The Winnipeg Humane Society http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:23:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 WHS’s grass-fed gala beef sets new farm animal welfare standard http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/whss-grass-fed-gala-beef-sets-new-farm-animal-welfare-standard/ http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/whss-grass-fed-gala-beef-sets-new-farm-animal-welfare-standard/#comments Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:41:57 +0000 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/?p=9624 Continued]]>

For the first time in the 23-year history of the Bow Wow Ball gala, the Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) will serve grass-fed, humanely raised beef. The landmark decision means this year’s event – Phantom of the Pawpera – on Oct. 15, sets a new standard of food sourcing at WHS events.

“People are becoming more aware of how animals used for food are treated and the health benefits associated with humanely farmed meat,” says WHS CEO Javier Schwersensky. “Offering humanely raised beef from a local Manitoba farm is a momentous occasion for the WHS and promotes animal welfare within our province.”

Grass-fed beef lives a stress-free life on a pasture with room to roam and eats strictly a grass diet – the kind of diet cattle were meant to eat. Grass-fed beef contains less fat than grain-fed beef, but more of the healthy fats that promote weight loss and improve heart health.

Chef Eraj of The Fairmont Winnipeg, the venue of the Bow Wow Ball, will prepare the Edie Creek Angus Beef Bourguignon. Vegetarians will have the option of a truffle mushroom and root vegetable cannelloni.

The WHS was founded in 1894 with the mandate of protecting the welfare of all animals, including those raised on farms. In 2003, the WHS introduced its Quit Stalling campaign, which has helped reduce the number of sow stalls on farms in Manitoba. The WHS is also in discussion with Manitoba egg producers to accelerate the elimination of battery cages used in farms.

Tickets for the Bow Wow Ball can be purchased here until Oct. 2 and supports over 8,500 animals that will arrive at the WHS this year.

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What I Don’t Know and What I Do… http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/what-i-dont-know-and-what-i-do/ http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/what-i-dont-know-and-what-i-do/#comments Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:23:30 +0000 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/?p=9601 Continued]]> By Jim Harvey

Volunteer Jim Harvey doesn't know of the some of the abuse, neglect, and mistreatment some dogs faced before arriving at the WHS. What he does know is that when dogs leave the WHS, just like Austin pictured above, they leave with a bright new future.

Volunteer Jim Harvey doesn’t want to know why a dog arrives at the WHS as the stories are sometimes too painful to hear. What he does know is that when dogs leave the WHS, just like Austin pictured above, they leave with a bright new future. PHOTO BY: Jim Harvey.

My volunteer position at the Winnipeg Humane Society is ‘Dog Kennel Buddy’ which I’ve been doing for about three years now. The position involves working with the dogs that are housed in the back area of the shelter and taking them out into the yards for some exercise, nature calls, and some human contact.

Dogs who come into the shelter find themselves there for all sorts of reasons. Some dogs are found as strays. Others are surrendered because the owners cannot care for the dog. And, of course, some dogs come in after being injured, neglected, or abused.

Whatever the reason that brings a dog into the shelter, I just don’t want to know.

I always assume that when a dog is surrendered to the WHS, it is because something drastically changed for the owner who had to make an agonizing decision with no other choices. Any deviation from that story, I just don’t want to know.

Dogs that are brought in as strays? I don’t want to know what created the circumstances for the dog to become a stray in the first place.

Dogs that come in injured, neglected or abused. Not only do I not want to know what happened or how it happened, I don’t even want to imagine.

Not knowing the reasons of why a dog comes into the shelter is in part a defense mechanism. I know I would find it too upsetting knowing the real reasons and carry that with me for some time. I would rather come into the WHS and keep a positive attitude when I am working with the dogs.

In addition, the past is not going to change. We can only change what is going to happen in the future.

We would all prefer that a dog does not have to come into the WHS, but if a dog does come into the care of the WHS, here is what I do know.

I know that a dog that comes into the WHS is given food, shelter, and a warm place to lay down.

I know that if medical care is required, there are veterinary staff who will take care in its treatment and recovery.

I know that there is a behaviour team that will assess and if necessary work with a dog to give them a better chance at adoption and integration into their forever home.

I know that a dog will receive care, stimulation, and companionship from many volunteers who give their time and energy.

I know that the dog benefits greatly from people who generously give money to help in the dog’s care.

And most importantly, I know that one day, the ultimate goal for the dog will be realized when it moves into its forever home. That happy day will be due to the countless people who have helped the dog, starting the very first minute it came into the WHS to the moment it walks out the door on its way for a bright new future.

