OHS Strategic Plan: 2024 to 2029

The Future for Ottawa's Animals: Helping at Both Ends of the Leash

The Ottawa Humane Society is here for our community. You have shared with us what you need from us, to help you as pet owners, and to better support all animals in our community. In times of such rapid change and uncertainty, we must be able to adapt nimbly and quickly, to meet our changing environment and to help more animals, and their people. Our new strategic plan is focused on just that: saving more animals, by helping at both ends of the leash. Together, we are creating a brighter future for all animals in our community. We will achieve progress for our community over the next five years by taking action in five important areas:

Read the plan

OHS veterinarian examining a small Siamese cat.

1. Secure More Second Chances for All Animals

Elevating our ability to meet the physical and mental needs of Ottawa’s animals will secure more second chances and bright futures.

Our goals

  • Greater support is available for animals at the OHS;
  • An even better environment at the OHS for all animals;
  • Pathways for better outcomes are available for all animals in Ottawa; and,
  • A safety net for all animals in Ottawa.

How we’ll do it

  • Strengthen the behavioural and medical intervention available to animals in our care;
  • Enhance the environment for the mental and physical well-being of the animals in our care, with particular emphasis on long-term stays;
  • Develop systems to ensure OHS is able to effectively triage any animal-related issue arising in Ottawa; and,
  • Develop partnerships to ensure more pathways are available for all species.
Couple holding adopted dog

2. Help Families Stay Together

People and pets need each other. Ottawa is facing a pet affordability crisis. The OHS is enhancing and expanding its community services to help families weather any storm.

Our goals

  • Healthy pets are able to stay in the homes where they are loved;
  • Owners at risk have increased access to veterinary care;
  • Fewer adopted animals are returned to the OHS; and,
  • Fewer animals are surrendered due to cost or other resource issues.

How we’ll do it

  • Introduce more and enhance existing programs like our food bank and wellness clinics to support families in caring for their pets;
  • Work with governments, humane organizations, and industry to advocate on issues that help keep pets in their homes; and,
  • Provide ongoing resources to adopters to support them in caring for their new pet.

3. Empower our caring team

People and pets rely on the OHS’s dedicated and compassionate team to provide essential, life-saving services. Growing and supporting our team is crucial to best serve Ottawa’s diverse and vibrant community and respond to the needs of the animals.

Our goals

  • Our caring staff and volunteers remain engaged in their life-saving work;
  • Our available resources go even further for Ottawa’s animals; and,
  • Our team is ready to best meet the needs of the animals and our community.

How we’ll do it

  • Promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in everything we do;
  • Enhance recruitment to grow the team and continue investing in the growth of current team members;
  • Integrate technology into programs and services benefiting staff, volunteers, donors, and the community; and,
  • Remove physical barriers that limit our programs and services.
Skunk in the arms of OHS staff

4. Educate, Enrich and Collaborate With Our Community

Ottawa is a community that cares. We will give the community the tools needed to drive meaningful and lasting change for animals in need.

Our goals

  • The community is aware and understands what good animal welfare looks like;
  • More animals receive a second chance through collaboration with our community partners;
  • We engage and meet the needs of Ottawa, including young adults and diverse and underserved communities; and,
  • A kinder community for animals through greater education and advocacy.

How we’ll do it

  • Develop stronger communication with OHS supporters and clients;
  • Invest in the next generation through effective child and youth programming;
  • Develop public awareness campaigns, advocacy campaigns and public programs that lead to a kinder community for all animals; and,
  • Develop animal-assisted-intervention programs that bring people and animals closer together.

5. Safeguard the Animals’ Future

The OHS relies on the support of a caring community to build a sustainable future and ensure Ottawa’s animals have somewhere safe and loving to go.

Our goals

  • Clear vision and progress toward more sustainable practices as a community organization;
  • The animals are better protected against unforeseen risks and challenges; and,
  • A lasting community of support for Ottawa’s animals.

How we’ll do it

  • Strengthen the organization’s financial resilience through long-term planning;
  • Define and act on the OHS’s commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG); and,
  • Strive for greater adaptability to even better identify and respond to risk.

Help build the future for the animals

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