A GREAT-DANE-sized newsletter with wonderful things YOU make possible!
If you do not see the full page with images, please click here.

April 2019

@ The OHS

Accreditation: An Assurance of Quality

Accreditation is not sexy. It’s not “fun.” It’s something that occurs in the background. But if you are having surgery, you may want to know that the hospital you are in is accredited. Because in the end, accreditation is an assurance of quality.

In 2016, the Ottawa Humane Society attained accreditation from Imagine Canada—the second, and still only one of two humane societies in Canada to do so. Imagine Canada accreditation requires that applicants achieve an advanced level of governance, management, financial, and human resources and volunteer management practices. We are very proud of this accreditation and you should be too.

Of course, Imagine Canada does not accredit any of the work we do with animals in our care or in our community, which is a serious gap. We are happy to report that this serious gap is about to be filled. Humane Canada (formerly the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies) is undertaking the creation of an accreditation regime for humane societies and SPCAs in Canada, addressing standards in areas such as animal care, transfer, disease prevention and control, and community services. Over the past year, the Ottawa Humane Society has been at the table helping them to create this new means of evaluation. In January 2019, the OHS served as the test site for this new system and shortly, it will be piloted at other sites. It is a rigorous program and it needs to be. We hope to be among the first to achieve the new standard when it’s launched.

Accreditation of humane societies and SPCAs is long overdue. Donors and those who use our services should have the means to easily and clearly identify organizations that provide quality services. In addition, organizations that are not quite there yet need a clear path to improve. Accreditation can do both, and we are proud to be a part of it!


Why Do We Transfer Animals?

The simple answer is to give even more animals a second chance at a bright and healthy future. In September 2018 the OHS took in seven dogs and two puppies from our partners in Canada’s north. We were delighted to do our part and take in these canines from Northern Quebec, as the situation for dogs in most parts of the north range from bleak to gruesome.

There is almost no access to veterinary care in Northern communities. In some, the dog numbers are out-of-control and the primary means of population control, is “doggone days” where all the stray dogs in a community are rounded up and shot.

For many years, the OHS partnered with a group in Iqaluit, and received regular transfers of dogs flown to Ottawa courtesy of Canadian North Airlines. Close to a decade ago, our Northern partner failed and with no viable partner on the other end, the program was disbanded. Today, we are working to resurrect the program. Once we work out some of the kinks, we expect to be saving more Northern dogs soon.

We choose the North because of the dire circumstances of the dog population there, and we think it’s important to help our fellow Canadians. Also, for a variety of reasons, transporting dogs from the far South is not a great idea.

In addition, we work with other humane societies to help even more animals. One example that comes to mind is a Quebec humane society we partnered with to help with their small animal overpopulation issues. Since January 2018, we’ve taken in 141 small animals, including rabbits, guinea pigs and a few hamsters, for a second chance.

We have many so many opportunities living in Ottawa. Among the very best is our ability to help others who desperately need us—thank you for continuing to be a part of this lifesaving team.

Enjoying this newsletter?

We'd love to know what you think: take our survey!

take the survey!

Join Us for a Very Hoppy Easter!

Save the date! The 2019 Annual Hoppy Easter Family Event will be held at the OHS on Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

There are no egg-scuses for missing out, so hip hop your way to the shelter for some family fun! This event is free to attend and you can look forward to photos with the Easter Bunny, visits with OHS animals, a craft and bake sale and as always, a variety of Easter-themed crafts and games.

For more information about this event, please visit our event website, or contact our supervisor: programs by email or by phone at (613) 725-3166 ext. 298.
Save the Date: OHS Garden Party is Back!

On Wednesday, May 15, Ottawa’s top chefs and mixologists will take over the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park. The mastermind behind this annual event was the late Chef Kurt Waldele, a long-time advocate for Ottawa's animals. From a combination of his two passions — cooking and animal welfare — came the OHS Garden Party. It's with great pride that we continue to honour his legacy.

This event is a delight for the senses, featuring tasting dishes, cocktails, fine wines and craft beer. There will also be an opportunity for guests to bid on live and silent auction items, and a chance to mingle with animal volunteers. All funds raised through this event will support the nearly 10,000 animals that the OHS cares for each year.

Interested in attending the event? Early Bird pricing is in effect until April 15, 2019. Click here to purchase tickets today!

We also have a limited number of volunteer positions needed to support this event. Please contact the volunteer department to sign up to volunteer for this year’s Garden Party today.


Get Ready To Wiggle-Wiggle-Waggle!

Join us on Sunday, September 8 for our annual Wiggle Waggle Walk & Run presented by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. This is our largest fundraiser of the year and a great way for our community to come together with their four-legged friends to raise money for the nearly 10,000 animals that we care for each year.

If interested in attending the event, sign up here. If interested in volunteering, contact the volunteer department today.



Jan Stark

OHS Foster Volunteers Help save Lives

The OHS has over 250 foster homes and between 100-300 animals in foster care at any given time. Our most vulnerable animals rely on foster volunteers to care for them before they’re adopted, allowing us to give as many animals as possible with a second chance.

