Category Archives: Pets & Animals

Here’s what you should do if you meet a coyote in Stittsville

One of my favourite things about summertime is Stittsville is sleeping with the windows open and hearing howling coyotes in the distance.

Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never seen one.  Then one day while driving down Huntmar, I saw a pair of small coyotes hanging out in the field north of the Arcadia subdivision.

Continue reading


BATTLE BUDDIES: How Stittsville fundraising is helping veterans with PTSD

(PHOTO: Shawna Church Roy with her second service dog, Loki.)

SHAWNA CHURCH ROY WAS WALKING BACK FROM SOME ERRANDS WHEN SHE SAW IT: flames shooting out the roof of her family’s house.

She dropped her bags and ran up to the driveway. That’s when her biggest fear was confirmed – her kids were still inside, screaming for help. The doors were locked and the windows too hot to touch. As the tower of smoke rose into the air and the screams became louder, Roy realized she was completely powerless to save them. Continue reading


Maybe it was a cougar after all?

(ABOVE: Photo illustration.)

Last week we published a story called “It’s probably not a cougar that you saw in Stittsville” after neighbours on Savage Drive thought they saw a cougar, and snapped some photos of the tracks the animal left behind.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) say they haven’t had a confirmed cougar sighting in Ontario since 1884, but many of our readers are convinced that there are cougars living in the province.

What about the cougar in the Kanata hay loft last year?  Or the one that the MNR caught in Grafton, Ontario a couple years ago?
Continue reading


Here’s what you can do about squirrels or raccoons in your yard

Aggressive Red Squirrel
Red Squirrel / Photo by Jean Labelle via Flickr

What’s the best way to discourage squirrels, raccoons and other small critters from making their home under your deck or in your backyard?

Before you set a trap or call an exterminator, here are a few tips for ways that you can humanely encourage the animals to “move along” from your property. Continue reading


PHOTOS: Grade 6 students from Westwind donate to Big Sky Ranch

Norah Kinny and Jack William present their donation to Andy Parent from Big Sky Ranch. Photos via Marriam Kinny

Grade 6 students at Westwind Public School are doing some great things in their final year at the school.

Students were asked to pick a charity as part of “The Nobody Project” and help raise awareness for the charity in the form of donations, volunteer time or whatever the charity needed. Continue reading


It’s probably not a cougar that you saw in Stittsville

(ABOVE: Neighbours on Savage Drive think this paw print may be from a cougar. Photo via Pat Goyette.)

It’s not impossible, but it’s unlikely there are any cougars wandering around Stittsville, despite recent reports of exactly that. In fact, there hasn’t been a confirmed sighting of a wild cougar in this province for 132 years.

We’ve been reading about a few possible cougar sightings in the area on social media. Late in May, neighbours on Savage Drive (south of Hazeldean) reported spotting what they thought was a cougar coming out of Amberway Park.  They posted these footprints.

Residents on Savage Drive took these photos of footprints after they saw that they thought was a cougar.

Residents on Savage Drive took these photos of footprints after they saw that they thought was a cougar.
Photos via Pat Goyette.


We forwarded the photographed footprints to Kamal Khidas, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Khidas said the photographs were too poor quality to have any certainty, but there was no clear indication the prints came from a cougar. He suggested it may have come from a wolf instead.

A wolf is just one of dozens of animals people could confuse for a cougar, says Jane Devlin, management biologist with the Kemptville office of the Ministry of Natural Resources.

“I think the common animals that are confused and mistakenly identified as a cougar could be a white-tailed deer, dog, domestic cat, a bobcat, even a fisher… it could be any number of those.”

She says the ministry receives reports of cougars all the time, but there’s never solid evidence to confirm one – not since 1884, the last confirmed sighting of a wild cougar.

Devlin didn’t rule out the possibility of an escaped cougar from captivity, for example from a zoo or an exotic pet owner. If there were any around Ottawa, trail cams would likely have taped them.

Whether it’s a cougar or not, Devlin said there are important safety tips to keep in mind in case you are confronted by a wild animal. Face it directly, back away slowly, make lots of noise and try to appear larger than you actually are.

And please, no cougar jokes. We’ve heard them all.


Stitt Park snapping turtle is back!

Thanks to Karla Torres for the heads up about the return of the Stitt Park turtle, spotted by several people yesterday morning. The photo above is from Jean-Michel Bastien, via Facebook.

Could this be the same turtle who buried her eggs in the sand last summer? Torres and her family saw a turtle laying eggs, then helped build an enclosure to protect the nest.  A few weks later the community got involved to protect it after vandals destroyed the structure.  When the turtles hatched in September, neighbours helped move them to safety in nearby Poole Creek.  (Read more, plus cute baby turtle photos here…) Continue reading


Global Pet Foods donates over $1,700 to Lanark Animal Welfare Society

Cathy Taylor, Monique Graziano and Dave Lindstedt
Left to right: Cathy Taylor, store manager Monique Graziano and Dave Lindstedt

Global Pet Foods in Stittsville is supporting homeless pets in the community with a donation to the Lanark Animal Welfare Society (LAWS).

Franchisee Richard Higgs and the staff at his store raised $1,770.29 for  LAWS through the national Show Us Your Heart fundraiser. Being a no-kill shelter LAWS will use the funds to provide shelter and care to each animal until their forever home is found.

Customers at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada donated a total of $1,250,000 in February as part of the national campaign.

(Photo & article via Global Pet Foods)


Student combines a passion for animals and art

“If I’m going to draw, it has to be something I’m passionate about.”

Lions and tigers and bears.  Stittsville artist Rebecca Woodrow loves them all. Drawing is her passion and, about a year ago, a friend suggested she try and sell her art.

Using the name “The Creative Tiger,” Woodward started her own Etsy shop.

Rebecca Woodrow with one of her drawings. Photo by Barry Gray.
Rebecca Woodrow with one of her drawings. Photo by Barry Gray.

Continue reading


Nine stories about nature and animals from 2015

(Above: Karla Torres’ family witnessed nature up close in June when they saw a snapping turtle laying her eggs in the sand at Stitt Street Park.)

One of the greatest things about living in Stittsville is how close we are to nature.  That leads to some unexpected encounters and sometimes even conflict. Here are nine of our favourite stories about nature from the past year. (More “Best of 2015” stories here…) Continue reading


DOG BLOG: Time to include dog parks in community planning

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to our new canine affairs correspondent, Roscoe. He’s an eight-month-old boxer – pictured above – with some strong opinions and a love of peanut butter. He’ll be writing from time to time about pressing dog issues.)


Roscoe the Boxer, our canine affairs columnist
Roscoe the Boxer, our canine affairs columnist

I’m usually a pretty happy guy.  There are only a few things I get mad at. Squirrels. The Crate. And the lack of fenced-in dog parks in Ottawa.

You should have seen my tail wagging on the weekend!  I found out that Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson wants to build a 1.5-acre fenced-in dog park at Insmill Park near Terry Fox Drive.  Finally!
Continue reading


Responsible Dog Owners of Canada plan poop clean-up Oct 10

The Responsible Dog Owners of Canada are planning a fall clean-up along the Trans Canada Trail on Abbott Street, near the “unofficial dog park” on October 10.

The clean-up happens from 9:00am-11:00am. Bags and gloves will be handed out to dog owners. The reward is a much cleaner park and dog cookies will be provided.

For more information visit