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Okanagan Humane Society: Spay it Forward

A new way to give and help animals

~Rachel Kimola

There is a new way to support animals in the Okanagan and it’s as simple as tapping your debit card. The Okanagan Humane Society has launched the “Spay It Forward - Giving at the Till Campaign” at partner vet offices across the region.

Donations can now be made at the till to directly and immediately support OHS’ spay/neuter and medical assistance programs for local animals that will be seen at that hospital. Some clinics will be also matching donations for a period of time.

OHS partner vets participating in this program include: Burtch Animal Hospital, Spall and Harvey Animal Hospital, Alpine Pet Hospital, Crescent Falls Veterinary Hospital, Central Animal Hospital, Vernon Veterinary Clinic, Armstrong Veterinary Clinic and Shuswap Veterinary Clinic.

OHS President Romany Runnalls says the demand for services from the Pet Assistance Program has seen a significant increase, with requests tripling in the past 6 months”.

“The current economic situation, marked by inflation, has posed challenges for many, leading to a surge in requests for our spay, neuter, and emergency medical services aimed at low-income pet owners,” Runnalls explains.

OHS has extended support across the region from: Shuswap to Osoyoos, achieving a milestone in 2023 by aiding over 2,500 animals. The charity experienced a 10 per cent increase in Rescue Program Cases, a 12 per cent rise in Pet Assistance Program requests, and a 9 per cent growth in adoption services last year. The demand for these programs is expected to grow further in 2024.

Runnalls says the average cost per animal in their care is $300 and the society cared for more than 2500 animals last year alone.

“Spay and Neuter, along with medical services, is a very big part of the work we do and the biggest expense to the society every month,” says Runnalls.

To contribute to the “Spay it Forward” initiative, supporters are encouraged to visit participating veterinary clinics or donate online at the OHS website.

With over 27 years of dedication to the Okanagan area, OHS has provided spay, neuter, and medical treatments to more than 30,000 animals since 1996. Their services encompass a wide range of programs catering to low-income families’ pets, and rescue of lost, stray, abandoned, or feral animals, emergency medical care, pet adoptions, reuniting lost pets with their owners, fixing farm cats, and compassionate care.

OHS adopts a foster home-based model for animal care, housing up to 200 animals across the Okanagan Valley at any given time.

For more information about OHS, including how to construct a cat shelter, visit their website or follow them on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.