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October 2018

@ The OHS
Windsor Cats

Working Together to Save Lives

You may have heard that the OHS was experiencing a "Kitty Crisis" in early August when our cat numbers exploded. We reached out to our community and to you — our volunteers — for help. We got through it successfully, adopting more cats in August than any month on record.

As the crisis wound down, we found out that our friends at Windsor and Essex Humane Society were in as bad or worse shape with their own kitty crisis. To help out, when our numbers dropped sufficiently, our colleagues at Lincoln County Humane Society agreed to make the long trek to Windsor and Ottawa to transfer 54 felines from Windsor to our shelter.

Fortunately, the cats were by and large, young and healthy and we were able to move most of them to adoption very quickly. We are all very happy to have worked together to save lives in Ontario.


New Intervention Services for OHS Animals!

We're excited to announce the creation of a new Intervention Services department! The new department will oversee all of our current assessment, enrichment, training and behaviour modification programs for cats and dogs. It will also develop and oversee all new intervention programming. The introduction of this new department is timely, as more animals come into our care with behaviour issues that delay — and sometimes prevent — rehoming. And, as some animals are staying longer while we address more complex medical needs, ensuring their mental health through robust enrichment programs can also help maintain — and improve — their physical health during their stay. Sometimes, that can make all the difference in their recovery. While we know we will not be able to help every animal, we are excited about the prospect of helping more to have a happy outcome.

As part of the creation of this new department, this winter, Canine Services will move into the space previously occupied by our Rescue and Investigation Services team, and Feline Services will take over the space they formerly shared with Canine Services.

Watch soon for more volunteer opportunities arising in this exciting new area!

dogs in hot cars

Rescues and Investigations: Two Years Later

A number of volunteers have expressed their concern about what is happening to injured and abused animals in the community now that the OHS does not have officers on the road.

As you may know, the OHS implemented a plan to ensure the community knew who to call in an emergency.

As to investigations of abuse, we refer all urgent situations – such as a dog trapped in a hot car — to the police. Ottawa Police Services have many more officers on the road than the OHS was ever able to afford, and can frequently get to a scene more quickly than OHS could. On-going concerns — such as worrisome animal sounds from a neighbour's house — are referred to the OSPCA, who are only available between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Urgent rescue situations, such as an injured pet or wildlife in the community, have been referred to Ottawa Bylaw Services. Prior to handing this responsibility over to Bylaw, the OHS trained Bylaw officers on skills and techniques in animal rescue.

So, how is it going? While we cannot be sure that every situation is being managed as well as we would like, the bottom line is that we have received few complaints, and if the system were not working to a reasonably acceptable level, we would expect to receive more. If you hear otherwise, please let us know so that we can intervene to ensure animals are not put at risk.

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Spook-tacular Day: You're invited to join the fun!
The OHS is hosting its annual Howl-o-ween family event on Saturday, October 27 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Please join us for some festive family fun, spooky snacks, themed crafts and activities. People are highly encouraged to dress in costume! For more information about this event, please contact our Supervisor: Programs!
programs@ottawahumane.ca »
Save the Date for Critter Christmas!
Join us on Saturday, December 1 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to kick-off the holiday season at our annual Critter Christmas family event. We welcome you to participate in cookie decorating, festive crafts and games, yummy seasonal snacks, and more! To volunteer for this event, email Manager: Volunteers today.
volunteer@ottawahumane.ca »
Santa Paws: He is coming to town and we need your help!
Starting December 1, Santa Paws is coming to town and he'll be at Ottawa Humane Society all month long. We are in need of volunteers for a variety of roles, including: photographer, photography assistant, greeter, photo printer, registration and the Big Guy himself. To sign up to volunteer for this fun and festive event, please contact Manager: Volunteers by email.

Can't volunteer? Bring your furry friends and family to have your portrait taken with Santa and help Ottawa's animals. All proceeds go directly to supporting the animals in the care of the Ottawa Humane Society. Dates and times of photo sessions are available below:

More Info on Santa Paws »
Warm Hearts Raffle

Help Raise Funds for the Animals!

The annual lottery season is upon us and we need your help to break last year's record! Help us sell out the event by selling OHS Warm Heart's Raffle tickets on behalf of the OHS. By selling tickets, you have the chance to win a pair of tickets to our 2019 Garden Party!

The grand prize draw takes place on February 14, 2019 and the prizes are as follows:

  • First place: $5,000
  • Second place: $3,000
  • Third place: $2,000

If would like to sell tickets on behalf of the OHS, please contact Manager: Volunteers for more information.

If you are not able to sell tickets, you can still support the lottery by purchasing your tickets today!

Thank you in advance for helping support this important event where all proceeds support the close to 10, 000 animals we help every year.



On September 18 at our annual general meeting, the OHS celebrated and honoured some of our most dedicated volunteers.


Eleanor Prowse Volunteer Service Award — this award is given to an outstanding volunteer for tireless devotion to the animals in our care. This year, we proudly awarded Linda Sgabellone.

Linda started volunteering for the OHS in July 2014 after reading about the need for foster parents. She figured since she no longer owned her own pet, that this might be a good way to help the OHS, give back to the community, and provide care to fur-babies in need, while reaping the infinite rewards of an animals' company. In the past four years, Linda has fostered about 50 animals. She has loved every second of it and we've loved having her as part of our team in foster and at the shelter.

In the spring of 2015, Linda realized she could volunteer in more areas, so she registered for as many events as her time would allow. She continues to be one of our most committed events volunteers. In February 2017, she joined the Buddy and Belle Boutique, and supports this program on Friday nights. In addition to helping around the shop, she enjoys processing adoptions for wonderful animals going to live in their forever homes.


