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President’s Message: Spring 2014

Dear Members and Friends,

Warmer weather at last! Winter seemed longer this time around but compared with other parts of our country we were lucky. It’s kitten season again. There seems to be more older cats roaming around. Two huge male cats have adopted our place and neighbours are also feeding more strays. It seems little has changed.

We are continuing to assist low income, disabled, unemployed and those in need of financial assistance in getting their pets spayed or neutered. It is criminal the number of people who are allowing their pets to produce litter after litter of kittens even though the mother cats are ill. We do need help in stopping this cruel practice.

Please check out our fundraisers and buy a raffle ticket.

We would like to show our appreciation to everyone involved in putting on the following fundraisers:

  • ‘Raise the Woof Comedy Show’ which raised $1,841.45
  • Valley First (Rutland Branch) ‘Jeans Friday’
  • Centre for Arts and Technology (Kelowna)
  • Pawsitive Veterinary Care (Kelowna)
  • Doggytopia Dog Care for ‘Photos with Santa’
  • Shuswap Veterinary Clinic for the Silent Auction at their Christmas party
  • Shirley Ritchie and friends ‘Bridge Tournament’ in Winfield which raised $610.00
  • Hazel and helpers at the ‘Christmas Bazaar’ in Vernon did it again, raising $9,856.00 plus in donations
  • Jan Bigelow and Barbara Butler through ‘Dollars for Doers’ Telus program
  • Jane Pedlow’s pet mice sales
  • Susan Wort of Fashion Foundations
  • Nature’s Fare continues to send us cheques for receipts we turn in
  • Our thanks to Walmart and to numerous people and businesses for their generous support
  • Thank you also to the veterinarians and their support staff who continue to treat us so well. 
Our spay/neuter program depends on generous individuals and businesses. The Okanagan Humane Society would like to send
everyone our thanks for their hard work and great support.

A Happy Spring and a Wonderful Summer to all.

2014 Golf Tournament & Silent Auction

Total Pet will be hosting it’s annual Golf Tournament on June 6, 2014 at Sunset Ranch in Kelowna. Funds raised will go to the Okanagan Humane Society.

With Christmas just around the corner this would be the perfect gift for anyone who loves playing golf for a good cause. You can either sign up individually or as a team of 4.

To sign up, complete this Entry form and email it to us.

Jeans Day Fundraiser

This year the insurance office for Valley First Credit Union in Rutland hosted a weekly jeans day and raised $524 for the Okanagan Humane Society. We are very grateful for their donation and would like to thank the manager, Brett Innis and his staff for their support! During our visit to the office we also brought Duty, a featured pet that is looking for a loving home. He ran around the office and visited everyone. If you would like to adopt Duty, email us!

Holiday Pet Photo Shoot

On Wednesday December 11th get your photo taken with your pet for a very good cause. The Centre For Arts and Technology’s Events and Promotions Management and photography students are hosting a photo shoot to help raise funds for the feral cats, as well as a bake sale from 12-6 pm. There will be baked goodies for both humans and pets!

If you would like to take part in the photo shoot you can book an appointment by email at or call their main office at 250 860 2787.

President’s Message: Fall & Winter 2013

Dear Members and Friends: We are about to enter into another season of fundraisers. These fundraisers are so necessary to keep our spay/neuter program going. Please check them out. There is something for everyone.

This year our raffle grossed $8,630.00. After expenses the Society was left with just over $7,000.00. The 2013 calendars netted $4,524.50.

Our very successful spring Garage Sale at Shops at Polson Park in Vernon raised $7,279.50. Our thanks to Hazel who ran the sale and to all of her helpers. Thank you also to the management of Shops at Polson Park for their donation of venue.

The cat and kitten situation is no better than last year. Many of our members tirelessly try to foster, care for and find good homes for these animals. It still appears to be a never ending task. More and more people are dumping, neglecting and not taking responsibility for their pets. If a stray cat appears on your doorstep please try to either care for it or phone for help. Too often people wait until there is a batch of kittens before tackling the situation.

We would like to thank several people and businesses for their continued support:

  • Leslie Aldridge’s Pet Nail Clipping at Healthy Spot in Vernon.
  • Provincial Employees Community Services
  • Jan Bigelow and Karen Merwin through ‘Dollars for Doers’ Telus program.
  • Susan Wort of Fashion Foundations.
  • We are very thankful that PetSmart, Total Pet and Bosley’s let us showcase cats and kittens and help us find them homes. They are thoughtful in so many ways.
  • Please remember to send us Nature’s Fare receipts. They donate 3% of the total receipts we hand in.
  • Our thanks to the veterinarians and their support staff. Without their help we would have no program. A special ‘thank you’ to Shuswap Veterinary Clinic who went out of their way to help us with a most generous donation.

Businesses and individuals who make a better world are in our hearts and deserve so much more recognition than they receive. Thanks to you all.

