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The Ottawa Animal Advocate

A Promise Made

Cat and Canadian flag

Last September, the federal election was a momentous occasion for animal welfare as major political parties included expanded protections for animals on their platforms. This was a first, and showed that advocacy for animals is having an impact.

The occasion was cause for celebration, but the coming months and years are critical to ensure that promises are kept and that their results are maintained and measured.

The Liberal party won a minority government, and here is what they promised for animals.

A re-elected Liberal government will:

  • Introduce legislation to end cosmetic testing on animals as soon as 2023 and phase out toxicity testing on animals by 2035.
  • Work with partners to curb illegal wildlife trade and end elephant and rhinoceros tusk trade in Canada.
  • Introduce legislation to protect animals in captivity.
  • Ban the live export of horses for slaughter.
  • Work with partners to help women and children fleeing violence stay united with their companion animals.

Regardless of which party you support, you can hold the Liberals to their promises. Reach out to your MP and ask them what is being done to fulfill each promise. If plans are already in motion, ask what have they achieved, and when will their plans conclude.

Without attention and accountability, a promise can quickly become hollow. But as someone who cares about animals, you already know how valuable it is to pay attention to animal welfare issues and raise your voice.

And right now, your advocacy is more powerful than ever before.

Feeding Ottawa's Animals in Need

OHS employee holding cat food

In response to the public health crisis, the OHS started the Emergency Pet Food Bank in April 2020 to help pet owners who were experiencing financial hardship. Since its conception, the food bank has helped more than 5,000 animals in the community.

As the demand continued to increase, the OHS partnered with the Ottawa Food Bank (OFB). Through the partnership, the OHS funds the OFB to order and distribute pet food to OFB member agencies.

This partnership stands to feed more than 600 of Ottawa's pets-in-need each month, making emergency pet food accessible throughout the city.

Pet food is available to OFB clients accessing their regular Community Food Bank. Registered clients are invited to access pet food as a part of their usual pet food pick up.

People who do not need a food bank for themselves or whose pet food needs cannot be met by the OFB can still schedule appointments at the weekly OHS Emergency Pet Food Bank.

More information about the OHS Emergency Pet Food Bank is available on the OHS's website.

Speaking Up for the Animals

dog high five

Sheltering and caring for Ottawa's animals is only one aspect of the work done at the OHS. Another is promoting the welfare of animals, locally, provincially, nationally and even globally when the situation calls for it.

Some animal welfare issues are seasonal and happen every year, like warning against the dangers hot cars pose to pets, how to protect pets against cold weather, or the dangers of high-rise balconies.

Other advocacy is reactive, driven by emerging trends or troubling news. When dogs were in high-demand, it was essential to spread the word on the importance of buying dogs responsibly to help hopeful pet owners avoid supporting puppy mills and backyard breeders both domestic and abroad.

The OHS also needs to build awareness of its programs and services. It's important that the people in Ottawa who stand for the animals are well-informed on what resources are available and how they can be accessed.

As 2021 comes to a close, and the public health crisis hopefully continues to wind down, the next priority for the OHS is helping pets and their owners navigate the new normal and resuming programs and plans that the pandemic had put on hold. This includes providing training workshops to help new pet owners tackle challenging behaviours, planning to safely resume microchip clinics and the Mobile Spay/Neuter Service, and giving owners returning to work the tools they need to help their pets adjust to more time alone.

The OHS relies on people like you — those who care about animals — to share information and resources that are available for Ottawa's animals and their owners.

A simple share can help keep a family together as a frustrated owner finds the training their pet needs, or a share can be the spark that draws attention to the suffering of animals and brings about much needed change.

Watch the OHS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and future editions of Animal Advocate for news, announcements and resources that you can share.



Catch the Ace

Thanks to Jack Astor's for Helping the Animals!

Jack Astors

Thank You for Supporting Ottawa's Animals!


Thank you for being a loyal PAW monthly donor. Because of you, Keaton will soon find his forever home. Keaton was homeless and scared before arriving at the OHS. Now, thanks to you, this one-year-old German shepherd mix is getting the love and care he deserves.

Every day, you give animals like Keaton a second chance. Thank you for being a hero!

Thank you to our sponsors:
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Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Humane Society

Ottawa Humane Society
245 West Hunt Club Rd, Ottawa, ON K2E 1A6 |
Imagine Canada
Humane Canada Leader


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