Ottawa Humane Society Employee Reviews

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5.0
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Your job is what you make of it!
Animal care (Current Employee) –  Ottawa, ON15 April 2019
I’ve been working there for a decade. I love it. Staff is great, including management. I’ve never had a problem going to my boss for help and for any issues. I think people that complain about management are the ones who are too intimidated to actually speak to them. We are all people and we have the same goal at OHS.
Whether you want to work there as a career or “just a job”, you get what you put in. The hard workers who are humble and compassionate really show.
Great place.
Pros
Flexible shifts, cross training intedepartments, friendly and caring staff
Cons
Can be long hours, seasonally stressful/ high volume of animals
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1.0
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Horrible managers! Very Toxic Work environment
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON1 April 2019
Working with the animals is fantastic and very rewarding. Also my coworkers were amazing! The only issue with working here is the management. They are very rude to their employees and will belittle you any chance they get. This results in a very stressful and toxic work environment. Whenever an issue is brought to their attention, it is played down and pushed under the rug. They will do a staff survey to see where they can improve, but when they get negative results they blame it on part-time staff who are jealous of full-time workers. I would strongly advise people against working here if you are looking for a fun and stress free job.
Pros
The animals, coworkers
Cons
The managers, no room to move up in the organization, stress
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5.0
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Pleasure to work at with always something new
Volunteering in Holding Canine Enrichment Program (Current Employee) –  245 W Hunt Club Road Ottawa, ON14 February 2019
Training at the beginning is fair and you are expected to work independently afterwards for majority of your shift but staff is around to assist you if required as well as other co workers on your shift.

Expectation consist of not only walking the dogs but provided and implementing obedience training to the dogs, as well as enjoy some cuddle time! :)
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2.0
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Absolutely terrible management but the animals are nice
Client Service Representative (Current Employee) –  Ottawa, ON1 November 2018
Everybody thinks that working at the Humane Society is basically just receiving puppy/kitten kisses and cuddles. Though we do get to do that (pretty often I must say) there are lots, tons actually, of other aspects to working here. I’m going to breakdown me review into different topics. It’s going to be: Managers/supervisors, staffing, pay, and the overall environment. I’m going to apologize in advance because this is going to be pretty lengthy. Let’s Begin!

Staffing:
The OHS can be a hectic place that is probably busier on certain days than a New York deli. There has been days where the line-ups are equivalent to a ride at Disney. Unfortunately this is due to the OHS creating management positions that really aren’t necessary and taking away the budget for staffing the employees that actually help the animals. If you don’t mind being overwhelmed some days then this is a good place for you! Hey on the positive note, you’ll always have something to do!

Another thing to add to this is if you’re looking for a full-time job, seriously go look somewhere else. Full-time is so rare and hard to get. You’ll most likely be getting 2 or 3 shifts a week.

Managers/Supervisors:
To me, the biggest Con of working here is the management. While some Managers are nice and greet you with a friendly (most times fake, while trying to remember what my name is) hello, other are just simply cold. They offer no support to their staff and will just be condescending from day one. My particular manager would rarely come out to help the team if we were overwhelmed and would just stay in their office
  more... until the end of the work day. Most times, if they did come out, it was to tell us to clean up all while we are juggling 10 clients.

The managers really act like they are much better than you which really makes working at the OHS a not so great experience. Also not to mention that their pay is SIGNIFICANTLY higher than regular staff and supervisors. The managers do not have the animals on their minds unfortunately…it’s about the paycheque.

Another thing that really upset myself and many other employees is when we were all asked to fill out a survey about how we feel about the work we do. During our all staff meeting the Executive Director blamed all the negative feedback from that survey on part-time employees being upset that they aren’t full-time. The issues were not addressed and therefor never resolved. The Executive Director was rarely seen outside of the management area. The only time you would see him walking around the shelter side of the OHS is when he was giving a tour to a person who donated a large sum of money. He also used his power to let his friends and people who’ve donated more than $10,000 skip the whole adoption process and just chose whatever animal they like (including puppies and kittens) while everyone else has to go through a very lengthy adoption process.

One more thing…a lot of the animals that are chosen to go through great lengths to save (ie. Sadie Mae) are chosen by the managers by ones that will give us the most donations and publicity. A lot of animals come into the OHS really injured, but if they don’t have a good story then they are unfortunately humanely euthanized.

In all honesty, the managers alone are enough to make me say that working here isn’t all it’s made out to be.

Pay:
Honestly, the OHS pays their staff pretty well. I personally have zero complaints of the salary here (which is above minimum) but I do know of some veterinary technicians and assistants that weren’t very happy of their salary. I can’t really comment on these though because I am not familiar with the salary scale for those types of jobs. What I can say is that for the position I had, they pay was better than most places. Just don’t go asking for overtime….you’ll be shot down in a second.

Overall environment:
The overall environment is great. The staff (all non-management staff, including supervisors) are really great people. Like most work places there is a bit of drama and gossip but it really isn’t all that bad. It can be an emotional job also. You have to be prepared to see all sorts of things and not let your emotions take over. It can be tough at times but it is also very rewarding.

