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Okanagan Humane Society: November sees large spike in rescued animals

A column by the Okanagan Humane Society
Bandit and Takita were rescued from a farm in the South Okanagan. (OHS)

The Okanagan Humane Society (OHS) is local people helping local animals. Last year, they helped more than 1,400 local animals and have spayed, neutered, and medically assisted more than 25,000 animals since they began 26 years ago.

The charity has seen a steep increase in animals needs in the Okanagan Valley in 2022 and are answering all the requests they can, thanks to support from the community. A network of approximately 130 foster homes from Osoyoos to the Shuswap, and 23 partner veterinary clinics help serve the animals.

OHS has launched their largest fundraising campaign, “Angels for Animals”. OHS invites you to be an Angel today. For the rest of 2022, your donation will be matched by the Berbeewalsh Foundation up to $25,000, so that together, we can save twice the lives of our local animals.

Animals like Bandit and Takita were rescued from a farm in the South Okanagan. Part of a larger family, these little kittens were a mere one pound when rescued and had severely infected eyes. Each had an eye that had ruptured, requiring these siblings to both have surgery to remove the eye.

These strong little kittens have recovered fully and were recently adopted together into a loving home!

“We don’t give up on the animals! We look at every animal on a case-by-case basis to ensure we do what is best for animals and their guardians”, says Romany Runnalls, President, Board of Directors, OHS.

“We have literally been swamped with animals this year. It’s the busiest year OHS has ever seen. With the early cold snap, we have had a huge spike in rescued animals in November with over 156 animals recovering in care currently, including 2 puppies,” says Runnalls. “Animals coming into our care are being referred by the public, businesses, veterinarians and other local shelters and rescues who cannot help. There has been an explosion in the animal population which we believe is partly due to a combination of inflation, staffing and vet shortages at clinics, and Covid-19 lock downs that limited access to vets and increased the costs of spay/neuter.”

The charity does not receive any municipal funding yet works throughout the valley to help control the pet population with two spay/neuter programs. OHS is fully reliant on support from the community.

“We are excited to launch our largest giving campaign and are thrilled to have such a generous donor in the Berbeewalsh Foundation to match all donations up to $25,000, states Marni Adams, Fund Development, OHS. This is a great boost for us, and we can help a lot of animals so we are hoping the community will come together and help us reach our $25,000 target,” mentions Adams.

Donate today and double your impact:

OHS has been serving the Okanagan region for more than 26 years, they have spayed or neutered more than 25,000 animals. Last year they served 1400 animals, and 2022 is tracking for an increase of approximately 18% over last year.

Animal intakes, once approved by OHS, come in through partner vet clinics for treatment then go to foster homes for recovery. They receive animals that are lost, abandoned, or neglected and trying to survive on the streets, to pets of very low-income owners needing vital veterinary support, food, and resources.

This local registered charity relies solely on support from the community. With the influx of animals coming into their care, donations to support the organization are needed to continue this life saving work.

To donate and help support, go to their website at

The Okanagan Humane Society is a registered charity who has been serving local Okanagan animals for more than twenty-six years. Offering an extensive Pet Assistance Program to ensure those with financial barriers can receive critical medical attention for their animals including spay and neuter. Also, a Rescue and Adoption Program that sees animals from the North, Central and South Okanagan, and Shuswap, get rescued then receive all necessary medical attention needed before being placed for adoption to their new, loving home.

To find out more about the life saving work of The Okanagan Humane Society, to donate or to find your next forever, furry friend, visit their website at or follow them on Facebook.

READ MORE: Okanagan Humane Society: Saving lives of local animals

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