By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
The month of July will be a celebration of the city’s Animal Services team.
The city has proclaimed July as “Oshawa Animal Services Month” to “celebrate the hard work and dedication of the OAS team in ensuring the safety, health and protection of animals.”
Oshawa Animal Services supervisor Kathy Pittman-Feltham and a number of shelter animals were on hand to receive congratulations from members of council at the lates meeting.
According to a city press release, under the leadership of Pittman-Feltham, Animal Services has introduced a number of new initiatives at the shelter leading to increased adoptions.
This includes the launch of the service’s Facebook group which has gained more than 4,300 followers in less than a year.
They have also partnered with more than 40 rescue organizations across the province, and local pet stores and veterinarians.
Other highlights include the “Raising Money for Tesha,” a campaign and silent auction this past February to raise funds for an abandoned dog who was need inof critical surgery. The organization also launched a new volunteer enrichment program.
In 2018, Oshawa Animal Services adopted more than 450 cats, 100 dogs and 70 other small animals. To date this year, the service has found homes for more than 310 animals and has returned over 70 pets to their owners.
“On behalf of City Council and the Oshawa community, we thank our Animal Services supervisor Kathy Pittman-Feltham for her extraordinary work and dedication,” said Mayor Dan Carter. “We also sincerely thank the committed Animal Services staff team and our dedicated volunteers for their hard work to help animals in need in our city.”
As part of Oshawa Animal Services Month, local residents are asked to consider volunteering with the organization.
The volunteer program offers opportunities for dog walking, feline and small animal enrichment programs, and adoption promotion.
Those unable to donate their time but are interested in giving back can consider making a donation.
The shelter accepts monetary donations, shelter supplies, pet leashes, food and litter, gift cards, enrichment toys and more. Funds received go towards extenuating medical treatments as well as enrichment and programming activities and supplies.
For more information on donating, call Oshawa Animal Services at 905-436-3311 or visit the shelter in-person at 919 Farewell Street. Additional details about how to volunteer and the shelter’s donation wish list are available on the service’s website.
Meanwhile, council has also approved $322,461 in capital enhancements to Oshawa Animal Service’s shelter to improve “functional space, create operation efficiencies and animal flow, improve infection and disease control, and enhance the client experience.”
These enhancements include $85,100 for a proposed cat room, $66,300 for a dog kennel door entrapment, and $64,011 for a new freezer and associated work.
Staff note the projects will begin this year but are likely to be completed in 2020.
The funds for the contribution will be taken from the conditions audit reserve, and equipment reserve.
It is estimated a further $115,000 in capital projects will be required between 2020 and 2022.