To sum this all up. The OHS is a nice place to work but it does have some issues that need to be resolved. The managers need to start treating their employees with a bit more respect and also need to start thinking about the animals over themselves. Start looking thinking of reducing the amount of Manager Positions we have and hire more employees who actually help the animals. If you really love animals and are ok with being a part-time employee who gets stepped on by managers then you really may love working here. But as for me, I am going to give it a 2 star rating.
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Pros
The animals, the pay isn`t bad, coworkers are great
Cons
The managers, no room for growth, stressful
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3.0
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Volunteered; Not on Salary
Volunteer Bingo (Former Employee) –  Nepean, ON14 May 2018
I'm afraid that I only volunteered for this company for a short time. But while I was there, my co-volunteers and the environment were both positive and supportive.
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5.0
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Great place to work
Ambulance Driver / Agent (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON31 March 2018
Gained extraordinary experience that I continue to use nearly 20 years later. Great staff and coworkers and overall a wonderful organisation, would totally recommend you apply!
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4.0
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Compassionate environment with good work/life balance
Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Ottawa, ON18 November 2017
A great organization. Able to help animals overcome illness/injury and find new homes. Amazing workplace culture. I enjoy being part of the bigger picture and utilizing my skills/education on a daily basis.
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1.0
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Not what you think
Animal Care Attendant (Former Employee) –  Ottawa, ON24 May 2017
The co workers that you have are fantastic but management is not great. The compassion fatigue is very much present but you can usually count on your co workers to help you through it as they are going through the same things day in and day out.
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1.0
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Probably one of the most toxic places I have ever worked.
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) –  245 West Hunt Club Road24 July 2016
Management doesn't care about employees, bends the union guidelines when its in their favor but ignores them when its not. Pay is awful. Management gets paid 4 million who are about 20 people, while the whole shelter gets paid 2 million... Go figure! Might also want to look at your surveys where almost everyone in the shelter states that management is the issue there. Also would like to note that disregarding part time complaints and assuming that their issues are just, "they are mad because they aren't full-time". Quitting was so clear after that statement.
Pros
Play with animals
Cons
Management.
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2.0
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Love the job. Hate the way it's managed.
Customer Service Representative (Current Employee) –  Ottawa, ON8 April 2016
I love my job at the Ottawa Humane Society and my co-workers, they are very compassionate people. The management however is very unprofessional and does not appreciate the dedicated staff that work there.
There are a handful of full-time positions and even less part-time positions. Most staff are on an occasional status scrambling for shifts with no benefits and no hope of advancement. You are very much made to feel replaceable.
They make it sound like it's one big happy family but it's very dysfunctional. It takes a strong person to witness abuse of animals on a daily basis but it takes a stronger person to tolerate management's abuse.
Pros
Rewarding work
Cons
Management is unprofessional
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5.0
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Shelter Helper
Shelter Assistant (Former Employee) –  Ottawa6 October 2015
At the OHS I worked with VTs and Vets alike. I worked with the sick cats and dogs. I helped clean the adoption center, I helped give medication, I help identify sick animals and gave TLC to many dogs and cats.
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2.0
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Emotional place to work. Must be a very strong person all around
Customer Service representative (Current Employee) –  Ottawa28 September 2015
I believe in the work the shelter provides for animals. My co workers are very strong individual The is no real typical in a day at the shelter as we never know what will come through the doors. Cleaning and maintaining health care is very important and also learning of the breeds and detailed information per situation. The most difficult part of the job is letting someone know that their beloved pet has passed on and to prepare for them to pick up the remains. As for management, it is unfortunate that they do not recognize staff and the compassion it takes to deal with these circumstances and seem to only look out for the income they can generate and not the staff.
Pros
pros- you learn everyday about new incoming animals and people
Cons
un professional and immature not properly trained management
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Comment – 21 July 2016

It's very sad to know their are people who work for the shelter in high positions that don't understand people let alone animals. Management is horrible. They need to be trained on how to coach and support their staff. Staff have difficulty doing their jobs properly if not supported properly. Management is to busy trying to make money and neglects the staff who work so hard.

5.0
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Amazing Co workers
Adoptions Councillor (Current Employee) –  Ottawa22 July 2014
I have never been in a work place where everyone is so nice and make you feel like a family. Its the best feeling when you are going into work everyday that you will see all these smiling faces.
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3.0
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Field placement for my VT program and Fostering their orphan kittens
VT Student (Former Employee) –  Ottawa Ontario14 June 2014
My days with the OHS: do the rounds with the head VT and Veterinarian.

Learn about another type of shelter medicine and participated in varies different surgery: Othro, Cardio., Amputations of limbs, and spay/neuter surgeries. Which I don't see very often at my work at the other shelters.

Some parts of the management was well organized and worked as a team (Administration). But in some of the other sections their was a lot of confusion.

All the staff were very kind to me and I really enjoyed working with them during my field placement.

The hardest part of my job is when losing a patient or seeing animals that were so badly abused in all different ways. It was also hard to say good bye to everybody I worked with when my field placement ended.

The most enjoyable part of my field placement was learning so very much in surgeries that I don't see so often and learning from all the Vets and all the medical information on their surgical specialty. That alone has no price for all all that experience and knowledge that I will bring with me in my profession.
Pros
Beautiful shelter and great staff to work with.
Cons
At times their was not good organization
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3.0
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Ottawa Humane Society
OSPCA AGENT (Current Employee) –  Ottawa, ON29 July 2013
Wonderful co-workers.
Work environment is satisfactory.
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2.0
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By the end I have nothing good to say about this job. The building was beautiful.
Animal Care Attendant/Technician Assistant (Former Employee) –  Ottawa Ontario3 July 2013
Expected to do 12 hours of work in 6. I learned a lot about cat behavior and medical concerns and how to fix them. I never felt I was supported by my management. Coworkers talked about each other behind peoples backs. The pressure of the work load was the hardest, you would have to do things rushed and sloppy to get everything done that was expected of you. I didn't enjoy anything when I left.
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Overall rating

2.9
Based on 18 reviews
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2.9Work/Life Balance
2.9Salary/Benefits
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