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

Where Are the Lions?


In Ontario, there is no provincial legislation to govern who can own exotic animals like lions and tigers, and Ontario is the only province in the country without this legislation.

It is up to municipalities to create and enforce rules about exotic animals. This has resulted in a patchwork of varying restrictions throughout the province and suffering for animals and people alike.

In Southern Ontario, Mark and Tammy Drysdale's collection of exotic animals is a prime example of the issues caused by Ontario's lax approach. Over the past few years, the Drysdales have shuttled from township to township as each municipality created by-laws that prevented ownership of these animals.

The lack of consistent oversight resulted in a fatal consequence last summer as four lions killed and ate a tiger — all under ownership by the Drysdales. Provincial Animal Welfare Services investigated the incident and charged the Drysdales with animal cruelty. Shockingly, the Drysdales were allowed to voluntarily relocate the four lions involved in the attack.

The province has shunned any responsibility related to the relocation of the four lions. It is unclear if the province even knows where the big cats have gone.

This lazy approach to animal welfare has killed a tiger, left municipalities to cobble together their own legislation, and has saddled the entire population of Ontario with a frightening question: where are the lions?

Provincial legislation for exotic animals is long overdue in Ontario, and you can make a difference. Contact the Ministry of the Solicitor General and demand change for animals throughout Ontario.

Spaying It Forward


February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. The OHS is participating in World Spay Day on Feb. 22 to spay/neuter more than 40 cats, dogs and rabbits currently in the care of local partners.

The OHS will soon resume subsidized spay/neuter services for pet owners who would not usually be able to afford this service. The appointments will take place at the shelter with people who were on the waitlist for the Mobile Spay/Neuter Service. The OHS expects to spay/neutrer up to 32 pets in need by the end of March.

In the spring, the OHS plans to relaunch the Mobile Spay/Neuter Service and provide accessible, affordable sterilization services for Ottawa's animals.

Spay/neuter is the most responsible decision an owner can make for their pet. Not only does it help the pet live a happier, healthier life, but it will prevent generations of unwanted pets to come.

To celebrate Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and to support affordable spay/neuter services, consider supporting World Spay Day at the OHS on Feb. 22.

Supporting Community Partners

Penny Lane Farm Sanctuary

In response to the public health crisis, the Ottawa Humane Society began the OHS Partner Support Program to provide grants to community animal care partners who were struggling.

Since its launch in 2020, the OHS Partner Support Program has helped more than 7,200 animals in the care of more than 20 local partners. This support isn't exclusively for domestic animals, it also helps wildlife and farm animals in the care of partner organizations.

The OHS Partner Support Program has helped with projects like: acquiring mobile care unit equipment to care for farm animals, medications and medical supplies for birds, dog behaviour intervention and much more.

More can be done for Ottawa's animals when the community works together. Karyn Boswell, Founder of Penny Lane Farm Sanctuary, shares how the program made a difference for the animals in her care.

With the ongoing success of the program, the OHS is planning to continue the initiative beyond the public health crisis. Stay tuned for more updates and how you can get involved in this life-changing work.


Buddy & Belle: Frances



That's how any of us would feel if we found ourselves dumped in the trash. Unfortunately, this is what happened to Frances, a 10-year-old dachshund-mix, on a cold winter's day.

The total cost for her care is more than $1,800. Will you make a gift to help Frances and animals like her?


Thank you to our sponsors:
Science Diet
Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Humane Society

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


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

The Humane Canada Accreditation Program mark is a licenced mark of Humane Canada used under licence by the Ottawa Humane Society.

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