Ottawa Humane Society
2.9 out of 5 stars.
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Ottawa Humane Society Management reviews

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2.8Work-life balance

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Management will push you to your limits with very little support. Colleagues are great , animals are great, the stress and micro managing, not great!
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hard work, lots to do, rewarding

Depending on your department, there is understaffing issues, which means lots of long hours, lots of overtime. Management can be hard, and expect much. This is not a place for a lazy employee. The coworkers can be fun, and nice. Lots to learn and lots of room to grow. There is great pay and benefits. its faced paced, stressful, hard and rewarding. Watch out for compassion burnout.


free lunches, great pay, benefits, pension


Overtime, Long hours, Hard work, staffing shortages
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Insights into Ottawa Humane Society

Based on 9 survey responses
What people like
  • Sense of belonging
  • Ability to meet personal goals
  • Clear sense of purpose
Areas for improvement
  • Time and location flexibility
  • Energizing work tasks
  • Inclusive work environment

Happy there

Had lots of boring jobs and bad bosses. This place is great. Can be stresful and very busy lots of animals to take care of. Coworkers are fun and althoug there’s always complaining many girls are friends and have fun. Bosses can be demanding and have high hopes for more more more work just do the best you can Pay great compared to same job somewhere else. and somtimes gets free food or gift cards. H-R is easy to approach with concerns. For me it’s worth the stress. Every job is stressful. This company is good and I like it. Good for good employees but also bad employees can get away with anything so your stuck working with LAZY ppl sometimes and they call in sick regularly wich is annoying - there should be rules about that and they should respect the ones that don’t call in sick. Often come in for my job and have to do another spot too because that person is absent.


Snacks, breaks, gift cards, social people


Short staffed. Emotional. Hard work
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You will leave because of management

Over a decade of work there. Multiple different areas. In the end it dawned on me it was like we were in an abusive relationship with management. They dangle high wages and potential full time jobs over your head. They constantly remind you they pay the best and offer benefits. "No one else can offer you this kind of security". When you are broken and crying they tell you it will get better, changes are coming, they will do better but nothing ever changes, over ten years they did not change. Micro managing is their crutch. You can't go blow your nose without signing out. They will take your ideas and use them as your own and put you under a bus without a second glance. You will advance only if you can be someone's favourite, and will be pushed out if you upset one. The growth potential isn't fair as it is based on how you can talk in an interview and not years, experience or work ethic. They do not reward hard workers. They want you to quit within 2 years, high turn around is good for them= they don't have to payout raises, benefits or retirement. Not to mention they are so top heavy it feels like you have a manager for every 5 employees. The experience you get with animal handling and treatments is invaluable but you will not want to make this your home. After my 10 years+ there I am done in this industry and I hold the treatment by management as a huge reason why.


Pay, ground level coworkers


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Does not force employees to follow Covid rules.

I had to complain many times when management was not wearing a mask. Employees would not keep 6 feet distance. Some employees would just come and sit in a cubicle next to you without getting management approval. You had to find disinfectants, gloves, and paper towels on your own. The place was not cleaned regularly.


Free lunches


Management does not support employees, low pay, low morale
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Bureucracy... bullying... and puppies

Managers and supervisors aren't leaders here and there's a manager for every single little thing.. they only care about making money and looking good and being bossy. Customers to them are just numbers on paper and managers and some supervisors use intimidation and fear to keep workers quiet and treat them like enemies. Management blames staff for the weekly turnover but humiliates staff in front of customers.. union unhelpful. Pays good and fur cuddles are nice.. Keep your head down you'll be okay...if not you'll be depressed and burn out very quick.


Animals, nice team, pays good


Managers and supervisors are bullies and there's weekly turnover of staff
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Your job is what you make of it!

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.


Flexible shifts, cross training intedepartments, friendly and caring staff


Can be long hours, seasonally stressful/ high volume of animals
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Horrible managers! Very Toxic Work environment

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.


The animals, coworkers


The managers, no room to move up in the organization, stress
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Excellent pay with a horrible management team

I love working with the animals and I have such awesome co workers, but unfortunately the OHS has a horrible team of managers (with the exception of 1). Very gossipy work environment. I cannot confidently say I even trust my manager when it comes to anything personal. The management team gives massive amounts of work with really unrealistic due dates. The workload is insane so it is hard to focus on any additional projects. The pay is really good considering what vet clinics / pet stores pay their employees. Shifts are long and you are rarely going to leave on time during high peek season (April-early November). Over time is not always approved to you will be "volunteering" hours of your time for the sake of the animals. Compassion fatigue is very much a real thing. If you work here, make sure to actually use the vacation time. Managers can be a bit tough on vacation if you aren't booking off time that is not "convenient" for them.


Working with animals, good pay


Management team, stressful
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Absolutely terrible management but the animals are nice

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 - 


The animals, the pay isn`t bad, coworkers are great


The managers, no room for growth, stressful
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Not what you think

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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Probably one of the most toxic places I have ever worked.

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.


Play with animals


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Love the job. Hate the way it's managed.

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.


Rewarding work


Management is unprofessional
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Emotional place to work. Must be a very strong person all around

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- you learn everyday about new incoming animals and people


un professional and immature not properly trained management
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 – 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.

Field placement for my VT program and Fostering their orphan kittens

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.


Beautiful shelter and great staff to work with.


At times their was not good organization
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By the end I have nothing good to say about this job. The building was beautiful.

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

Based on 28 reviews

Ratings by category

2.8 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.1 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
2.6 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
2.4 out of 5 stars for Management
2.9 out of 5 stars for Culture

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