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

Coyote Concerns: Part Two

Kitty looking out window

Last month, residents in Riverside Park South reported that a coyote had grabbed their pet dog. According to the owner, just after midnight during a gathering outdoors, the dog had leapt from their owner’s lap and ran into nearby shrubs. The dog wasn’t seen again until the owner spotted a coyote running away with their dog in its mouth.

The incident is tragic. The loss of a pet, especially in such a violent and sudden way, is heart-breaking. A common question that arises from these situations is how can it be prevented from happening again? It’s a question Ottawa is currently grappling with.

In mid-September, it was reported that the city was hiring a private contractor to track coyotes in Riverside Park South and recommend next steps for the city to take. Council has asked city staff to develop a coyote management strategy to be reviewed in 2023. In order for the strategy to be truly effective and humane, it must not only protect people and their pets, but also highlight the need to co-exist with coyotes.

This month, the city announced that beginning Friday, Oct. 14, they will be attempting to live-trap habituated coyotes in Riverside Park South, noting that the coyotes will be euthanized if necessary. The city made no mention of any other outcome for the trapped coyotes. This solution will be ineffective. If the coyotes are removed from the area without efforts to make the urban environment less attractive, it’s only a matter of time before new coyotes move in to the neighbourhood.

There is little that can be done to prevent coyotes from entering urban areas — urban expansion has, and continues to impede on coyotes’ natural habitats. Moreover, urban environments offer a wealth of easily accessible food such as improperly secured garbage and compost bins, outdoor pet food dishes, and prey animals. 

Coyotes are likely here to stay — they have nowhere else to go. The only humane options are to protect what remains of their natural habitat, make efforts to make urban environments less enticing for coyotes, and to be vigilant about pet safety. Cats should be kept safely indoors. Dogs should always be on a secure leash and harness. The election is approaching, reach out to your city councilor and let them know that more needs to be done.

Crisis of Care

dog and OHS vet Eric

The number of stray and surrendered animals brought to the OHS has been increasing. Numbers are not at pre-pandemic levels, but neither are staffing resources. The result is a lack of time and resources rather than a lack of space.

The animals coming to the OHS are not pandemic puppies. More cats are being admitted with extensive medical needs; dogs with significant behaviour issues, and rabbits by the dozens: currently, the OHS has more than 40 rabbits in its care. Animals with increasingly complex needs stay longer in OHS care and lead to more strain on resources.

To relieve the pressure, the OHS continues to manage the number of animals entering its care — including helping animals stay in homes wherever possible, for as long as possible. As an open admission shelter, the OHS will never turn away an animal in immediate distress. Upwards of 20 stray cats, among other animals needing immediate support, could be admitted to the OHS in a single day.

Foster volunteers provide temporary support for animals in need, freeing up OHS resources for animals with critical needs. The OHS regularly seeks out new ways to reach even more people about the importance of adopting. The OHS is also delivering more dog training classes to help owners prevent and manage behaviours and to keep families together.

What can you do?

The OHS is facing a crisis, but with your help, Ottawa’s animals will receive the care they need.

A Year of Life-Saving Statistics 

Someone sleeping on a couch with a dog

Did you know 1,341 surgeries were performed at the OHS last year?

How about that more than 400 lost animals were reunited with their families?

Or that the community volunteered close to 30,000 hours for the animals?

The OHS 2021/22 annual report is available now! The report is full of stories and stats that show how Ottawa has made an incredible difference for animals in need. Check out the report now and consider becoming a part of this life-saving work by making a donation or volunteering your time.

Noemi Needs You

Small Chihuahua named Bea

Noemi, an eight-month-old cat, was found by the side of the road lost, alone and injured. When Noemi arrived at the OHS, she could not put any weight on her front left leg. When the OHS critical care team examined her swollen elbow and leg, she cried and withdrew, obviously in pain.

X-rays revealed that Noemi had fractured her leg. Because of the location of the fracture, for Noemi to live a happy, pain-free life, the best option was to amputate her injured leg.

Will you give little Noemi and other homeless, injured animals like her, a second chance at life?

Your gift today will ensure that Noemi, and other homeless, injured animals like her, receive the urgent medical treatment, love and compassion they desperately need.

Noemi is now recovering at the OHS and has made great progress. Her purrs and loving headbutts show that she is getting better fast. Once her recovery journey is complete, she will be ready to find her forever home.

You can help Noemi and animals like her every day. Please give a gift today to ensure animals can get the second chance they deserve.


Thank You for Supporting Ottawa's Animals!


Because of you, Gusteau will have a second chance.

This two-year-old cat came to the OHS in need of immediate medical care. After a thorough examination OHS veterinarians discovered that Gusteau had fractured his tibia in five fragments. Thankfully the fragments were in good alignment and OHS veterinary staff are hopeful Gusteau's leg will heal fully in a splint.

Your support as a PAW monthly donor made Gusteau's immediate care possible. Currently, Gusteau is recovering in the loving home of an experienced foster volunteer. His bandages are being changed every 10 days and with enough time and rest, he will be ready to find his forever home.

Thank you for being a hero to animals like Gusteau every day of the year!

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!