January 2, 2018

Important Animal Welfare Update: Statement from the Ottawa Humane Society

We have an update on some changes coming to the way the Ottawa Humane Society operates in our community.

The first is that City of Ottawa Bylaw Services will be transporting injured stray domestic pets and wildlife effective January 5, 2017, rather than OHS. As of that date, Ottawa residents should call 311 for help with injured stray animals and wildlife. Animals will continue to be brought to the OHS for care.

This significant change will be better for the animals. It will cut down on the confusion in our community we saw this past year about who to call if an animal needs emergency transportation to the OHS. It will reduce an inefficient system, so that we can focus efforts on what will do more for animals.

Our first priority has always been, and will continue to be, the animals in our community. The OHS will continue its work rescuing animals once they arrive at the shelter, with lifesaving veterinary care, food and shelter. We will continue to work with our partners in wildlife rehabilitation to save as many injured wild animals as possible.

The second change is that we will be increasing our intervention with dogs with behaviour issues, to help more of them find new homes. And, we will work more on advocacy, championing animal welfare for our community. Planning is underway to identify the resources available and the models to use to achieve both goals. Investment in both is expected in our new fiscal year in April.

These changes stem in part from incidents in 2016. You may recall that year, we spoke up when the OSPCA tried to take away the voice of our community — your voice — in animal welfare by taking away our voting rights. We joined six other humane societies in court to get back your vote. The OSPCA responded by stripping our officers of their power to investigate animal cruelty. Last month, a judge dismissed our case. Obviously we don’t agree with the outcome, but for the good of the animals, we will not be pursuing an appeal but will be focusing on ensuring a better future for Ottawa’s animals.

Thank you for your understanding over the past while. With your support, we remain committed to integrity in everything we do for the animals and for our community. This promise was reaffirmed last year, when we achieved prestigious accreditation from Imagine Canada’s Standards Program, recognizing excellence in non-profit accountability, transparency and governance.

We’ll continue to keep you updated as our planning moves forward to become an even stronger voice for the animals in our community.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director