The Question on Everyone’s Mind: When Can We Resume Our Volunteer Roles?

Person sitting on floor feeding a treat to a dog wearing a cone.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication as we navigate the ongoing public health crisis.

We are all eager to resume operations — which includes slowly welcoming volunteers back on-site — in a gradual and safe way.

While we continue to follow all public health recommendations, we wanted to give you an update on our reopening plans:

  • We are continuing to expand our foster program and refine operations to maximize efficiency. We will be introducing a more robust matching system and hiring more staff to meet program demands. Moving forward, all eligible animals will be sent to foster care to reduce the overall number of animals on-site.
  • Volunteer programs (except for foster) remain suspended. The Volunteer department will be reaching out to select volunteer groups to gradually bring specific volunteer teams back on-site. Not all volunteer-based programs will return as we gradually open our doors, and we will schedule the minimum number of volunteers needed to sustain operations — reducing the overall number of people on-site. As always, we will keep you updated as we finalize operations.
  • All on- and off-site programming and events remain suspended until the fall.
  • Our Mobile Spay and Neuter Services will remain closed until at least the fall.
  • To support physical distancing, we continue to adopt animals via appointment only. Adoptable animals return from foster care as matches are made, ensuring animals remain off-site until adoption. The Shirley Kearns Memorial Adoption Centre is planning to open to the public on Aug. 25, 2021.
  • We continue to offer the Emergency Pet Food Program to our community. If you or someone you know is experiencing hardships as a result of the pandemic, this program will provide a supplemental two-week supply of pet food for dogs and cats of all sizes and ages. More information can be found here.
  • All volunteers will be required to participate in mandatory refresher training sessions before returning on-site to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all animals and people on-site.

If you haven’t already, we strongly encourage you to book a vaccine appointment. Appointments can be made through the Ontario website and through pharmacies. Ottawa Public Health also has a website for last-minute, end of the day appointments at community clinics for those who are eligible.

If you can no longer volunteer for the OHS, please contact the Volunteer department.

Our community and the animals rely on the OHS for help, and we rely on you to help us provide it. We have truly missed all of you and look forward to seeing you in the coming months!