May the rest of the year be good to you and enjoy the various activities and festivities coming up in the near future.

Raise the Woof – Fundraising Comedy Show Saturday Nov 23, 2013

Ready for a night filled with laughs? Mark your calendars for this years Raise the Woof comedy show on Saturday, November 23 at the Powerhouse Theatre in Vernon. Tickets are on sale now for $30. You can purchase your tickets by contacting Marti at 250.260.4518 or email


OHS Garage Sale: May 24-26 in Vernon

Next weekend the Okanagan Humane Society will be hosting a garage sale at the Shops at Polson Park in Vernon from 8 am to 4 pm.

We will have household items, yard and garden tools, records, DVD’s, power tools, toys, camping and sports equipment, books, furniture, etc.

We are always looking for some new and gently used items to sell so if you have anything that you want to donate please email us at

See you there!

Guest Post: Animal Welfare

When asked if I’d be willing to write an article for the upcoming newsletter of the Okanagan Humane Society, I thought it would be appropriate to bring up the Canadian Veterinary Medical Associations latest proposed position statement on Animal Welfare. Although the following may not be the final version of their statement, it seems to have been met with approval from veterinarians all over the country during a recent opinion poll by the Association.
“Free Roaming, Abandoned, and Feral Cats” Position:

“The CVMA encourages and supports initiatives to address the problems associated with free-roaming, abandoned and feral cats in order to both improve the welfare of the cats themselves and to address public health risks. The CVMA recognizes that well-managed trap, neuter, and return (TNR) programmes are an important strategy in the management of feral and abandoned free-roaming cats. Managed cat colonies should not be established in ecologically sensitive wildlife areas.”

I have been involved with the Okanagan Humane Society for many years as a veterinarian and practice owner, performing spaying and neutering services for the Society and, more recently, as a veterinary advisory member on their board of directors. Although their mandate is more broad than only dealing with free-roaming, abandoned, and feral cats, a good portion of their resources is dedicated to dealing with this issue. I have been amazed by the gritty determination and perseverance of the volunteers involved.

These are people who deserve a medal. They dedicate large portions of their own financial resources, their time, and even their homes to help stem the tide of the overwhelming numbers of unwanted and abandoned cats and kittens that live in the various colonies scattered throughout the Okanagan Valley. Hours, days, weeks and months are spent trapping such animals (a HUGE task by itself); feeding and caring for them before and after having them spayed and neutered; traveling back and forth to vet hospitals to deliver and pick up these animals; finding willing volunteers; promoting and educating; administration; fund-raising, and the list goes on. All this work is done on a volunteer basis!

Although the SPCA does, of course, do their share of finding homes for unwanted pets, they aren’t able to devote the kind of time that the Okanagan Humane Society has been putting in to dealing with abandoned cat colonies. This is a huge issue as there are many cats suffering under such conditions of malnutrition and disease. Not only that, but when allowed to continue unabated, such colonies have adverse effects on native ecosystems as well as public health, as indicated in the Veterinary Association Position Statement.

So, as an established professional with many years of experience living in the Okanagan and dealing with cats from these situations, I would love to see recognition from local government that the OHS fulfills a role currently NOT filled by the SPCA and thereby highly deserving of financial support! I would be happy to entertain questions on this issue by interested parties.


Michael Lavroff D.V.M.

OHS Presidents Message: Spring 2013

Okanagan Humane Society

Dear Members and Friends,

Spring is a wonderful time of year. It is here again putting smiles on many faces and filling everyone with promise.

We must be positive even if one’s goals are little more than a dream. One of those dreams is a cat bylaw. We will be trying again with the BC SPCA and all animal groups interested in joining together to make this happen. Meetings should start very soon.

After trying for 17 years to help reduce the cat population with only limited success, it is time to change direction. We have no shelter and many of our members have tried fostering cats but the dumping of animals and requests to take more cats cannot go on. The present situation is way over our heads.

We continue to assist people in spaying/neutering their pets. The number of requests for pets to be altered for free has skyrocketed in the last three years. We are also receiving multiple requests from people we have helped before. This is not fair to those low-income families who genuinely need help with altering their pet. Many people accept ‘free’ cats or dogs with no idea of the financial needs of keeping a pet.

We could certainly use more help with our various fundraisers. We would appreciate the addition of young people to our Society. They could greatly contribute to this worthwhile spay/neuter program and help with fundraising and humane education.

Please look into our fundraising events coming up. We always need more raffle ticket sellers! We hope to put on a golf tournament in August.

Here’s our invitation to spring into action and help our animal friends enjoy better lives.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous season.

First Annual OHS Benefit at Riley’s Pub

Riley’s Pub in West Kelowna is hosting their first annual fundraiser for the OHS on February 17th from noon to midnight. There will be live entertainment, a silent auction and 50/50 draw. We hope to see you there!