputation!
Penny after her surgery.
Penny looking for her forever home in the Adoption Centre.
The lovely Lilly was a very sweet nine-month-old cat. She was brought to the OHS as a stray on Sept. 24. She had been hit by a car and was in medical shock. She was in very rough shape. Her tail and leg were badly broken and both needed amputation. Your kindness allowed Lilly to pull through and she was adopted on Oct. 28.
Lilly recovering in the critical care unit.
Mia was a beautiful but very sick three-month-old puppy. When she arrived, the OHS veterinarian diagnosed her with acute juvenile cellulitis, also known as puppy strangles. It’s a rare condition caused by an immune system dysfunction. And it can be fatal without costly and intensive treatment. But you came through for Mia. She is now on steroids, nutritional supplements, anti-nausea medications, and a probiotic. She is presently in foster recovering, and we hope she will be in her forever home soon. 
Mia in the critical care unit.
Mariah was a four-year-old Siberian husky who arrived on Dec. 6 at the OHS pregnant with nowhere to turn. Because of you, though, Mariah did have a warm place to go, here at the OHS. Shortly after her admission, Mariah gave birth to nine puppies, named by the staff for Santa's reindeer. Mariah's puppies should be ready for adoption second week of February, mom may take a little longer, as she needs to recover from nursing.
Mariah and her puppies before Christmas.
Mariah and her puppies on Jan. 10.
Mariah's puppies on Jan. 10.
All these animals owe you a special thanks for their lives and their second chance. Since they cannot speak for themselves, I want to do it for them. To all of you that were touched by these stories and stepped up to help Chili, Ramsey, Penny, Lilly, Mia, and Mariah, and the close to 10,000 others that need you every year, thank you. 

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

Thursday, January 19, 2017

No Animals were Harmed?

Disturbing footage shows a terrified German shepherd
apparently being forced into a tank of torrential water.
I have always been reassured by that disclaimer at the end of films. You know the one: "No animals were harmed in the making of this film." I pictured dedicated animal welfare staff on set observing filming at all times, approving any stunts and training techniques, monitoring of animal's welfare, in short, providing diligent oversight to give the disclaimer meaning.

Revelations from the set of the film A Dog's Purpose, shot in Winnipeg in late 2015, suggest that I have been naive. Footage has surfaced showing a terrified German shepherd apparently being forced into a tank of torrential water. Later footage suggests the dog was in genuine distress once in the stream, appearing to nearly drown.

Complaints have been made to the Manitoba authorities, and I have no doubt that appropriate steps will be taken. But what happened in the first place? Why doesn't that famous disclaimer mean what I thought it meant? And why was I so complacent? I know, probably better than most, that money trumps animal welfare whenever animals are used in entertainment.

Ironically, this week, Barnum and Bailey announced that they are shutting down after 150 years. Great news for animals. But not a great time for complacency.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thanks OHS Dog Walkers!

It’s been a mild couple days but Ottawa has seen some wild weather this winter, from temperature extremes to snow storms.  

I avoid going outside if the temperature drops much below freezing. That is why I am all the more impressed to look out my window and see our faithful dog walkers circling the building, a joyous dog hopping along in front of them, day in and day out.

This winter, we have suffered through snow, freezing rain, exceptionally high winds—you name it. But the dog walking volunteers arrive like clockwork to ensure our dogs get fresh air, exercise, basic training and relief from the kennels.

It is one thing to walk five or six dogs on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon, but the dogs need to get out at 8 am on blistering cold Tuesday mornings, too.
Everyone at the OHS is indebted to the hearty souls that bundle up and endure the worst winter weather for the sake of the dogs. 
Bruce Roney
OHS Executive Director 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Filling the Pages in 2017

I've never been much for New Year's resolutions. I never kept them. That said, there is something to a new year that feels like a blank page. Doesn't it feel a bit like when we used to start school in September with clean blank notebooks just waiting to be filled?

So, rather than feeling like I have to make empty promises to myself in the form of resolutions, I am thinking about what I want those blank pages to be filled with. There are a few things I want in 2017 for the animals in the care of the Ottawa Humane Society:

More permanent solutions; fewer band-aids for problems;

More research; less guessing;

More lives saved; less pain for animals; and

I want the OHS to receive — and be deserving of — more notes like this one, sent by an adopter and donor in December, because these make all the work worthwhile:

"... I never boast about the fact that I am a PAW donor, but I have had a chance to use your services for my own needs. Never have I been so proud. I do not want to dwell on the fact, but I will not be stopping the contributions. I loved what I saw, and you and the staff should be proud as well. I saw a lot of happy families, and even saw an older gentleman on Sunday sitting at the tables studying or reading there, and truly seemed to enjoy his time.

Thank you and the OHS for what you have done. You have united two best friends together."

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

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