Okanagan Humane Society experiencing record demand, requesting help from public

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The Okanagan Humane Society (OHS) is a local animal charity that rescues animals across the Okanagan Valley, from Osoyoos to the Shuswap, and they continue to see soaring demand for their support and services.

“We receive referrals daily from the animal shelters and other rescues across the Okanagan who are not accepting animals. This is resulting in a huge increase in calls to help lost, abandoned, and feral animals in our communities that need immediate rescue and support, especially with the cold weather setting in. “states Romany Runnalls, President, Board of Directors, OHS.

This volunteer run, foster based organization has already rescued 11% more animals in 2023 than all of 2022, and last year was a record year helping over 1500 kittens, cats, dogs, pups, and even some bunnies and chickens.

“Pet overpopulation is a real concern in the Okanagan. We still see huge colonies of cats in some rural and urban centers, and even more disturbing are the litters of kittens or pups, and adult dogs being found suspiciously, stray or abandoned, in remote areas,” says Runnalls. “We are the only organization working 365 days per year consistently, rescuing Okanagan community animals through our network of volunteers and veterinary partners, to ensure animal populations are being managed and stop the breeding. Animals suffering outside on their own are rescued by working directly with residents reporting them. They are immediately brought into our partner veterinary clinics, where they are vet checked, vaccinated, dewormed, fixed, given permanent identification, then fostered or reunited, and adopted.”

On November 1st, a call came in for help with over 75 cats and kittens, 2 2 dogs and 2 horses from one property, and this is not an unusual request for the Humane Society to receive.

Last year, the organization saved 52 cats and kittens in a four-month long volunteer run rescue mission on a farm in Osoyoos. All the cats and kittens received the necessary medical attention, and all were spayed or neutered and found a new, loving home. The cost of this rescue was more than $30,000. This was one of the 503 rescue requests the organization received in 2022.

OHS does not receive government funding and is mainly reliant on support from the community to continue this life saving work.

“Our limitations are funding and foster homes, as long as we have both of these, we can keep saving animals in our communities every day,” states Runnalls.

OHS is in full swing for the fall fundraising campaign called Angels for Animals and is encouraging the community to become an Angel to the animals and donate.

“We are thrilled to launch our second annual Angels for Animals fundraising campaign from November 1 to December 31, mentions Marni Adams, Fund Development Advisor, OHS.

“The Berbeewalsh Foundation has stepped up to match up to $25,000 in donations for the second year in a row so your donation today will be matched to save twice the lives, states Adams.

To donate today, go to https://okanaganhumanesociety.com/