Search Results for: wildlife
Another Industry’s Time Has Come
Everyone who cares about animals was disappointed to see the charges against Marineland dropped last week. Later, we were alarmed to hear about yet another round of complaints about Papanack Zoo stemming from shocking undercover footage of the conditions there.
Papanack is closer to home. In fact, it is just outside of the jurisdiction of the OHS in an area long-served by the OSPCA. Of course, many of the zoo’s visitors are from Ottawa, and we have received many dozen complaints about it over my 17 years at the OHS; all were passed on to the OSPCA when received.
Across the country most complaints about these profit-making operations are based on the kind of limited protections available to animals under current legislation, such as access to food, water, shelter, etc. But here’s the thing: these issues are beside the point. Let’s move beyond whether animals in zoos and aquaria are cared for to a minimally acceptable standard and agree that their time is over. Like their travelling cousins, the circuses, the time of zoos and aquaria has passed. We know better now. Animals need more than food and water. They need to be with their own species. They need to live in social groups. They need to express natural behaviours.
That is why we are supporting the call from our national partner, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, for the formation of a federal/provincial task force to study the high number of animal deaths in Canada’s zoos, aquaria and other captive wildlife facilities and to determine a new animal protection framework for the industry. We hope that this process will result in real change. And, I hope, one day the end to these inherently inhumane businesses.
2019 Media Releases
- Protect Pets from Cold Temperatures This Winter (December 5, 2019)
- We woof you a Merry Critter Christmas! (November 29, 2019)
- Santa Paws is Coming to Town! (November 27, 2019)
- Ottawa Humane Society Welcomes new Ontario Animal Protection Legislation (October 29, 2019)
- OHS Halloween safety tips for your pets (October 28, 2019)
- It’s Howl-O-Ween at the Ottawa Humane Society! (October 24, 2019)
- Ottawa Humane Society to Host its First Adopt-a-thon, Over 180 Animals Looking for Homes (October 4, 2019)
- Emaciated Puppy Found in Wooded Area Comes Into Ottawa Humane Society Care (October 3, 2019)
- Seniors’ Day at the Ottawa Humane Society (September 26, 2019)
- Ottawa Humane Society Honours Community’s Contributions at its Annual General Meeting (September 23, 2019)
- Ottawa Humane Society Animal Stolen from Pet Valu on Ogilvie Road, $200 Reward for Tips Leading to a Safe Return (September 16, 2019)
- PetSmart Charities’ National Adoption Weekend to Feature Ottawa Humane Society Cats at Ottawa Locations (September 12, 2019)
- 31st Annual Ottawa Humane Society Wiggle Waggle Walk & Run Fundraising Event (September 5, 2019)
- Ottawa Humane Society to Feature Long-Stay Adopt-From-Foster Pets at Upcoming Adoption Event (August 20, 2019)
- Ottawa Humane Society to Participate in PetSmart Adoption Event in Response to a Recent Population Surge (August 15, 2019)
- Ottawa Humane Society Urging Pet Owners to Keep Pets Safe During Travel, After Two Dogs Fall Out of Moving Vehicles in One Day (August 9, 2019)
- Ottawa Humane Society Nearing Capacity and Still Filling, Seeking Community’s Help to Avoid Crisis (July 30, 2019)
- 38 Kittens Transferred to Ottawa Humane Society – Most Ready for Adoption (July 17, 2019)
- Increased Danger to Pets Left Alone in Cars as Heat Wave Blankets City: Ottawa Humane Society (July 3, 2019)
- Canada Day: The Perfect Pet Storm (June 28, 2019)
- See an Animal in Distress? The OHS wants to make sure you know who to call. (June 24,2019)
- The Ottawa Humane Society Encouraging Businesses to be Dog-Friendly (June 17, 2019)
- The Ottawa Humane Society is Now Finding Homes for Feral Cats (May 30, 2019)
- Get a Microchip For Your Pet: The Difference Between Lost and Found (May 2, 2019)
- Protect Pets from Spring Dangers (April 4, 2019)
- Update on Wandering and Starving Labrador-cross Dog (March 22, 2019)
- This February, Love is in the Air at the Ottawa Humane Society (February 7, 2019)
- Ottawa Humane Society to Hold Microchip Clinic Sunday, Feb. 10 (February 5, 2019)
- Stray Cat Rescued by Ottawa Fire Services Recovering in Ottawa Humane Society Care after Wandering onto the Rideau River (January 31, 2019)
- Protect Pets From Dangerously Cold Temperatures (January 22, 2019)
- No more “ruff” days at the office! (January 18, 2019)
- Ottawa Humane Society to Hold Microchip Clinic Sunday, Jan. 13 (January 7, 2019)
If an animal’s life is in immediate distress as a result of cruelty or neglect, please contact the police at 911. For non-urgent calls about animal neglect or cruelty, please contact the Ottawa Police Service at 613-236-1222 ext. 7300.
