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April 2018 I 245 West Hunt Club Road Ottawa, ON K2E 1A6 I 613-725-3166 I www.ottawahumane.ca

Save the Date: Join Us in Celebration for National Volunteer Week!

Thank you for continuing to make a difference! This year, National Volunteer Week is from April 15-21, and the volunteer department has a fabulous week planned to recognize the efforts of all of our amazing volunteers. In addition to raffles and snacks in the volunteer lounge/foster office throughout the week, volunteers can look forward to the following workshops and events:

Compassion Fatigue: Tuesday, April 17 (6-8 p.m.)
This educational presentation will teach volunteers about compassion fatigue and burnout for those who give their time to the helping profession. This session will focus on identifying personal warning signs/symptoms and offer effective strategies for coping and prevention.

Dog-dog Reactivity: Wednesday, April 18 (6-8 p.m.)
Come and learn more about this behaviour and how to work with it. Live demonstrations will be included.

The Evolution of Animal Welfare: Thursday, April 19 (6-7:30 p.m.)
This presentation was originally given by Jim Tedford, CEO of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators — the premier group that brings together senior staff in humane societies, rescues, and municipal animal shelters. Jim generously gave the OHS his slides and Bruce has adapted it so that the OHS board, staff and volunteers can learn a little bit about what we have seen and are seeing across most of North America and its impact on the future of animal welfare in general, and at the OHS.

Annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch and Pin Ceremony: Saturday, Apr. 21 (10-11:30a.m.)
The volunteer department is excited to host our annual volunteer appreciation brunch again this year. Volunteers can look forward to the following at this event:

  • Meet-and-greet with OHS staff;
  • A special brief presentation from OHS Executive Director, Bruce Roney, manager: volunteers and OHS Board Chair;
  • Annual pin ceremony, recognizing volunteers for years of service;
  • Slideshow;
  • A delicious brunch;
  • Door prizes.

For more information, or to RSVP to a workshop or the volunteer appreciation brunch, please contact our volunteer department (hyperlink to volunteering@ottawahumane.ca) today!

You Spoke & We Listened — Changes to our Volunteer Recognition Program

We are so fortunate to have the continued support of more than 700 volunteers who help facilitate more than 35 volunteer based programs. As you know, we simply would not be able to offer services to our community, nor help as many animals without your ongoing gift of time. Volunteers have recently been very active in completing relevant and necessary volunteer feedback surveys — thank you for taking the time to provide your thoughts! Many volunteers indicated the best ways to say “thank you” included: continuing to offer educational workshops and staff saying “thank you” when they’re onsite volunteering. Interestingly, many volunteers indicated they do not want to receive any recognition for their time. Respondents also indicated that our existing volunteer appreciation choices were not meeting their needs. Many volunteers did not wish to continue with the individual program appreciation events, but were more interested in the educational workshops. As a result, we have decided to host just two appreciation events this year:  the pin ceremony and brunch during National Volunteer week, and a fall BBQ. We will continue to offer new workshops to you throughout the year to express our appreciation for all you do for the animals.  We look forward to the next year and hope that these changes will enhance your volunteer experience with the OHS.

Thank you Foster Volunteers for Your Feedback—Looking Ahead for 2018!

Thank you OHS foster volunteers for your continued dedication to providing animals in need with a second chance at a brighter future. Thank you for recently taking the time to provide your thoughts regarding your experiences in our foster program survey.

