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

If you do not see the full page with images, please click here.
The Ottawa Animal Advocate

Break the Silence, Remove the Gag


Last spring, as the pandemic reached a fevered pitch of confusion and mayhem, the Ontario Government quietly moved on new legislation restricting journalists, advocates and even whistleblowers from reporting on cruel and inhumane farming conditions. Bill 156, The Security from Trespass and Animal Safety Act, or as it's more appropriately and popularly known, "ag gag" act was met with outcry from animal welfare advocates, including many supporters of the OHS.

Despite the public pushback, the Act was passed in June 2020 under a thin guise of disease control and worker safety.

The Act shuts out anyone who would attempt to capture images or information of abuse and inhumane acts happening on Ontario's farms. The Act also allows the owners of private property to take a "act first and ask questions later" approach to citizen arrests if they suspect someone is in violation of the act.

In March 2021, journalist and animal protection advocate Jessica Scott-Reid, Louise Jorgensen of Cow Save Toronto, and Animal Justice have wrestled the Act into provincial court.

The group motions that the Act is unconstitutional as it violates several articles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including the right to:

  • Gather information on matters of public interest;
  • Peacefully protest on public property;
  • Access information that allows for informed political, economic and food purchasing decisions;
  • Life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice; and,
  • Not be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

The first instance of a Canadian provincial ag gag act sprung up in November 2019 in Alberta. The legal challenge may be a swift deathblow to the Act and similar legislation throughout the country.

The Act not only serves to protect exploitative farming practices, but it also flies in the face of fundamental Canadian freedoms — and you can help remove this injustice for the animals and your fellow Canadians. Write to your MPP, let them know you will not support such restrictive, unconstitutional legislation and that you fully support the case of Jessica Scott-Reid, Louise Jorgensen, and Animal Justice against Bill 156.

Wild Encounters

Baby racoon

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 more information about what to do.

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

As Seen on TV

Scared dog

In late February, a new dog training show, Canine Intervention, hit Netflix. The show features debunked, outdated and frankly harmful training methods such as dominance theory and correction-based training that relies heavily on physical punishment to change the dog's behaviour.

If it wasn't enough that the animals on these shows are forced to endure painful practices for the sake of entertainment, the shows also have a ripple effect. When a popular dog trainer hits the mainstream with outdated and inhumane methods, it runs the risk of instilling those archaic methods with a new generation of dog owners who are unaware of more humane and effective techniques.

If there's anything the past year taught us, it's that misinformation can spread like wildfire and cause real harm.

You can take a stand against misinformation and the exploitation of animals for entertainment. Sign an ongoing petition to cancel Canine Intervention and if anybody mentions to you how they've seen a great, new dog training show, share what you know.

Ontario, Home of North America's Worst Zoo

Sad elephant

African Lion Safari took the first place slot on In Defense of Animals list of the worst North American zoos for elephants. As the only Canadian zoo to make the list, African Lion Safari earned the distinction through the use of bullhooks, forcing elephants to perform tricks, offering elephant rides to visitors and breeding elephants for sale to other zoos.

At the time of the list's release, African Lion Safari had a pending sale of two elephants for $1 million each to the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas (which came in at second place on the list). Shortly after the list was released, Forth Worth Zoo cancelled the transaction.

The OHS has long opposed animal exploitation for profit and entertainment. One of the best ways to make your voice heard is to vote with your wallet. These businesses are driven by profit and if there is no money to be made, they have no incentive to continue their harmful practice.

Tell everyone you know, Ontario is the home of North America's worst zoo. With a little luck, the next time this list is made, Canada won't have a spot.

Ending Pain Through Dental Surgery

OHS Pet Foodbank

Meet Gaby, a sweet five-year-old Yorkie. This little dog arrived at the OHS earlier this year with a big problem.

Gaby had severe periodontal disease, meaning his teeth were in horrible shape and causing him lots of pain. Gaby needed two dental procedures to assess and X-ray his mouth and remove his heavily diseased teeth. He is currently recovering under the care of a foster volunteer.

For Gaby and an additional 540 animals each year, a dental procedure is often the last medical treatment required before they are ready to be adopted into their forever home.

You can ensure an animal like Gaby is ready for adoption as soon as possible by supporting our Buddy & Belle Dental Surgery Program.

  • $60 provides a dental X-ray
  • $250 gives a homeless animal a cleaner and pain-free smile

Donate Now


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


Ottawa Humane Society

The Standards Program Trustmark is a mark of Imagine Canada used under licence by the Ottawa Humane Society.

Privacy Statement Manage your Email Preferences
Thank you for helping the animals!