If you find a sick or injured stray animal with no owner in sight, or a wild animal, call the City of Ottawa at 311.
For non-urgent wildlife issues, click here.
Once an animal is rescued, it is brought to the Ottawa Humane Society or a veterinary clinic (outside of regular OHS hours) for an exam and to be stabilized. If the animal has extensive injuries and is in immediate distress, and where the owner cannot be located within a reasonable amount of time, the animal may be humanely euthanized to prevent further suffering. All decisions on treatment and euthanasia are made in consultation with a veterinarian.
The OHS makes every attempt to find the owner — but please do your part by ensuring that your animal companions are identified with a microchip, collar and tag. If the animal’s owner is located, he or she is required to reimburse the OHS for all expenses incurred in caring for their pet.
If you have been bitten or scratched by a stray animal, please seek immediate medical attention and contact the City of Ottawa at 311.
Rhinos, Fundraising, a Little Thought and a Little Research
My Facebook feed declared last night that the Western Black Rhinoceros had been declared officially extinct. I was sad. I have never seen one and now never would. The world — my world — felt diminished without this creature in it. Because of the prevalence of false news on social media, I decided to make sure the story was true. Snopes, my go to source for reality, confirmed the story. The demise of Western Black Rhino has indeed happened. In 2006. Okay, that doesn’t make it any better. But I am glad I took the time to check the story and didn’t share it.
Similarly, yesterday, I received a letter from an organization called Animal People Forum. The postmark was Jamaica, New York, though with a mailing address in the state of Washington. Overall the piece looked a bit odd. And despite my 17 years in animal welfare, I had never heard of this organization. So, I went to their website. I looks pretty good. But you have to read it carefully. They have four projects. One is called, “Beyond Human: Animals, Aliens and Artificial Intelligence.” Yikes. I’m glad I checked that one out too.
This all made me wonder how many letters hit our supporters’ mailboxes, and whether people check out what they receive. In my experience, people who care about animals are a very kind bunch. They want to help. Sadly, this can be taken advantage of. And there are groups that range from misleading and dubious to outright frauds ready to take advantage.
I would never presume to tell anyone the causes they should support but I hope and pray that people ensure that they are really supporting the issue they intend. It only takes little thought and a little research.
First, what are the issues you care about? Mainly domestic pets? Wildlife? Are you mainly concerned about local issues? National? International? All of the above? Do you want to support actual care for animals or do you think that awareness and advocacy are really going to affect change? Having considered these questions before that very emotional appeal hits your mailbox can help you to make sure your hard-earned cash does what you want it to.
The second consideration is whether the organization asking you for cash actually does what it says — or implies. A quick review of their website is sometimes all you need to do. What does this organization actually do? Be careful here, I have a seen some misleading practices. A few sites show animals for adoption, but none of the animals are actually in the care of that organization, just adoptable animals pulled from other websites. An organization may highlight an important issue, but it’s not clear what they are doing about it. I am very concerned about the loss of the Western Black Rhino, but the OHS website does not imply that we did anything to try to prevent it. Beware too of small gestures that are expensive and may not add up to significant change. Sending a staff team to China to adopt a few dogs from the meat markets and fly them back to Canada may raise awareness, and it certainly saves some canine lives, but is supporting the flights the best way to close the markets? Is it where you want to invest your money?
Other places you can check are the Canada Revenue Agency charities listings. Every registered charity in Canada is listed and you can easily find out how they spend their money with a few clicks. And if they are not a registered charity, ask yourself why not?
If it is a humane society asking for your support, are they a member of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS)? Most are. And another few clicks on the CFHS site can tell you.
