(Press release via City of Ottawa)
Starting Friday, January 5, the City of Ottawa will handle calls about sick and injured animals and will take on responsibility for transporting them.
If you see an injured domestic animal, such as a dog or cat, or small wild animal, such as a raccoon, squirrel, rabbit or skunk, please call 3-1-1. The City will assess the situation and dispatch a fully trained by-law officer to transport the animal, if needed. The by-law officer will bring the animal to either the Ottawa Humane Society or an emergency veterinary hospital.
The City has 54 by-law officers who have received training in the care and handling of animals. The City will hire a new wildlife management officer who will lead a specialized team of up to eight officers that will handle animals and deal with the increase in calls.
The Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre, the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and other animal rescue organizations, will continue their good work in caring for sick, injured and orphaned animals.
The City does not respond to calls regarding human-wildlife conflicts, such as raccoons in the garbage or squirrels in attics. These issues are the responsibility of the property owner, who may consult the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre or the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary for information on what to do.
To report animal abuse or neglect, please call the Ontario SPCA at 310-SPCA.
The Ottawa Humane Society previously provided animal rescue services in Ottawa, including picking up injured domestic animals and wildlife, while the City responded overnight.
The City expects to receive approximately 1,300 additional calls per year to transport sick and injured animals.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article included a file photo of a deer. A reader pointed out that since this new program is only for domestic or small wild animals, not larger animals like deer.)