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The Ottawa Animal Advocate

Protect Ontario's Animals


Those of us who care about the welfare of animals were pleased to see the passage of the Provincial Animal Welfare Act (PAWS Act) in 2019. The Act extended certain protections to animals and placed the protection of animals from cruelty and neglect onto the government — instead of poorly resourced charities — just like the enforcement of any law in the province

Accompanying regulations can enhance or weaken any legislation and the PAWS Act is no different. The government is now working on the PAWS regulations and the Ottawa Humane Society and its partners in the Ontario Animal Welfare Network (OAWN) are preparing to submit a brief to the Solicitor General, as there are a number of important regulations required to protect animals, specifically:

1. Restrict exotic animals, like lions and tigers, and require the licensing of zoos.

As it stands, Ontario is the only province in Canada without legal restrictions on the ownership of exotic animals. The Province does not require licensing of zoos, leading to some of the cruelest zoos in the world.

2. Restrict or prohibit cat declawing, dog tail docking and dog ear cropping.

These cosmetic surgeries cause distress and can contribute to future health complications and poor well-being. All are cruel and unnecessary.

3. Allow municipal bylaw officers to enter a motor vehicle to relieve the distress of an animal and prevent its death.

Currently, only police, who frequently have other priorities, and provincial animal welfare officers, who only work 9 to 5 on weekdays, may do so.

4. Regulate standards of care for farmed animals and allow provincial animal welfare inspectors to monitor farming conditions.

The Act exempts agricultural and husbandry animal management "in accordance with the reasonable and generally accepted practices of agricultural animal care," permitting the animal agricultural business to decide acceptable practices. Across the country, animal transport regulations cause the deaths of millions of animals in transport. Euthanizing piglets by swinging their bodies to crush their skulls on the floor is a "generally accepted practice".

The OHS and its partners believe that without these regulations, the PAWS Act will not affect real change and animal welfare will fall short; leaving Ontario's animals to suffer.

You can read the full OAWN brief here. If you care about animal suffering and death, please contact the Solicitor General or your MPP to make your voice heard.

Florida Greyhound Races Cross the Finish Line


Greyhound racing in Florida is set to be phased out by the end of the year. In 2018, Florida's voters approved Amendment 13 that would ban betting on greyhound racing by Dec. 31, 2020 — effectively banning greyhound racing.

Amendment 13 was only a nail in the coffin as the sport already faced obsoletion from a dwindling fan base and rising tide of concerns related to animal cruelty (including a doping scandal from as recent as 2017).

In Canada, betting on greyhound races has been illegal for years and there are no legal, operational greyhound tracks in Ontario. While it is heartening to see more protections emerging to prevent animals from being exploited for entertainment purposes, they also serves as a reminder of how far we have to go.

Animals still suffer for human entertainment during events like rodeos and in establishments like zoos, marine parks and circuses that remove animals from their natural environments or force them to perform to turn a profit.

Not participating is one way to win the race against animal cruelty in entertainment. You can help stop the exploitation of animals for profit by not supporting events and establishments whose business model runs on cruelty.

Stay alert, vote with your wallet and tell others to do the same.

OHS Urges Pet Owners, Finders to Protect Pets Following Recent Charges

Lost Cat

In the wake of recent pet theft charges, the OHS is urging pet owners and finders to take the right steps to keep beloved pets where they belong: with their families.

In October, a Smiths Falls woman was charged with theft following an investigation into cats stolen while roaming the neighbourhood. The woman is alleged to have lured the cats onto her property and trapped them, before transporting them to Toronto without trying to find an owner. While the charge involves two cats, it is believed that there are many more victims. The individual also allegedly represented herself as affiliated with a rescue organization.

Sadly, not all individuals — or groups — claiming to help animals are actually doing so. Some may think they're protecting a cat by taking it away from an owner who lets it roam; worse yet, others may be bothered by free-roaming cats and simply want them removed. Some groups, for whatever reason, rehome animals without trying to find out if the animal already has a home, leaving heartbreak for bereft owners and potentially jeopardizing the lives of animals.

The OHS urges anyone finding a stray animal to take the right steps to get it back home. Found reports should be filed on the OHS website, as the OHS operates the stray animal shelter on behalf of the City of Ottawa. Other important tips for reuniting lost pets with their owners are available on the OHS website. If turning to another organization or individual for help, finders should confirm that these groups are, at minimum, filing a lost report with the OHS and scanning for a microchip. If not, the finder may be contributing to an animal being permanently separated from its family.

While the OHS strongly recommends that cats stay indoors, Ottawa cats are allowed to roam free. However, causing a disturbance — from damaging property to harassing other pets — may result in the cat being impounded through the City's bylaw. The OHS encourages pet owners to ensure that if they do allow their cat outdoors, she is always supervised, microchipped and wearing visible identification. If a pet goes missing, the owner should immediately file a lost report with the OHS and follow these tips to help get their pet home safely.

Finally, the OHS cautions potential new pet owners to confirm that the agency or individual they are receiving the new pet from has come by that animal honestly, including serious attempts to find out whether the animal already has an owner: not doing so could not only leave the animal's original family heartbroken, but the new adopter as well, should an ownership claim present.

Managed Intake

Click to learn more.

Buddy & Belle: Kanina


Kanina, a precious eight-week-old short-haired kitten, was rushed to the Ottawa Humane Society. She had suffered a terrible accident and all the skin on her tail had been ripped off! This little sweetheart was in horrific pain, and she had nowhere else to go to get the urgent help she needed.

Read her story and help her heal.

Heart Warming Gifts

Thank you to our sponsors:
Science Diet
Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa Humane Society
245 West Hunt Club Rd, Ottawa, ON K2E 1A6 |


Ottawa Humane Society

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