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OHS 2016 Raffle Winners

The Okanagan Humane Society is pleased to announce the official winners of our 2016 Raffle:

1st.  $1000.00 Cash                                                                      Kendra Honce, Kelowna

2nd Limited Edition “Chocolate Milk” by Alex Fong                  Dianne  Pilloud, Kelowna

3rd Beautiful Hand Made Quilt                                                    Betty Boender, Vernon

4th Buckerfields $300 Gift Card                                                   Ed Chorney, Kelowna

5th Spay or Neuter                                                                        Sheri Goosen. Armstrong

We would like to send out a BIG furry Thank you to all who donated the lovely prizes, ticket sellers and of course all ticket purchasers. Due to your generosity we


Successfully Raised


THANK YOU for your support


Presidents Message Fall/Winter 2014

Okanagan Humane Society

Dear Members and Friends:

We do have some good news! Recently a meeting was held at the Kelowna SPCA to tackle the cat crisis. Animal groups, veterinarians, SPCA staff are all working together to try and change this unfortunate giant sized problem. The mindset that cats in particular, have no value must change. More humane education and people with pets taking more responsibility by getting their pets spayed or neutered is essential. There is financial help available in the community.

Please check out our fundraiser and the various events being held to help the Okanagan Humane Society continue our spay and neuter program.

Many thanks to all the wonderful volunteers and helpers who make things happen. To veterinarians and their support staff who go out of their way to make this program possible. A HUGE THANK YOU to the businesses and individuals who support us by donations for raffles and silent auctions, we very much appreciate your generosity!

We would like to show appreciation to the following people and businesses:

  • Bosley’s
  • Buckerfields
  • Petsmart
  • Total Pet

for their support in showcasing adoptable pets.

Tri-Lake Animal Hospital for their cupcake day, which raised $92.65.

Central Okanagan Regional District, ICBC, Provincial Employees Community Services Fund, Nature’s Fare, Susan Wort of Fashion Foundations, Return-It-Centre Winfield.

Jan Bigelow and Karen Merwin through “Dollars for Doers” Telus program.
Hazel and helpers at their spring and fall garage sales, and antiques and collectables sale in Vernon, which raised $6891.50.
Taylor, Tyler and River of Oyama raised $55 for the Humane Society with their lemonade, bake and garage sale last spring. Well done!Our society is grateful for everyone’s help and hard work!

Enjoy the festivities of the season,

Christmas Store at the Polson Place Mall in Vernon

It’s that time of year again. The Okanagan Humane Society’s Christmas Store is now open at the Polson Place Mall in Vernon. The store will be open from 10 am to 4 pm from Monday-Saturday until December 24th. We have Christmas decorations, antiques and collectables and of course some yummy baked goods. Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to our volunteers.

Featured Pet: Winter

white catWinter is a beautiful pure white boy who has been in rehabilitation at a foster home for the past year and a half. Because he suffered severe neglect and abuse for the first 3 years of his life, it took some time for him to realize that people can be kind and trust worthy.

He has the sweetest heart and is very courageous. Though he is sometimes scared, his desire to give and receive love pushes him to get as close as he can to you, even if for a short time. He loves nap time on the bed curled up right next to you. He also enjoys taking long naps by himself in a sunny spot with a view. But when awake, he will follow you into every room, find a place to snooze and periodically get your attention for some pets. Eventually, he would like be a lap cat. So far his nerves can handle resting his head and one arm on your lap for a short time and then he needs a break. However, he always comes back to have another go at it after a few minutes! He desires love and affection so much but simply needs to take it one step at a time.

His Siamese genes come out in his vocalizations, playfulness, and loyalty. This guy has quite the vocabulary and is not shy about using it! When he came to his foster home, he did not know how to play and needed his foster brother to teach him. Now one of his favorite things to do is play chase with a string! He loves to have playtime with you but will also play by himself with his favorite toys and have a great time. He is an excellent sprinter as well; not having room to run in his former life, he now takes advantage of the space every night after dinner.

Though he gets along with other cats, and dogs if they are not aggressive, he would absolutely love to have all your attention and be your one and only. He will return your patience and love with head butts, loving gazes with his big blue eyes and cuddles.

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.