  • This year, the majority of respondents have volunteered for the foster program between 1-5 years. Volunteers were also asked to reflect on the species they have fostered over the last year. The majority of foster volunteers care for cats only (67%). The majority of animals in need of foster are cats, so these results were expected, and reflect the majority of the volunteer population. This is also comparable to last year.
  • 98% of respondents felt the foster manuals provided to them were “very good” or “good”, ensuring they felt adequately prepared for fostering an animal in their home. When asked what additional tools or training volunteers would like to have, some volunteers expressed an interest in hands-on demonstrations, specifically for medical-related treatments (like how to administer eye meds, etc.…). We will consider including a small hands-on demonstrations at the monthly orientation and/or using videos to explain simple procedures (like administering eye meds, pilling a cat, etc.).
  • The majority of respondents indicated that they had a very positive volunteer experience with the department throughout the year. 92% of respondents felt that they were asked often enough to foster an animal in their home. The foster department will continue to use existing foster animal placement methods, as this continues to prove successful.
  • 94% of volunteers rated their volunteer experience in 2017 as “good” or “very good.” Some volunteers felt there could be room for improvement regarding communication, and some encountered ongoing procedural errors. As always, foster staff will continue to ensure volunteers receive timely and professional communication throughout the year, striving to align with the OHS cultural values of service, excellence and respect.
  • 96% of foster volunteers felt the service provided to them by the foster department staff was “good” or “very good,” 94% of volunteers rated their volunteer experience in 2017 as “good” or “very good,” and 92% of respondents indicated they would be continuing with the program in 2018. These results are great and ensure continuity of this important program, which continues to save lives.

Overall, volunteers are pleased in their volunteer role, and we look forward implementing new changes and improving processes, to make future experiences even better.

Interested in joining this life-saving team? Visit our website to complete your application today.

Thank You, Event Volunteers!

Thank you OHS event volunteers for continuing to make a difference for Ottawa’s animals. You helped support a couple of busy holiday-themed open houses, including: My Furry Valentine and our Hoppy Easter event. These events would not be possible without your continued support and gifts of time! We are still recruiting volunteers to help support OHS events. If you are interested in joining our events volunteer team, to help execute OHS fundraisers and family events, contact the volunteer department today!

Volunteer Profile: Isabelle Guertin

Humane Education is a community program that we’ve happily offered to educational institutions in the Ottawa area since 1990. This program teaches children about responsible pet ownership, dog-bite prevention and the role of the Ottawa Humane Society in the community. Animal welfare topics are presented Monday to Friday from October to June. A two-member team of humane education volunteers deliver a one-hour, scripted presentation that often includes a short video. In addition, a behaviourally assessed dog is introduced to the students post-presentation. Volunteers are responsible for either giving the presentation (presenter) or facilitating a visit with a behaviourally assessed companion animal (handler). Presentations are now delivered in both French and English.

Last fiscal year, volunteers helped give close to 450 educational presentations, teaching more than 11,000 children/youth in our community. We are so thankful for all of the volunteers who give their time to this important program.

One amazing volunteer who gives their time to this program is Isabelle Guertin. She has been with the program since September 2016. Isabelle loves to present because she has always wanted to be a teacher. Here’s what Isabelle has to say about supporting this program, “The most rewarding part is seeing kids who are scared of dogs making that big step and coming up to let the dog sniff their hand.”

In November 2017, Isabelle’s dog, Jasper, joined the program. Since then, the pair have presented in numerous classrooms in our community. In 2017/18, Isabelle and Jasper facilitated 29 presentations! Her enthusiasm continues to make a positive impact in our community. Thank you, Isabelle for your active role in creating a brighter future for Ottawa’s animals.

Interested in making a difference and educating our future pet owners? Please contact the volunteer department to learn more today!

Save the Date: OHS Garden Party is Back!

On Wednesday, May 16, Ottawa’s top chefs and mixologists will take over the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park. The mastermind behind this annual event was Chef Kurt Waldele, a long-time advocate for Ottawa's animals. From a combination of his two passions — cooking and animal welfare — came the OHS Garden Party. It is with great pride that we continue to honour his legacy. This event is a delight for the senses, featuring tasting dishes, cocktails, fine wines and craft beer. There will also be an opportunity for guests to bid on live and silent auction items, and a chance to mingle with animal volunteers. All funds raised through this event will support the nearly 10,000 animals that the OHS cares for each year. 

Interested in attending the event? Early Bird pricing is in effect until April 13. Click here to purchase tickets today!

We also have a limited number of volunteer positions needed to support this event. Please contact the volunteer department to sign up to volunteer for this year’s Garden Party today.


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