OHS Mission and History

dog (4)Mission

“To work in and with our community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray or homeless.”


In January 1888, a small group of ladies formed the Women’s Humane Society of Ottawa. This organization enforced the new animal protection laws and focused on bettering the lives of neglected children by lobbying for legislation to provide for foster homes.

In 1896, this group evolved into the Ottawa Humane Society and the Children’s Aid Society was established to assist needy children in our community.

In 1979, the Ottawa Humane Society was renamed the Humane Society of Ottawa-Carleton. We returned to the Ottawa Humane Society in 2001, when Ottawa Carleton was amalgamated.

Today, the Ottawa Humane Society’s mandate covers a broad spectrum of animal welfare concerns. The organization’s priorities include prevention and investigation of cruelty to animals, enforcement of laws for the protection of animals, public education and pet population control, through which we seek to reduce the number of stray animals whose final solution is often destruction. The OHS provides a wealth of animal care information to the public through humane education visits, public information awareness booths, participation in various volunteer programs and the multitude of services offered to the community.

Directed by a volunteer board of 14, the organization employs more than 100 staff with animal care, inspection specialists, outreach workers and administrative staff, augmented by a large and very important complement of volunteers.

The Ottawa Humane Society began construction of its present facility in June 2010, which was completed in June 2011.