In 2016 we expanded this program so fearful/shy cats, cats with concerns regarding their litterbox habits and dogs with handling sensitivities and/or global fear can get in-home behavioural intervention from our foster team. Our volunteers receive specialized training to tackle these issues.

Jan Stark, one of these volunteers, often fosters cats who have complex feline behavioural cases. Since 2008 she’s helped 238 animals! We asked Jan why she joined our program: “I wanted a hands-on volunteer job and fostering was perfect. At times it is heartbreaking, but always rewarding. I have learned so much and feel confident in taking on orphan kittens and animals with behavioural issues. Fostering has just become part of my life. Every conversation with friends and family always includes the same question, “So how many fosters do you have now?” We asked her why people should join our program? "Often all it takes is a little time in a good home to sort through their issues. And as an extra bonus, people would have the opportunity to work with the amazing foster folks.”

Have you considered becoming a foster volunteer? With warm weather coming, we’re going to need more homes. If you’ve got the time and love, we’ve got all the supplies you’ll need including food, medication, veterinary care, specialized training and support. If you have questions about this program – please contact our foster department at foster@ottawahumane.ca.

In addition to Jan’s time as foster volunteer, she’s also a PAW monthly donor and shares why she financially supports the OHS. “It gives the OHS a steady source of income throughout the year so they can plan existing and innovative programs. Signing up for PAW is easy...do it once and it is done. Signing up with PAW just makes sense. Signing up is quick and OHS benefits. Win-win.”

Thanks for being a hero to the animals, like Jan! Your help as a foster volunteer means that animals in need receive they care they require for a bright and healthy future. If you sign up, your PAW donation will not only feed, shelter, and provide basic veterinary care for the animals, it will also support those animals who need life-saving medical attention. We couldn't do it without you!

Click here to make a donation
Click here to become a PAW monthly donor!

Join Us in Celebration for National Volunteer Week!

Thank you

Thank you for continuing to make a difference! This year, National Volunteer Week is from Apr. 7-13 and the volunteer department has a fabulous week planned to recognize the efforts you continue to make to help Ottawa’s animals. In addition to raffles and snacks in the volunteer lounge/foster office throughout the week, volunteers can look forward to the following workshops and events:

Pet First Aid: Tuesday, April 9 (6-8 p.m.)
This educational presentation will teach volunteers about a variety of pet-related topics including: preventative health care, common household toxins, common injuries and illnesses, reading body language, dealing with emergencies, dealing with injured and/or orphaned wildlife and what-to-do in the event of skunk sprays, and more!

Behavioural Evaluation at the OHS: Wednesday, April 10 (6:30-8 p.m.)
Come and learn more about this why and how we perform behavioural evaluations at the OHS with our Coordinator: Canine Services. Live demonstrations will be included.

Update on OHS Strategic Plan: Thursday, April 11 (6:30-8 p.m.)
Join OHS President and CEO Bruce Roney for an update on the OHS strategic plan and open-forum question and answer period.

Annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch and Pin Ceremony: Saturday, Apr. 13 (10-11:30a.m.)
The volunteer department is excited to host our annual volunteer appreciation brunch again this year. Volunteers can look forward to the following at this event:

  • Networking with fellow volunteers;
  • A special brief presentation from OHS President & CEO, Bruce Roney, OHS Board Chair and Manager: Volunteers;
  • Annual pin ceremony, recognizing volunteers for years of service;
  • Slideshow;
  • A delicious brunch;
  • Door prizes.
For more information, or to RSVP to a workshop or the volunteer appreciation brunch, please contact our volunteer department today!


Overall Volunteer Satisfaction Survey


A BIG thank you to those who provided feedback via our annual survey. We received 181 responses, for a 26% response rate. Overall, we’re happy to report that OHS volunteers are enjoying their volunteer roles.

We’ll share more information once we’ve finalized our report, but are pleased to share that 97% of volunteers said their volunteer experience in 2018 was “very good or “good” (up from 92% last year). Furthermore, 97% of volunteers said that they would continue to volunteer with us in 2019 (up from 94% last year). This is great news and is imperative to our future success, as your continued support will help us achieve our goals and objectives for the animals. We look forward to improving our processes in a way to make your experiences even better. Thank you for all that you do—we are so lucky to have you on our team!

Thank You, Event Volunteers!


Thank you OHS event volunteers for continuing to make a difference for Ottawa’s animals. Over the last couple of months, you helped support our annual Valentine’s family event, sold cupcakes through “Bake for the Animals” and more. These events would not be possible without your continued support and gift of time!

We are still recruiting volunteers to help support OHS events. If you are interested in joining our events volunteer team, to help execute OHS fundraisers and family events, contact the volunteer department today!

Science Diet
Ottawa Citizen


Ottawa Humane Society
245 West Hunt Club Rd, Ottawa, ON K2E 1A6
volunteer@ottawahumane.ca | www.ottawahumane.ca


The Standards Program Trustmark is a mark of Imagine Canada used under licence by the Ottawa Humane Society.

Thank you for helping the animals!

Thank you for helping the animals!