You can always call us at the OHS too. We won’t provide a recommendation, but we sometimes can provide some basic facts and we will tell you if we work with a particular group. I hope that in the not-too-distant future accreditation of various sorts will help us all in separating the legitimate and effective from the dubious and misleading. That is why the OHS sought and achieved accreditation with Imagine Canada for excellence in board governance, financial accountability, fundraising, staff management, and volunteer involvement last year. We wanted to support this direction among not-for-profits and wanted to assure our community of supporters of our commitment.
Few charities have achieved this, and only one other humane society in Canada, the British Columbia SPCA, has done so to date. I am not suggesting that those that haven’t are not legitimate, but I look forward to a day when you and I can rely on this and other forms of accreditation to assure that our kindness is not exploited.
Until then, you and I can do it ourselves, through a little thought and a little research.
Different Cats, Different Solutions
As our new Mobile Spay/Neuter Vehicle hits the streets, the prospect for long-term solutions to cat overpopulation and cat welfare are becoming clearer. The thing is, cats in our community live in very different circumstances, there are many reasons for the problems, and all need tailored solutions.
A significant source of overpopulation is feral cats. Feral cats are not stray. They are generally the progeny of stray or roaming cats and have never lived with humans. They are not wildlife, nor are they pets. Their lives are generally nasty, brutish and short. According to the experts, our friends at Alley Cat Allies, adults cannot ever be truly socialized to humans, though their young kittens can be.
Then there are “porch” or “loosely owned” cats. These cats are socialized to humans, though may be very skittish. They have, or had, an owner and are fed and loosely cared for by a neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the neighbourhood’s care rarely extends to veterinary care or sterilization. Therefore, these cats are a significant source of unwanted litters. Those not vaccinated can be a reservoir for contagious feline disease.
It can be hard to identify a skittish stray or porch cat from a true feral cat. But in a shelter, socialized porch or owned cats will generally calm with time. Feral cats do not, and may injure themselves, sometimes severely, trying to escape. Their stress can be so intense that they can die of heart failure in a cage. It is not humane to shelter a severely distressed feral cat.
The issues of each type of cat are very different and require different solutions. Since most feral cats cannot be humanely housed, the standard humane practice is “TNR,” or trap/neuter/release, that is, capture, sterilize and vaccinate, and release them where they were found. Feral cat colonies can be phased out over time through TNR. The OHS assisted volunteers to phase out the famous Parliament Hill colony several years ago through TNR in advance of government intervention that may have seen the entire colony euthanized. The OHS will support other feral colony caretakers under certain conditions through free food and sterilization at our clinic.
Porch cats can and should be socialized and rehomed. If they are rehomed through the OHS, they will leave healthy, vaccinated and sterilized to a good home that is ready and able to care for them. They will no longer contribute to cat overpopulation.
I am feeling very positive and hopeful that our efforts are going to produce very significant results and quickly, changing the world for Ottawa’s cats by resolving the problem identified in the OHS’s new five-year strategic plan, that is, too many cats will live wretched lives as long as there are too many cats.
More than Good Manners
|Obedience classes and training have many benefits.|
It’s been quite a few years since I have had a dog in my home life. At the OHS, I am lucky to meet a lot of dogs, but a dog of my own just hasn’t been compatible with my busy work and personal life. As demanding as she can be, my cat Gracie — the Siamese who must be obeyed — doesn’t need as much time as the average dog. So, I have deferred adopting a dog to my retirement.
My last dog was a cocker spaniel. While sweet, and by no means truly badly behaved, Jennie could be a handful. I didn’t take her to obedience classes and I regret this now. Many OHS staff have outstandingly wonderful dogs. I realized over the years that the dogs didn’t come that way. They are great dogs because our staff made an investment of time and effort in training and obedience.
|Obedience classes can strengthen the bond
and their owners.
I have learned my lesson and when I finally bring a dog into my life again, I will spend the time to “create” a wonderful dog with classes. Most people want a dog with good manners and social skills when interacting with people, they want a dog that doesn’t jump up, scare children, or pull on the leash, and can respond to at least simple commands. Classes and training between classes can to do this. Moreover, studies suggest that classes and training enhance the communication and bond between people and their dogs. The time spent has many rewards.
Classes can save a dog’s life. By learning to recall, you can prevent her from being hit by a car or attacked by wildlife or unknown dogs. They can lessen or eliminate those behaviours that can make living with a dog a minor hell: destructiveness, excessive barking, and house soiling for example.
