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

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The Ottawa Animal Advocate

Keeping Animal Welfare on the Table

Cat bunting a dog

As the health crisis enters its seventh month, the Federal government is having to consider what financial supports to wind down, which to continue and what new actions need to be taken.

To ensure that animal welfare is on the government’s agenda, our national partner, Humane Canada, has submitted a brief on behalf of humane societies and SPCAs across the country in advance of the Federal budget. In short, the recommendations are that:

  • The government adopts a One Health/One Welfare framework in all crisis management and recovery planning, to acknowledge the absolute interconnectedness of humans, animals and the environment.
  • The government designates a Minister to work with the Humane Society and SPCA sector to ensure that this component is considered in federal decision-making.
  • The government provides resources for animal sheltering and protection organizations, deemed essential services, to ensure readiness for increased demands from vulnerable Canadians.
  • The government establishes a $20 million funding program for the sector to provide family assistance programs to marginalized and vulnerable communities including access to pet food, pet supplies, medical assistance for their animals and access to compassionate boarding for those who are ill or those who need to flee increasing domestic violence.

The welfare of animals and support for pet owners cannot be abandoned during the public health crisis. Watch future issues of Animal Advocate for updates on these important issues. The full submission can be found here.

If You Care, Buyer Beware

Sad puppy in crate

Bringing a new pet into your life is a joy like no other. While it can be tempting to seek out exactly the type of animal you are looking for and snatch up the first available option, a little bit of patience and research can go a long way towards protecting animals.

When acquiring a dog through an online channel like Kijiji or Used Ottawa, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Most responsibly re-homed animals have some form of purchasing fee. An animal that is free to acquire will often have a hidden cost.
  2. Ask lots of questions to gain an idea of the home the animal is coming from:
    • Why is the individual looking at re-homing and what sort of home would they like the animal to go to?
    • Is the animal up-to-date on its vaccinations and has it been sterilized (would they be willing to transfer documents from their current veterinarian)?
    • Can you visit the animal before taking them in to see what they are like in the home environment?
    • If the rehoming doesn’t work out, what happens — would they take the animal back?
  3. If buying from a breeder, click here for a list of questions to ask from Humane Canada.
  4. Do not take an animal if you think you are saving it from a bad environment. This only supports animal cruelty and neglect. If you suspect an animal is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. To report neglect, cruelty or abuse, call the animal protection line at 1-833-9ANIMAL.

Making mindful decisions and having a little patience when searching for a companion animal helps ensure the well-being of many animals. If you care, buyer beware.

Managing Admissions and Supporting the Community

OHS staff with cat

When the Government of Ontario announced a state of emergency in March, the OHS took immediate measures to protect clients, staff, volunteers, animals and community at large — this included reducing the intake of animals to urgent cases. The OHS remains committed to providing critical services for animals in need. A part of this is ensuring that at all times, the necessary resources are available to help Ottawa's most at-risk animals.

Recognizing community animal needs and following careful planning, the OHS moved to a managed intake model where animals are triaged based on their needs and their owners' ability to care for them. Managed intake results in less time for animals in the shelter which can be a stressful environment for them, more space and care available for the animals who need it most and, ultimately, more animals finding their forever homes.

Since implementation, the OHS has been able to help even more animals. Knowing what an animal's needs are before admission ensures the OHS is perfectly prepared to meet them on arrival.

The OHS and Ottawa's animals have always relied on the support of the community. The OHS needs that same support to pilot this new system and to continue meeting the needs of Ottawa's most vulnerable animals.

Animals: Climate Change’s Other Victims

Polar bear stranded

A challenge the climate crisis often presents is not knowing what to do in the face of its enormous consequences and scale. Individual action is important, but there is a desperate need for change in far broader scope to make the necessary adaptations to save the planet and its human and animal inhabitants.

Read more

Will You Heal Broken Hearts?

Wendy Lou during her operation

Thank you for being one of many amazingly kind-hearted people helping to heal our community. Throughout these times of uncertainty, your steadfast compassion is truly inspiring.

A lot is going on in the world right now, but there are homeless and vulnerable animals who still need your help. Right now, there are more than 250 animals in our care: animals like Wendy Lou depend on you for life-saving surgery!

Donate Now

Thank You!

Thank You!

A tremendous thank you to everyone who donated to the Day of Giving event and to those who participated in a "Ruff" time to Wiggle & Waggle.

Thanks to you, Ottawa's animals can receive life-saving surgery, medications, everyday care and ultimately find their forever families.

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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