Walk into the front doors of the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) and you’ll be serenaded with the sounds of birds chirping, bunnies rustling in their beds, and barking dogs. The relatively new (since 2011) facility located in the south end of Ottawa can house around 600 animals at one time.
All that space is a good thing, because the Humane Society is required to take ANY pet that gets dropped off at their facility. This could include reptiles, snakes or even wild animals who have been injured.
This was one of the fun facts my daughter learned at her ninth birthday party, which we recently celebrated at the OHS. This was my first time “hiring out” for a birthday party, and I wanted to share our experience!
The registration process was very simple, and OHS staff answered all my questions. There are two party packages - the original or deluxe. With the deluxe package you’ll get all the food included (pizza, juice, cake) as well as OHS branded loot bags. We opted for the original, since I usually prefer to make my own food.
We opted for a Friday evening birthday party, from 5 - 7 p.m. Since I figured the kids would be starving, we started the party by eating dinner. The staff member assigned to us was super flexible, and she was happy to hang out while the kids took their time.
After that, the kids gathered in a circle while a bunny was brought into the room. We got a chance to pet the bunny, and the staff member chatted about the history and mandate of the OHS.
After the bunny there was a short craft - the kids got to decorate “bunny boxes” where rabbits and other small animals love to hide and burrow.
We then made our way through the entire facility, and the kids got a “behind the scenes” look at the grooming room (where strays are cared for and cleaned up,) the sick bay (where animals are cared for if they’re sick) and the cat rooms.
There was hands-on interaction with the cats and the bunny, but not with the dogs. It really depends on which animals are available at the centre at the time of the party, and what their behaviour/temperament is like. My daughter’s only complaint was that she wanted to snuggle the cats MORE!
We made our way back to our party room to do cake (actually, rice krispie squares for my daughter) and presents. Given the nice weather, the kids got a chance to run around outside in an enclosed area - was great for burning off steam.
All in all, my daughter gave her birthday party a big thumbs up. She even organized a fundraiser (an online link to set up an account is provided by OHS) and raised almost $125!
The worst part of it? Not getting to take home all those sweet kitties and pups!!!