Guest Post: Pet Vaccine Recommendations – A Holistic Perspective

The vaccine issue is a hot topic amongst veterinary professionals as well as the general public. Emotions run high in the respective camps. Opinions abound. It is difficult to know what to do in the best interest of our pets. Fear and guilt enter into the equation as we weigh the risks, on the one hand, of not vaccinating and risking life-threatening acute infectious diseases and, on
the other hand, giving the vaccines and risking vaccine-associated reactions and complications. It’s a tough choice…

In making my recommendations, I’d like to start by explaining what a vaccination is. Vaccination may be defined as inoculating an individual with a weakened form of an infectious organism
known to cause disease, with the purpose of generating a protective immune response. In the last one hundred or more years, great inroads have been made in eliminating or virtually eliminating some of the devastating epidemic diseases known to mankind, by means of vaccination. However – and this is where it gets a bit controversial – there may have been a trade off…

You see, I have become of the opinion, through my recent training in homeopathy/holistic veterinary medicine, that when we vaccinate a patient, we may protect against the acute infectious agent, but, in the process, may inadvertently introduce factors that can contribute to chronic disease, including mental, emotional, and immune system abnormalities.

So, when it comes to vaccination, I feel strongly that some vaccinating is probably necessary to avoid some of the devastating viral diseases our pets may be exposed to. However, we can
probably get by with much less than we’re doing. When deciding on a vaccination program for your pet, I urge you to:

  • Speak frankly with your vet about the risk-benefit ratio of any recommended vaccines.
  • Consider titre testing (a blood test to evaluate your pet’s immunity to various diseases) as an alternative to potentially unnecessary booster vaccines.
  • Start a bit later with puppy/kitten vaccines (i.e.: 12 weeks rather than 6 to 8 weeks). The immune system isn’t fully developed until 16 weeks of age and will have a more difficult
  • time properly processing the vaccine the earlier it’s given. However, if waiting longer, you need to make sure your puppy/kitten is not exposed to environments where they
  • will likely be exposed to virus (i.e.: dog parks, public beaches, cat shows, etc).
  • Avoid vaccinating at the time of a stressful event such as surgery.
  • Avoid giving more than one vaccine at a time.
  • Avoid vaccinating an animal that’s not in excellent condition or that’s suffering from concurrent medical or nutritional conditions.

Dr. Lavroff is a local Kelowna veterinarian with more than 25 years of experience. He will soon be starting a house call practice for pets, using only homeopathic treatment without the use of pharmaceuticals.

Charity Golf Tournament a Success

On May 18th, Total Pet hosted a golf tournament charity event at Sunset Ranch to help support the Okanagan Humane Society and 200 participants were eager to participate. The tournament raised $8,000.

We would like to give a big thank you to Total Pet for putting this event together and for making it such a big success!

Featured Pet: Gigi

Gigi is a very rare cat; a female ginger. A vast majority of orange-haired cats, about 90 percent are males.

She as gorgeous yellow eyes and a beautifully striped pattern on her tail. She is a very gentle, loving 1 year old cat and would be perfect for any family that may have other cats.

If you would like to meet Gigi, please email us at to schedule an appointment.

Spring 2012 Presidents Message

Longer days and warmer weather. This is my favorite time of the year. Seeing the buds opening on the trees and lots of flowers and beautiful colours all around us.

This is also the busy time of year for animal charities. Spring is kitten and puppy season. Yes, there are a lot of people looking for pets, but not enough for the large numbers that are on their way. Please encourage your friends, neighbours and relatives to be responsible and have their pets spayed or neutered.

Before bringing home a pet, it’s a good idea to do some research. Check out the cost of good pet food, spay and neuter costs, extra costs for examinations, vaccinations and unexpected surprises. Where money is a little tight, plan ahead. Set up a payment plan with your veterinarian before it’s time to alter your kitten or puppy.

Requests for help continue to rise. As you can see we have a number of fundraisers planned to raise the money we will need. If you can help, please email us at We need help selling raffle tickets. Check the prizes – there is something for everyone. Garage Sales are always a good idea for fundraisers. If you are willing to help us with one of our planned ones or want to organize one on your own, it would be a great help to our Society. We are always open to new ideas for fundraising.

If a pet is ‘dumped’ on you, please try to give it a good home. If it is impossible for you to keep it, please take the time to find it a good and permanent home. Shelters are overflowing. Please keep in mind that we are not a shelter and we have no such facilities. Our volunteers are overburdened. Many dumped animals do not have happy endings. They sometimes starve or are run over on the road or killed by other predators. In a perfect world no animal would want for a loving, permanent home.

Please help us keep our very worthwhile spay/neuter program going, so there will be a ‘forever’ home available for all pets.

Wishing everyone a great Spring and Summer.

Featured pet: Kojak


Meet Kojak, a 3 year old ginger cat that is a fun-loving  and full of affection. We think he was good friends with Mama Blue when we found him in an alley. Since we found him a foster home, he makes friends with anyone!

If you want to meet him, email us at