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April 2020

Update: Important Information About COVID-19

Animals in foster care

Thank you for your continued support as we find our way through this unprecedented public health crisis. We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. As you know, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) has implemented its emergency plan and continues to operate as an essential service in Ottawa, helping the animals throughout this crisis.

We've taken a number of additional steps to ensure that we continue to operate with our top priority being the safety of all OHS staff, volunteers, clients and animals. We continue to monitor announcements from the province and Ottawa Public Health and base our decisions on their recommendations.

Below is a list of temporary changes we've made to address the current crisis:

  • All on- and off-site programming and events have now been suspended until May 4;
  • The Shirley Kearns Memorial Adoption Centre remains closed;
  • All on-site volunteer shifts have been suspended;
  • Health and safety protocols, around cleaning and distancing measures, have been further enhanced onsite;
  • All eligible animals are being sent to foster care and further changes have been made to foster department policies to minimize the frequency of appointments;
  • Intake of new animals remains restricted exclusively to those in distress;
  • An inventory of supplies has been taken and we have projected our needs for the coming weeks and months;
  • Procedures have been developed to protect staff while caring for suspected COVID-19 exposed animals;
  • All non-essential staff are now working from home.
  • For foster volunteers, or any volunteer who has been on site recently, we continue to ask that you let us know if you, or anyone in your household, has tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result of the measures taken and the tremendous support of our foster volunteers, our situation remains stable:

  • The shelter population and intake remain low;
  • No staff have tested positive for COVID-19;
  • We have sufficient supplies to care for animals for the coming weeks.

We are mindful of the fact that with the advent of spring, we would normally experience a steep increase in the numbers of animals admitted. We are grateful to our community for — so far — respecting our request to only bring animals that are in distress to the OHS, in order that we can accommodate those others that desperately need our care. In the meantime, we are attempting to prepare ourselves for any eventuality in a constantly changing environment.

All of us look forward to seeing you back at the OHS as soon as we are able to resume our regular programs and services.

Thank You Foster Volunteer Heroes!

Foster cats

In my most recent weekly blog, I expressed my sincere and deep thanks to our volunteers, especially our foster volunteers. In the last four weeks alone, our foster volunteers have taken an astounding 162 animals into their homes and hearts, opening essential space in the shelter for animals in distress.

Fostering has always been a crucial part of caring for the thousands of animals that need our help every year. Now, with the OHS standing as an essential service in Ottawa’s response to the current health crisis, it means that fostering too is an essential service for our community. Thank you for stepping up to care for animals. You are among the heroes on the front line.

National Volunteer Week 2020

Thank you to our volunteers!

Thank you for your continued support and dedication, especially during these unprecedented times. As a result of this ongoing crisis, we have regrettably cancelled all of our previously announced 2020 National Volunteer Week  activities. This said, we still want you to join us in celebration and allow us to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!

National Volunteer Week takes place from April 19 to 25, and we want to recognize the efforts you continue to make to help Ottawa's animals.

We look forward to celebrating with you electronically through:

  • Daily raffles
  • Personalized program-specific recognition
  • Daily social-media shout-outs, featuring some OHS programs

We have deferred our annual volunteer pin ceremony and hope to present our longer-serving volunteers with their well-deserved length of service pins at our fall volunteer appreciation dinner in September.

Keep your eyes peeled, and your inboxes open, for a fun-filled week!

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Ottawa Humane Society Virtual Garden Party

Join us from the comfort of your own home for this year's garden party! Due to the ongoing public health crisis, we have had to cancel this year's traditional garden party for the safety of all guests and volunteers. But as you all know, the animals still need help.

Learn more and take part in this year's unique  Virtual Garden Party!

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!