December 1, 2022

A Flood of Cats

Last week, we made a post about how we had welcomed 27 cats into our care in a single day. The story made some waves. Many people shared messages of support for our amazing team, how much they care for cats they haven’t even met, and thanked us for being there for the animals in their time of need. The story was even picked up in the news, making an appearance in the Ottawa Citizen.

I couldn’t be more thankful for all the support. I am grateful to be part of a community that cares so deeply for animals.

While the story may have been shocking for some, for our staff, it was just another day. Twenty-seven is a lot of cats, but the reality is that there are regularly many animals, not just cats, who come to the OHS each day. That’s part of being an open-admission shelter.

Our work doesn’t stop at admitting animals into our care. We are also making adoption matches, reuniting lost pets with their families, caring for hundreds of animals in the shelter, providing necessary surgeries, helping animals with challenging behaviours, running a food bank, providing spay/neuter services and microchip clinics for our community, helping children and youth learn about being responsible pet owners, and continuing to build a community that cares.

The OHS is here for every animal in need. It’s a commitment we take very seriously. At times, depending on their needs, we may have to prioritize one animal over another, but we will never turn an animal away or allow them to suffer.

That said, I’d like to apologize to some folks in our community. In the past week or so, we’ve heard a few voices from people who feel like we have let them down. Whether it’s a matter of us not responding soon enough or not being able to immediately take in an animal, we have heard some frustrations. I am sorry for that. I know what it’s like to worry about an animal. And we’re always sorry when we aren’t able to meet our community’s expectations. But what I commit to, is this. We will always prioritize, so that we are helping the animals that need us most. In busier times, this means it might take us a little more time to return a call, or to admit animals who are safe where they are. But we will always get back to you, and we are always committed to helping. If you don’t think we’re meeting this commitment, I encourage you to let us know. 

That is our promise to you.

Sharon Miko
President & CEO