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‘Spay It Forward’ to save more animals in the Okanagan

Okanagan Humane Society launches new program

Saving more animals in the Okanagan is the goal for 2024.

The Okanagan Humane Society (OHS) has been working hard for the last 27 years to save animals and this year is no different.

With the unique new program, Spay It Forward, OHS is hoping to save more animals than ever before, by ‘Giving at the Till Campaign’ with the charity’s partner veterinary clinics and clients.

The program was launched in recognition of International Spay/Neuter Day on February 27 and Spay/Neuter Awareness Month in February.

According to Romany Runnalls the president and board of directors for OHS, spaying and neutering, along with medical services is a very big part of the work the charity does and the biggest expense to society every month.

“Thousands of community animals suffer every year in so many ways, and truly the answer in many cases is to simply spay and neuter pets to help control the population and to prevent serious medical and behavioural problems related to having unfixed animals,” said Runnalls.

The average cost per animal in OHS care is $300 and the society cared for more than 2,500 animals in 2023. This year the society has already seen its rescue program requests double the need and the pet assistance program requests have tripled.

“Our volunteers have been very busy in these first two months of the year; this inflationary economy has been very difficult for many so the need for our low-income spay, and neuter services has skyrocketed along with medical emergency support,” says Runnalls.

The veterinarian partners, including: Burtch Animal Hospital, Spall and Harvey Animal Hospital, Alpine Pet Hospital, Crescent Falls Veterinary Hospital, Central Animal Hospital, Armstrong Veterinary Clinic and Shuswap Veterinary Clinic. OHS is encouraging other partners to come on board with this new program.

When visiting one of the partner veterinary clinics a donation can be made at the till to directly and immediately support OHS’ spay/neuter and medical assistance programs for local animals that will be seen at that hospital. Some clinics will be also matching donations for a period of time.

In 2023, the charity saw a 10 per cent increase in calls for help through the rescue program, a 12 per cent increase in requests through its pet assistance program and a 9 per cent increase in its adoption program.

To support the Spay it Forward campaign, simply head down to one of their partner veterinarian clinics that are participating or go online today to donate at

Since its inception in 1996, OHS has spayed/neutered and treated more than 30,000 animals.

OHS supports communities from the Shuswap to Osoyoos.

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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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