Critters & Creatures

Raise funds to receive furry cuddles at your workplace on Blue Monday

The Ottawa Humane Society is kicking off its second annual PAWS 4 Wellness fundraising campaign, hoping to brighten people’s days on what is known as Blue Monday. 

The Society is looking for local businesses that want to take a “paws” in their work day on Blue Monday, January 20, 2020, to have their team receive some furry cuddles with an OHS animal visit. 

“There are many reasons why offices and businesses get involved in PAWS 4 Wellness,” says Lisa Barker, manager of events at the Ottawa Humane Society. 

Barker notes animals serve as great stress-relievers and increase interpersonal bonds among employees.

“We wanted to find a way to bring awareness to the great work our co-workers do to make people’s lives better in Ottawa and to raise funds to help those programs grow,” says Barker. “January can be such a depressing month…why not make it a little more fun.”

Businesses and office spaces in the Ottawa area can get a visit by OHS animals by raising a minimum donation of $1,000. 

On Blue Monday, OHS volunteers and their companion animals will visit the various workplaces to thank them for their generosity and support. 

A number of volunteers and their animals work with the Brightening Lives Animal Visits program, where pet owners can bring their pets to hospitals, retirement residences, and other long-term care facilities to bring joy and happiness to isolated people in the community. 

“While they already have loving homes, their dedication throughout the year brightens the lives of so many, let them bring your workplace some fun this January while supporting their hard work,” says Barker.

 Funds raised during the campaign will provide the necessary care to nearly 10,000 animals that visit the OHS each year. 

Although many Humane Societies and Rescue organizations host various fundraising events for animal care, Barker says that they are the only ones with this idea, and this year is already off to a good start. 

“The campaign kicked off last week, so close to $300 has been raised so far by local offices and businesses right here in Ottawa,” says Barker. “We expect that number to grow as businesses aim to reach their $1,000 goal, to then have a Brightening Lives animal visit their workplace.”

Last year more than $13,000 was raised, and this year organizers are optimistic they will reach their goal of $25,000.

If you are interested in participating with your office or colleagues, register here.


Teams have until January 15, 2020, to raise the minimum amount to receive their PAWS for Wellness animal visits. 


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Paige LeClair

As a recent graduate from the St. Thomas University Journalism program, Paige has a passion for storytelling and investigative journalism. In 2016, she, along with her journalism team were awarded first place at the Emerge Media Awards in the multimedia category. The team was also a finalist at the Canadian Association of Journalist Awards. She is excited to work with other military spouses providing stories and information to the military community. Paige is newly married to Andrew, a Lineman, and moved to their first posting in Petawawa in May of this year. She is excited to begin this journey with Andrew, their dog Diablo, and cat, Linux

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