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History of the Ottawa Humane Society

In January 1888, a small group of ladies formed the Women's Humane Society of Ottawa. This organization enforced the new animal protection laws and focused on bettering the lives of neglected children by lobbying for legislation to provide for foster homes.

In 1896, this group evolved into the Ottawa Humane Society and the Children's Aid Society was established to assist needy children in our the community.

In 1979, the Ottawa Humane Society was renamed the Humane Society of Ottawa-Carleton. We returned to the Ottawa Humane Society in 2001, when Ottawa Carleton was amalgamated.

Today, the Ottawa Humane Society's mandate covers a broad spectrum of animal welfare concerns. The organization's priorities include prevention and investigation of cruelty to animals, enforcement of laws for the protection of animals, public education and pet population control, through which we seek to reduce the number of stray animals whose final solution is often destruction. The Humane Society provides a wealth of animal care information to the public through humane education visits, public information awareness booths, participation in various volunteer programs and the multitude of services offered to the community.

Directed by a local volunteer Board of 14, the organization employs over 80 staff with animal care, inspection specialists, outreach workers and administrative staff, augmented by a large and very important complement of volunteers. Our former Champagne Avenue South facility, built to accommodate 2,500 animals a year, was built with public support in 1967.

The need for a new animal shelter was identified in the 1980s. In 2005 the OHS contracted with a project management firm to look at the possibility of expanding the Champagne Avenue facility and compare it to the alternative options of building a new facility on green land or purchasing another building and renovating it. The study ruled out the possibility of renovating and expanding the Champagne Avenue shelter, noting among other things that the square footage of that property was smaller than the space required for the new building alone!

The Ottawa Humane Society began construction of the new facility in June 2010, which was completed in June 2011. We moved into our new, modern facility at 245 West Hunt Club on June 22, 2011!

The Ottawa Humane Society is not funded by government. We are able to provide these services for the animals and our community through the generosity of our supporters. We enjoy the support of over 18,000 people in the Ottawa region.