January 24, 2019
Our Ten Year Challenge
There has been a small phenomenon going around the internet lately: the ten year challenge. The idea is that you post a picture of yourself today and from ten years ago. Notwithstanding Wired Magazine’s theory that the trend was started for the express purpose of calibrating facial recognition software, the idea is kind of fun. It certainly got me thinking about where I was and where the OHS was ten years ago.
2009: The OHS is still residing in a fairly decrepit and definitely inadequate building on Champagne Avenue. The space was designed to accommodate only about a third of the animals that we cared for in 2009.
2019: After seven years, we are fully settled into our West Hunt Club Shelter. The additional space and amenities have allowed the OHS to not only vastly improve animal care but also to develop numerous new programs for animals and for our community: day camps for children and youth, seminars, obedience classes, tours and open-houses, a pet loss support group, workshops for newcomers to Canada, and many other initiatives are now launched, all made possible by the new location and the generosity of our donors.
2009: While an OHS internal clinic assures that all animals adopted out by the OHS are spayed or neutered prior to adoption, the range of medical intervention possible is restricted by our limited space and resources. The OHS offers no medical intervention to the community.
2019: A larger, better equipped clinic allows the OHS to address more complex medical issues, and bring more sick and injured animals to health and forever homes. The OHS has been offering its Mobile Spay Neuter Clinic for three years, offering subsidized sterilization for the pets of low-income people across Ottawa.
2009: While our community clearly loves animals, not everyone knows or is sensitive to the right thing to do for them. The numbers of cats at large is rampant.
2019: In part because of our sterilization, education and outreach programs, fewer cats are at large and fewer are admitted to the OHS. Shelters and other animal welfare groups are now the number one source of pets all across North America.
So, while I may be even greyer than I was ten years ago, and the bags under my eyes have become more pronounced with the passage of time, I think the OHS has blossomed, and the animals along with our whole community have benefited.
President and CEO