Welcoming Volunteers Back On-site

foster volunteer wearing mask holding two kittens

On Sept. 8,  the Shirley Kearns Memorial Adoption Centre opened for visitors for the first time since the pandemic began. As of Sept. 20, foster volunteers were again allowed into the foster office. We are following all public health recommendations to ensure the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and the public.

The OHS currently has a large population of animals and a reduced number of staff as we work to fill multiple positions. As a result, we have started volunteers in the canine and feline enrichment programs earlier than planned, and have a small number of volunteers who started on-site at the beginning of September. By early October, we are planning a full return of all canine and feline enrichment, retail, veterinarian and development volunteers.

The foster program is expanding, and we are moving ahead with a new system for matching foster volunteers and animals. Over the coming months, we will provide additional learning opportunities for foster volunteers. During the pandemic, we learned that animals do best in a home environment that only a loving foster volunteer can provide. We need more people to sign up for the foster program to ensure Ottawa’s animals receive the best care possible. If you know anyone who would be a great foster volunteer, please talk to them about signing up today!

We are also opening recruitment for other programs as required. Please share these opportunities with your network to help find more incredible volunteers for Ottawa’s animals.

The province has not changed the safety requirements in workplaces. Physical distancing, masking and other precautions will continue to be in place as the OHS reopens. As a result, some of our programming will be impossible to reintroduce until the provincial requirements are lifted.

The Mobile Spay/Neuter Service does not have a planned start date, and there currently are no in-person spay/neuter events planned for the OHS. Over the next few weeks, to reduce the overall number of people on-site, we will review other programs and schedule the minimum number of volunteers needed to sustain operations.

We have had significant success with adopting animals by appointment and will continue with this model. The hours in the adoption centre have changed with our reopening and can be found here.

The Emergency Pet Foodbank remains available to our community. If you or someone you know is experiencing hardships as a result of the pandemic, this program will provide a two-week supply of pet food and essential supplies for dogs and cats of all sizes and ages. More information can be found here.

If you are no longer able or interested in volunteering for the OHS, please contact the Volunteer department.

Our community and the animals rely on the Ottawa Humane Society for help, and we rely on you. We have truly missed all of you and look forward to seeing you in the coming months!