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The Ottawa Animal Advocate

Coyote Concerns 

Coyote in street

In Ottawa, coyote panic is becoming a seasonal phenomenon. Sightings and media sensationalism all contribute to a growing terror of local canids. 

Ottawa is not the only municipality to experience challenges in its relationship with coyotes and some suggest a violent, cruel and ineffective solution in the form of culls. The truth is that human—coyote encounters are largely a manmade problem spiraling from urban expansion, habitat destruction, and creating food sources through improperly secured garbage or compost bins, outdoor pet food dishes and an availability of prey including small wildlife and cats. 

Human—coyote encounters are only going to increase as more habitat is destroyed and coyotes have to seek out resources in urban environments.

What can be done to co-exist with coyotes? Pet owners likely face some of the greatest challenges, but there are solutions to protect pets without harming wildlife. For cat owners, it is as simple as keeping your pet indoors. Coyotes are just one of the many dangers the outdoors poses to a cat. There are many ways to keep a cat happy and healthy indoors and cats can even enjoy the outdoors safely on a leash and harness with their owner or supervised in the backyard. 

Dog owners can protect their pets by keeping their dogs on a secure leash when going for a walk. This will prevent a dog from bolting, getting lost, or seeking an encounter with a coyote. When taking a smaller dog for a walk through an area where there may be coyotes, picking up and carrying the dog can go a long ways towards keeping them safe. 

While there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risks of encountering a coyote, the only way to prevent coyote encounters is to advocate for protecting their habitats and ensure they have somewhere to call home that is not in an urban community. 

Reach out to your city councilor and let them know that the best way to prevent encounters with coyotes is to protect their natural habitat.

A Convention of Cruelty 

Dog in a hot car

Chuckwagon racing, the deadliest event at the Calgary Stampede, returned this year. COVID had spared horses from chuckwagon racing for the past two years, but with restrictions lifted, this temporary protection also evaporated. 

2019 was the Stampede's second deadliest year of chuckwagon races, claiming the lives of six horses. It's only a matter of time before a new year breaks the record.

Attendees have the power to end animal suffering for entertainment by voting with their wallets and forcing the entertainment industry to adapt. Wary, conscientious consumers have eliminated animal cruelty in circuses, dog racing and more. Vote with your wallet, and don't support an event that kills innocent horses annually.

Misinformation that Could Kill a Dog 

Dog and cat

Through social media and other channels, there is misinformation about who to call to save a dog from a hot car — directing to the number for a defunct Ontario SPCA call centre. The information is years out of date, as the OSPCA relinquished this role in 2019.

When the temperature soars, parked cars pose a serious danger to pets — dogs are best left safely at home. If your dog must come on the road with you, don't leave him in the car and if you find a dog trapped in a car, report it immediately by calling 9-1-1.

You can help. If you see this misinformation as you are scrolling social media, let the poster know the information is incorrect and out-of-date. 

You might save a dog's life.

Raising the Bar for the Animals 

Dog and cat

Last month, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that by Sept. 28, commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies would no longer be permitted to enter Canada.

Currently, there are no active cases of dog rabies in Canada (distinct from rabies found in various wildlife species) and the decision is a step in the right direction to protect the health of Canada's pets and communities. The move also has a knock-on effect of making it more difficult for unscrupulous businesses to mass import puppies to Canada to make a quick buck.

The demand for dogs during the pandemic highlighted Canada's weak protections for animals imported into the country. These weaknesses have directly caused suffering for imported animals and hopeful pet parents alike. 

CFIA's decision is a positive change and shows that your advocacy for animals in Canada and around the world is having an impact, but there is still much work to be done. There are still few meaningful regulations for the humane transportation of animals, and more still needs to be done to prevent the mass production of mistreated puppies for sale to Canada's hopeful pet parents.

Reach out to your MP and let them know that stronger protections are needed for animals coming to Canada.

Will You Save a Kitten in Need?


Can little Sully depend on your support to finish his recovery? Your donation today will ensure that Sully and other injured, homeless animals like him will receive the second chance they deserve.

This nine-month-old kitten was trapped in a six-foot-deep window well at a public school. He had a severely wounded jaw and was dehydrated. No one knows how long he was left in this condition before he was found. Thankfully, he was brought to the OHS where he could receive the help he desperately needed to save his life. 

Our caring staff did a thorough health check including X-rays that showed Sully had a fractured jaw and several broken teeth. The painful fracture had healed without veterinary care, causing his teeth to not be aligned properly and his lower jaw to be dislocated. Poor Sully couldn't even close his mouth properly. But despite his injury, Sully was friendly, giving headbutts to OHS clinic staff and constantly purring. Clearly, Sully knew he was somewhere safe and loving. 

Sully needs complex dental surgery to fix his jaw and fractured teeth. After his surgery, he will need loving one-on-one care from an experienced foster volunteer to monitor his progress while he heals. All of this is only possible because of caring people like you.

Will you help Sully and more animals just like him get the care they need to heal and find their forever home?

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