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The Ottawa Animal Advocate

Is Marineland Sunk?

Cat in snow

Last month, Niagara Regional Police charged Marineland for using a captive cetacean for performance for entertainment purposes without authorization — a violation of Bill S-203.

The charge was laid after a police investigation in October. Marineland is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 14.

In an issued statement, Marineland is anticipating the verdict to be not guilty: "Marineland of Canada Inc.'s educational presentation was designed by experts to provide Canadians with an accessible opportunity to learn about marine life. Our animal presentation contains marine mammals undertaking behaviours they exhibit in ocean environments."

Marineland's claim is laughable. Dolphin's do not dance for fish in the wild. Orca's do not spend their lives trapped in minuscule enclosures. The animals at Marineland are not able to express natural behaviours.

This latest investigation is only the tip of the iceberg for strikes against Marineland in 2021. In the summer, videos surfaced of the world's loneliest orca, Kiska, floating listlessly on the water and bashing her head against her aquarium walls. In the spring, Ontario Animal Welfare Services ordered Marineland to fix broken water systems that were producing unacceptable water quality for their captive marine animals. Marineland fought the order at first, before quietly withdrawing their appeal.

None of this is a surprise. Marineland's legacy is devoid of compassion for the animals jailed in their facility. Animals should not be exploited for profit or otherwise, and should be able to express natural behaviours — something that's impossible for whales, dolphins and other cetaceans in the crippling confines of an amusement park.

Voting with your wallet by not patronizing these cruel businesses is the best way to make a difference for the animals. Hopefully, these events are the death knell of a business that should have stopped years ago.

Raise Your Voice for Animals

Dog in crate

As someone who cares about animals, you know how important it is to raise your voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. The municipal election is coming in October of this year and it is a great chance to keep animal welfare on the table and help build an even more humane and compassionate community for Ottawa's animals.

As you know, protecting and improving the welfare of animals is a constant effort that needs the attention and focus of compassionate people like you. You are already a tremendous advocate for the animals and now is your chance to have an even bigger impact.

From creating legislation to ensure cats remain safely indoors, placing restrictions on breeding rabbits to help prevent pet overpopulation, addressing urban expansion to curb habitat destruction and reduce human-animal conflicts, there are many opportunities to improve the wellbeing of animals in Ottawa.

Reach out to your representatives and ask them what they will do for Ottawa's animals if elected. As well, take the time to voice what topics you want to see on the table in the coming election. You can make 2022 a year for the animals.

Elephant Rides Banned Canada Wide

dog in store

Last month, Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) moved to end elephant rides at all member facilities. The decision was made in response to an investigation into a 2019 elephant attack that took place at Ontario’s African Lion Safari — which earlier this year earned the distinction of North America’s worst zoo for elephants.

While public safety was a driving factor in CAZA's decision, the move still has a knock-on effect of preventing animal exploitation for profit and potentially paving the way for future protections of animals in captivity. However, the decision smacks of too little too late as Canada lags behind the US in standards for animals in captivity — the American counterpart to CAZA banned elephant rides back in 2011.

Despite the diminishing factors surrounding the decision, there is still cause for celebration. The end of elephant rides may move the needle on Canada not being home to North America's worst zoo.

Rash Decisions and Overreactions: Hong Kong's Small Animal Cull

dog in store

"It's good to pay attention, but too often, 'kill the animal' is the response to something that just needs some thought and effort. However, 'kill the animal' is easy, so it's done."

‐ Dr. Scott Weese

This week, Hong Kong announced a plan to kill thousands of small animals in the city because of 11 hamsters in a pet shop that were identified as being infected with COVID. In a recent blog, Dr. Scott Weese explains why the cull is unnecessary and what should have been done instead.

Read More


Buddy & Belle: Flower


The streets are no place for a cat and are even more treacherous for a tiny kitten. Just ask Flower.

This eight-week-old kitten was found dangling from a deck, her paw trapped between the slats. It's difficult to imagine the pain and terror she must have experienced, being so alone and helpless.

Read Flower's story and donate to help her heal.

Catch the Ace

Thank you to our sponsors:
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Ottawa Humane Society

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


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