Siobhan Sheflin Memorial Award — this award is given to an outstanding foster volunteer for their help providing animals with a second chance at a loving, forever home. This year's recipient was Helen Baker.

With five adopted cats of her own, Helen had reached the by-law limit. In 2014, upon learning that fostered animals were exempt, she signed up for the kitten foster program. It was her way of giving back: for saying thank you for one of her own who had been fostered.

Since then, Helen has thoroughly embraced the "mad cat lady" moniker, has never met a kitten she didn't like, and considers herself a proud member of the "foster exchange program." One group of kittens is brought back healthy and ready for adoption, and is then replaced with another group that requires a foster home. Some stay for a few weeks others a few months. Some come with just food while others are sent with medical supplies and charts. From a singleton at Christmas, to three groups in the summer months, every cat and kitten is special.

Helen is lucky in that her employer supports this valuable program and has given the OHS a few financial gifts through her employer for the time she gives to foster animals in need.

Please join us in celebrating Linda and Helen for their ongoing commitment to giving animals a second chance at a bright and healthy future!


Unsung Heroes: Paying homage to volunteers who continue to give their time despite obstacles

The OHS, especially the animals in our care, are so fortunate to be well supported by hundreds of volunteers who give their time, talents and ongoing commitment to helping us achieve our goals and mission. We would not be able to do the work that we do without the support and dedication of our volunteer team—for this we thank you!

We have some volunteer programs that regrettably experience a higher rate of volunteer turnover, and we often struggle to find volunteers who are the right fit for the role. Some of these programs include: bingo, PAL cat assistant, Brightening Lives Animal Visits, and our Buddy and Belle Boutique.

Bingo volunteers support this unique fundraiser, at the Overbrook Bingo Hall at 1150 Lola Street, on Sunday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Volunteers help by selling BINGO sheets, assisting with registration, providing customer service to guests and assisting with event logistics. Volunteers help keep this program alive, which brings in $2,000 to $3,000 each month, to continue helping animals in need.


PAL cat assistant volunteers spend their early morning hours, seven days a week, cleaning cages, feeding and socializing with the cats at our PetSmart Pet Adoption Location partners. Without their continued support, we would lose our ability to continue partnering, which would be a devastating loss for the cats and small animals who are adopted through these partners.

Isaac the Dog

Brightening Lives Animal Visits is a unique opportunity for volunteers to give their time alongside their owned, companion animal. These dynamic duos partner with one to two other pairs to give weekly, scheduled visits to hospitals, retirement facilities, homeless shelters, hospice facilities, etc. The most challenging part of operating this program is finding suitable companion animals, who must be over two years of age, sterilized, and successfully pass a behavioural evaluation to ensure they are safe to participate. Several of our volunteer pets retired over the summer so we are in urgent need of new teams to meet our scheduled visits.

Buddy and Belle Boutique volunteers help support our in-shelter retail store through assisting with inventory, order-processing, sales, and more. All funds raised through our retail boutique go directly back to the animals in our care.

We want to thank the OHS volunteers who continue to give their time to sustaining our programs and for remaining positive and dependable during difficult times. The OHS and the animals are beyond fortunate to have you on their sides!

If you, or your family or friends are interested in supporting any of the above-mentioned volunteer roles, please contact the Manager: Volunteers to learn more.

News from the Volunteer Department

Thank You for Celebrating!

Thank you OHS volunteers for spending the evening of September 20 with us at our Summer Fiesta. We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating all of your achievements over the summer. We look forward to hosting another event for you during National Volunteer Week 2019 — so stay tuned for more details.


Thank You Tracey and Josh for BEE-ING so Amazing!

The volunteer department held a raffle contest in our foster department to thank foster volunteers for giving animals in need a second chance at a bright and happy future. Tracey and Josh were our lucky winners. We happily presented them with a Swiss Alps Bee House, for BEE-ing so amazing!

Notice! New Foster Department Hours

Effective December 2, 2018, the foster team will be moving back to the Fall/Winter schedule. Please make note: the department will no longer be open on Sundays, and will move back to reduced hours in the evening.

Monday — Friday
7:30 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.
7:30 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.

Kitty Crisis Update: Thank you OHS foster volunteers for rising to the challenge

Earlier this summer we reached out publicly to help with our in-shelter kitty crisis. Many of you rose to the challenge — existing foster volunteers opened their homes and hearts to another placement, while others joined our foster volunteer team and took home their first placement. Over the months of July and August, we recruited and trained 63 new foster volunteers, and placed 309 animals into loving foster homes.

If you didn't have the time to join our foster program during our kitty crisis, but have the time now, we would love to have you on-board. Please visit our website to complete an application package today (opens as a PDF).


Event Volunteers: Thank you for continuing to make a difference!

Thank you OHS event volunteers for helping us successfully host and participate in so many events this fall. Thanks to your gift of time we participated in Capital Pride, hosted Senior's Day, and raised more than $200,000 for the animals in our care through the OHS Wiggle Waggle Walkathon/Run for the Animals!!

Do you enjoy meeting new people, getting out in our community, all while helping to raise funds for the animals in our care? If you answered "YES" you need to join our events team today! Please contact Manager: Volunteers to learn more.

Science Diet
Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Humane Society

Ottawa Humane Society
245 West Hunt Club Rd, Ottawa, ON K2E 1A6
volunteer@ottawahumane.ca | www.ottawahumane.ca


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