On the heels of a federal announcement of $1.8 million for the Ottawa Humane Society’s new state-of-the-art shelter, the provincial government announced yesterday that it was also chipping in.
The shelter here is getting $500,000 as a part of a provincial decision to contribute $5 million to humane societies across Ontario, said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Jim Watson.
Although the formal announcement was yesterday, the province made the decision last year and the shelter has had the money for several months, said Watson.
“This funding will greatly assist us in relocating the humane society to a new, more modern home and we deeply appreciate this funding to support our Breaking Ground campaign,” said OHS executive director Bruce Roney.
“It’s a good investment for a couple of reasons,” Watson said.
“The level of affection the people in this city have for the humane society and for pets is incredible,” he said.
“And, secondly, this is going to create jobs — during a recession, the most important role of a government is to create an environment for businesses and organizations to grow and hire more people.”
Following a walk-through of the shelter, Watson said it was very clear the humane society needed a new facility.
“There was all this yellow caution tape because the facility is crumbling,” he said. “It’s not in the greatest condition for animals, employees or volunteers.”
The adoption areas are also congested, he said.
“This funding will help improve the lives of the animals the humane society cares for,” Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi said.
The new Hunt Club Road facility, which will measure around 40,000 square feet, has a price tag of $12.5 million and will enable the shelter to better care for the 11,000 animals it handles per year.
The current facility measures 15,000 square feet.