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The Ottawa Animal Advocate

Cast Your Vote for the Animals

Animal collage

The provincial election is June 2. If you haven't already, make sure you've registered to vote or updated your information by May 23 — the animals are counting on you.

The election is a chance to make a difference for the animals and raise your voice to close gaps in animal welfare. Such as:

Inadequate investigations and enforcement for animal cruelty and neglect. While strong on paper, the province has struggled to implement the PAWS act effectively throughout its two-year lifespan. Slow response times, ineffective investigations, confusion with emergency responders over responsibility and not working together with humane societies and SPCAs as partners are hallmarks of the act's history and cause animals to suffer.

Damaging legislation for farm animal welfare. Bill 156 was presented as an act for food safety and security, but it places a stranglehold on journalists, advocates and whistleblowers from investigating on-site and reporting on cruel and inhumane farming conditions. There are ways to preserve food security while still ensuring farm animal welfare. Bill 156 must be removed.

No consistent oversight for exotic animals. Ontario has no legislation regarding the ownership of lions, tigers and other exotic animals. It is up to municipalities to create and enforce rules surrounding exotic animals. This approach has created a patchwork of legislation and suffering for animals and people alike throughout the province including the death of a tiger.

The provincial election is another opportunity to keep animal welfare on the table. So far, no major parties have announced how their platforms will help Ontario's animals. Ask your representatives how they will be addressing these issues and what they will do for Ontario's animals.

Goodwill Kidnapping

Baby bunny on grass

A lone, wild, baby animal is a tempting target for a good deed. Many people feel the urge to scoop up the baby and take care of it. They may call the OHS or another animal care organization and they may be surprised to hear that they should leave the animal alone.

There are some circumstances where a wild animal may need intervention, but healthy, baby animals that are not in immediate danger are often better off left where they were found.

A baby animal's mother is the best provider for them. Relocating the animal could irrevocably separate them from their mother, orphaning the animal and making their future uncertain.

Don't be a goodwill kidnapper. Leave healthy, baby animals where they are to help keep families together and secure a future for the baby animal.

Train your pet

A Win for Animals in the U.K.

Puppy and Big Ben

Last month, the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill received royal assent in the U.K., adding the country to a growing list of those who formally recognize animal sentience. For people who care about animals, the idea that they experience emotions and feelings is no revelation. However, when sentience is recognized in law, it greatly improves the consideration for animal welfare in present and future legislation and policies.

The new bill calls for the creation of an Animal Sentience Committee to examine government policies' consideration for animal welfare and publish reports on its findings. Policymakers are responsible for creating written responses to these reports within three months.

On paper, the bill is a huge step in the right direction, but there is likely still much work to be done. The new bill will need to be properly implemented to make a lasting difference. The OHS will be monitoring the work of the Animal Sentience Committee.

But of course, there is cause for celebration as progress for animals anywhere is progress for animals everywhere. Perhaps the U.K. recognizing animal sentience is another stepping stone towards seeing the same in Canada.

Get an emergency decal today!


Buddy & Belle: Harley


Harley, a sweet, four-year-old Presa Canario, came to the OHS with a condition known as pyometra — a life-threatening infection in her uterus.

Harley needed an urgent surgery to save her life.

Read Harley's story and help her heal.


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.

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