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The Ottawa Animal Advocate

Importing Abuse and Death

Sick dog

In June 2020, 500 puppies were imported to Canada from the Ukraine to be sold by third parties on platforms like Kijiji and other online marketplaces. Toronto Pearson Airport workers found 38 dead puppies and hundreds more alive in cramped crates in the blistering summer sun. Most shocking of all, the practice was completely legal, clearing customs by virtue of the puppies still breathing.

Since this tragedy, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has tightened restrictions, not allowing dogs under eight months of age to be imported from the Ukraine.

Unfortunately there are holes in this solution. Companion animals can still be imported into Canada from almost anywhere else, with little protection or oversight for the animals. Unscrupulous businesses have taken advantage of this loophole to fill Canada's demand for puppies, and line their own pockets.

It is great that so many people want to bring an animal into their life, but when it comes at the cost of so many animals suffering and bolsters those who profit from and perpetuate misery, a step back needs to be taken.

Impatience causes good, rational people to make irrational, harmful decisions. Impulsively purchasing a puppy from a seller off the internet is one such decision. It's a decision that only benefits the businesses who pump out puppies for the sake of profit, leaving a trail of abuse, neglect and corpses to make a buck.

While the animal suffers abuse and the threat of a cruel demise, the buyer suffers as well, often receiving false or misleading information about their new puppy's medical and genetic history, paving the way for a future of mounting vet bills.

Oversight and critical thinking are the vaccines for the pandemic puppy. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency needs to advance protections and regulations for companion animals imported to Canada. Puppy buyers need to demand more from online sellers asking for hundreds or thousands of dollars for an animal.

As long as there is money to be made selling dogs to people anxious to become pet parents, we will not see an end to this cycle of suffering. Adopt, don't shop. If you must buy, ask questions, lots of questions and remain vigilant of businesses exploiting animals to turn a profit.

Resolutions and a Fresh Start


As you make resolutions with cautious optimism for 2021, here are some suggestions to help continue building a more humane, compassionate community:

  1. Stay aware of the plight of animals. Animals suffer every day, and as Bill 156 demonstrated, their welfare can easily be swept under the rug in the face of adversity. Stay alert, support businesses that care about animal welfare, share what you learn and demand change.
  2. Make a good adoption choice. Adopt homeless animals from the OHS or another reputable animal welfare organization. If you must buy, research reputable breeders who care about their animals' wellbeing. Meeting in a parking lot is a sure sign of something amiss
  3. Help lost, sick and homeless animals. The OHS cares for more than 8,000 animals every year. We can only do it with your help. A monthly PAW gift means you save lives all year long.
  4. Get your pet microchipped and/or update your pet's microchip regularly. When an animal is admitted to the OHS as a stray, they are immediately scanned for a microchip to locate the owner. With an up-to-date microchip, an animal can easily be reunited with their owner.
  5. Take your pet to the vet. Make sure your pet sees their vet at least once a year! While our pets may be great at showing us love and affection, they aren’t so good at showing their pain. Even if your pet seems completely healthy, visit your vet regularly.
Happy New Year. May 2021 be a better year for everyone.

End Declawing of Cats

Scared Kitten

The Ottawa Humane Society is strongly supporting a provincial bill that would ban the declawing of cats.

A bill was introduced in early December by MPP for Davenport, Marit Stiles, that would put an end to the inhumane practice in Ontario. The bill, also known as "Teddy's Law," would amend Ontario animal welfare legislation to ban declawing cats unless a veterinarian recommends it as a necessary medical procedure.

Declawing isn’t like a simple nail trim, it’s an amputation; removing the last bone on each toe of a cat’s paw, which can cause pain, discomfort and behavioural changes in the cat.

The OHS has long opposed the practice and has recommended alternatives to it.

Ms. Stiles is asking that caring Ontarians sign a petition in support of the bill.

A Squalene-free Solution

Blacktip Shark

In the fall of 2020, there was a stir that an estimated 500,000 sharks may be harvested for an oil in their liver known as squalene oil. The oil would serve as an adjuvant to make COVID-19 vaccines more effective. The possibility of losing half a million members of critically endangered species raised an outcry to find an alternative.

Fortunately, December brought good news for sharks. The two vaccines authorized for use in Canada, Pfizer and Moderna, do not contain squalene oil. The news reaffirms that a massive culling of threatened animals is unnecessary to produce a safe and effective solution for the global health crisis.

managed admissions

Give in Celebration, Honour or Memory and Help the Animals

Buddy and Belle

Sabrina arrived at OHS in need of emergency femoral surgery. After a successful surgery, she is now recovering before getting ready to find her forever home.

Memorial and celebration gifts are a touching way to honour people and pets, while giving vulnerable animals like Sabrina a second chance at life and happiness. Whether you'd like to honour the memory of a loved one, or celebrate Valentine's Day, birthdays or anniversaries, your gift to the animals is the perfect way to show you care. We'll send a personalized and meaningful eCard to the recipient to notify them of your special tribute.
Thank you to our sponsors:
Science Diet
Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa Humane Society
245 West Hunt Club Rd, Ottawa, ON K2E 1A6 |


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