I have learned my lesson; I have been converted. My next dog will be wonderful. She may not be born that way, but that’s okay. I am going to help her become wonderful.
A Tragic Death
The world has been shocked and horrified by the shooting of Harambe, a 17-year-old silverback gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. If you haven’t yet heard the story, a four-year-old boy fell into the gorilla enclosure, and after some tense moments, with the gorilla dragging the boy around the compound and displaying behaviour that some have described as protective, others as dangerously agitated, zoo officials made the decision to shoot Harambe. The child was rescued, relatively unscathed and the gorilla is now dead.
I feel for everyone involved: the child, the distressed mother, the zoo employees called upon to shoot a creature that they had raised from birth — one of the last of his kind. As for Harambe, his death just makes me very, very sad.
I have looked at the footage of the incident, and have thoughts, but given I am in no way an expert, or even slightly conversant in gorilla behaviour, I will not stoke the fire. I will keep my observations to myself.
But here is what I do know: when there is conflict between humans and wild animals, whether they be a gorilla in a zoo, a performing elephant, or a fox living on a piece of land to be developed, the animal almost always loses.
What can you do? You can reject circuses, zoos and aquariums that exploit animals for entertainment. Rather than trapping and relocating wildlife on your property, you can learn to coexist. If we make these changes, maybe one day the animals will stop losing.
Lesson Plans for Teachers
Are you looking to expand on our humane education topics in your classroom? The Ottawa Humane Society offers a variety of free bilingual and curriculum-linked lesson plans for elementary school classes. Each lesson plan includes a presentation, grading rubric, interactive group activity and individual craft. Click on the links below to download a lesson plan today! Current topics and grade levels available include:
- JK/SK– Let’s Learn About Cats & Dogs /Apprenons à connaître les chats et les chiens
- Grade 1 – Let’s Learn About Cats & Dogs/Apprenons à connaître les chats et les chiens
- Grade 2 – Dog Buddies/ Les chiens, nos copains
- Grade 3 – Are You Ready for a Pet?/ Suis-je prêt à adopter un animal de compagnie?
- Grade 4 – Co-Existing with Urban Wildlife/ Coexister avec les animaux sauvages en milieu urbain
- Grade 4 – Too Many Cats and Dogs/Trop de chats et de chiens
- Grade 5 – Creating a Pet Friendly Community/Créer une communauté pour les animaux
- Grade 6 – Welcome to the OHS/Bienvenue à la société protectrice des animaux
*At this time, we are still finalizing the French versions of our JK/SK-Grade 3 lesson plans. These will be available online by during the summer of 2019.
For more information about our humane education program and the online lesson plans, please contact our coordinator: humane education by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 613-725-3166, ext. 235.
Pet First Aid
First aid is an important part of taking care of the ones you love. Your animal companion is more than just a pet – they are a member of your family! With that in mind, do you know how to recognize a potentially serious condition in your pet? Would you know how to help if they are injured?
Be the best pet owner you can be by attending Pet First Aid Level 1 and 2 at the OHS!
All OHS Pet First Aid courses are taught by a registered veterinary technician. Topics covered in each course include:
|Level 1||Level 2|
*These topics will include hands-on practical demonstrations using life-sized stuffed dogs.
Cost: $60 for each level (Combined courses are $120)
**A 25% discount is available for all OHS adopters who register for OHS Pet First Aid courses. Use promo code included in your Adoption Package at time of online registration.**
Pet First Aid Refund Policy: Clients are required to cancel their course registration through the MyTime online system. Cancellations without penalty must be submitted seven days prior to the course start date. Any cancellations made within seven days of the course start date will result in an automatic administration fee of $60 (for single courses) or $100 (for combined courses), charged through the MyTime online system.
Upcoming Course Dates:
- Level 1 & 2: Saturday, Mar. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. *Program cancelled*
- Level 1 & 2: Saturday, April 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Use the promo code PFAMONTH2020 to get $10 off the April course!
- Level 1: Monday, June 15 from 6 to 8 p.m.
- Level 2: Monday, July 20 from 6 to 8 p.m.
- Level 1 & 2: Saturday, Aug. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, email email@example.com or call (613) 725-3166, ext. 298.