September 15, 2016
A Good Day with HOPE
The best day I have had in a long time was last Thursday. That was the launch of our new Mobile Spay/ Neuter Program. It was fantastic. Our board was there. Some of our most committed supporters were there. We were all happy and excited to be doing something positive for our community and for the animals. And to me, it meant the beginning of the end of the endless cycle of thousands of cats needing our care every year. It meant that we are starting to solve a problem, not just deal with it endlessly.
One of the main themes of OHS’s five-year strategic plan is cat overpopulation: Too many cats will continue to live wretched lives, as long as there are too many cats. I believe this to the core. Finally, with this new program, we can reduce the number of cats in our community, and the number living wretched lives as a result. Studies suggest that in a community the size of Ottawa, 6,000 subsidized spay/neuters annually will result in a precipitous drop in overpopulation. By year two, the Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic is targeting that magic 6,000!
The one damper on that great day was that I failed to thank one of our great community friends and partners: the wonderful folks at HOPE, who, for 34 years have been presenting the fantastic HOPE Volleyball Summerfest. This event, the largest of its kind, is possible only because a HUGE number of volunteers — a board of directors, a planning team of 40 and an astounding 1,100 event day volunteers — come together with only one thing in mind: giving to our community. And what gifts they have given! HOPE has given over $3.5 million dollars to 110 local charities since its inception 34 years ago.
Our friends at HOPE are giving the OHS $25,000 this year to help make this ambitious new program a success, and to make a difference for many generations of cats. They deserve my thanks and yours. Please join me in thanking all the great people at HOPE for their 34-year commitment to our community.