Advocating for animals during COVID-19... read more

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The Ottawa Animal Advocate

Important Information During COVID-19

OHS Staff Helping the Animals

What we're Doing

The OHS continues to operate as an essential service in Ottawa, helping the animals when they're most vulnerable. As a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis, the OHS has implemented its emergency plan and has taken a number of important steps to make sure we're able to continue providing our essential services and care for Ottawa's animals in need.

Shelter Operations:

  • Enhanced cleaning measures have been implemented onsite to prevent the spread of germs.
  • The Shirley Kearns Memorial Adoption Centre and Buddy & Belle Boutique are closed, and adoptions are suspended until further notice.
  • The intake of animals is being restricted to animals in distress only.
  • The incoming transfer of animals is suspended.
  • The number of animals placed in foster care has been increased.

If you believe your lost pet may be at the OHS, or to bring in an animal, contact us first at 613-725-3166, ext. 221 to book an appointment.


  • All on- and off-site programming and events have been suspended. This includes:
    • Brightening Lives Animal Visits;
    • Outreach programs/events;
    • Mobile spay/neuter services; and
    • Microchip clinics.

NOTE: All suspensions and cancellations are in effect until June 1, at which point we will review based on the situation.

What the Animals in our Care Need

We're taking all measures possible to ensure the animals in our care can continue receiving the care they need while we face a shortage of resources. Here are some things you can do to help the animals at a time when it's needed most:

  • Essential OHS staff are on-site to meet the needs of the animals in our care. As part of our emergency plan, we have begun to triage animals into foster care with current dedicated foster volunteers. Our dedicated team has responded very positively to the need. We may be in need of additional foster support over the next few months, if you're interested in joining this program or would like to learn more, we encourage you to visit
  • The OHS is currently not accepting donations of any new or used items from our wish list.
  • You, and other loyal supporters like you, are always so willing to reach out with compassionate arms to embrace vulnerable animals in need. Inspired by seeing how our community is coming together to protect our most vulnerable, two donors have offered up to $40,000 to match your donation today. Go to to double your donation today!

Keeping Your Family Safe and Together 

At this time, the World Health Organization (WHO) is aware of instances of animals and pets that have been infected with COVID-19. They believe that there is a possibility of some animals becoming infected through close contact with infected humans, and state that further evidence is needed to understand if animals and pets can spread COVID-19. The OHS encourages concerned pet owners to regularly consult the websites for the WHO or the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association for the most up-to-date information.

The reality is that pets are being impacted by the social effects of COVID-19. Here are some tips to help us move forward keeping our families, including our pets, safe:

  • Create emergency care plans for your pets in advance, in case you require a sudden quarantine or self-isolatation. Your plan should include things like having enough food (and medication if your pet requires it) and designate a family member or a friend to take on primary care-giving responsibilities.
  • Avoid walking your dog in busy areas and practice social distancing. Dog parks are closed city-wide. Short walks around the block, outdoor time in the back yard or indoor puzzles and games will help dogs burn off extra energy. Indoor games and toys (like laser pointers) can help keep your cat happy and occupied.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, where possible, enact your emergency care plan and immediately isolate yourself from your pets. If you are the only one in your household able to provide care for your pet and have tested positive, make sure you are washing your hands before and after each interaction.

Stay in Touch

Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and check out our blog, where we'll continue to share updates on how COVID-19 is impacting the shelter (and some adorable animal stories).

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we appreciate your support. We will provide further updates as we learn more.

The Call of the Wild

Baby raccoon running through a field

If you see a juvenile animal in a questionable circumstance, consider the situation before intervening. Is there an immediate threat present? Does the animal seem injured? Often their mothers are nearby, and it's best to leave wild animals alone. If there is a wild animal in need, please call the Ottawa Humane Society at 613-725-3166 ext. 221 for help.

For large wildlife, such as deer, moose and bears, please call Ottawa Police Services at 613-236-1222.

The Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is also available for help at 613-258-9480.

For more information, please visit

Update: Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

Empty shoes on a trail

Due to the ongoing public health crisis, the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend has been cancelled for 2020. Fortunately, despite the setback COVID-19 has caused, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge is still helping to raise money!

From now until Aug. 31, 2020, please consider raising money for the more than 8,000 animals that come into OHS care each year by using #ScotiaCharityChallenge on social media.

Read more

Double Your Donation to Support Ottawa's Animals During COVID-19  

Foster cats cuddling

You, and other loyal supporters like you, are always so willing to reach out with compassionate arms to embrace vulnerable animals in need.

Inspired by seeing how our community is coming together to protect our most vulnerable, two donors have offered up to $40,000 to match your donation today. Go to to double your donation today!

Double your donation to Ottawa's animals... 
Donate Now!
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