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September 2016 MVP: Cindy Pischke http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/september-2016-mvp-cindy-pischke/ http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/september-2016-mvp-cindy-pischke/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2016 20:11:30 +0000 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/?p=9566 Continued]]> A group of volunteers founded the Winnipeg Humane Society in 1894 and are vital to our success today! With the help of volunteers, we can provide care, love and attention to our four (and sometimes two) legged friends until they find their forever homes. The MVP (Monthly Volunteer Profile) will recognize the work and get to know these special MVP’s in a spotlight each month that includes an article and photo shoot. MVPs will receive a framed photo and gift card as our thanks!

Is there a volunteer you’d like to nominate to be MVP? E-mail us (volunteer@winnipeghumanesociety.ca) and tell us why you think they should be an MVP!

MVP is a volunteer-driven project with articles by Brian Kozak and pictures by Jim Harvey.

Check out our previous MVP’s.


September 2016 MVP: Cindy Pischke

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There are many reasons why someone would choose to volunteer their time to a given cause, but a life-Cindy-Pischke-1blog1long love of animals sealed the deal for Winnipeg Humane Society volunteer Cindy Pischke.

“I’ve had dogs all my life – usually two at a time – and my last one was 16 and it took me a year to get over that,” she explained.  “I love all animals but I’m a bit more attracted to dogs because of the unique bond that they have with people.”

Cindy started volunteering as a dog walker and customer service representative in mid-2011. She also tried other areas but found that she really enjoyed being hands-on with the dogs. So now she is a ‘yellow’ dog walker, which is the highest designation for volunteer dog walkers at the WHS. Cindy has the ability and experience to deal with dogs that do not handle being on a leash as well or exhibit inappropriate behaviours that need correcting.

In addition, she’s also a behaviour assistant. “The behaviour department has been really good,” she said. “They recruited me  two years ago and I have been working with them ever since. ”

Between the two roles, Cindy can be at the Humane Society up to four times a week. “I was going through a transition after I retired, so I spent a lot of time here,” she said. It’s a pace she’s maintained – in five-plus years she has put in over 1600 hours of volunteer time.

“I’m not one to sit still,” she laughed. “If I’m done everything I need to do at home I check the Volgistics (volunteer log-in) system and if there’s openings or I see a lot of cancellations I come in. I also find it easier to work with dogs if I have developed a good relationship – and that means coming in more often”.

Cindy also takes her work home with her, in a manner of speaking. She enjoys taking certain dogs on day  trips. “I don’t have any pets living at home because right now the timing is not right for our family due to travel,” she explained. “So I take designated dogs out of the shelter and it’s so rewarding to give them a break and to be able to work and play with them in the back yard and in the house to see what their behaviour is like outside of WHS. I report their behaviours back and the information all goes into their file, which helps give potential adopters more information.”

In one case, she added, she  provided relief  for a couple of weeks to a dog that had been at the shelter for more than 300 days  before the dog was eventually placed in a foster home.

“Not all volunteers can do that because they have pets at home. Luckily, I am in a position where these are my dogs for now and I love them all,” she said. “They’re all special in their own way.”

There’s a special fondness for those dogs that have been at the shelter the longest. “I spend most of my time with the long-Cindy Pischke-5blog2termers,” she said. “There’s about eight of them and I tend to keep my eye on those guys.

“With the long-term dogs especially, I’ll connect with the Behaviour Department on what they might need on any given day. I will sometimes take the dogs into the Joyce Gauthier Behaviour Centre and we’ll play ball or “find-it” or have them do puzzles and other games that stimulate their brains.”

There’s also a competitive fire burning in Cindy that fuels her commitment to the WHS. Volleyball is the reason for this competitiveness: Cindy was a volleyball player, both she and her husband Garth won three national university volleyball titles as players and he  is the long-time coach of the University of Manitoba Bisons volleyball team and two-time Olympian. Their son Dane played for the Bisons for five years and was a Team Canada athlete and their daughter Taylor, also holds a university title and is currently a member of Team Canada’s national beach volleyball team.

“Our family is very competitive,” Cindy laughed. “Sometimes everything becomes a competition, so it became a competition for me, telling myself ‘I can do this,’ so then I tried it and it was great. I learned a lot. I took some courses and the behaviour staff (she praised Catherine, Andrew, Lisa (now working in the development department), Sara, and Stephanie) trained me in a lot of areas. There’s always stuff you can learn and eventually I progressed to Yellow status and Behaviour Assistant.”

Her hard work and dedication has earned her the admiration of her peers. “I’ve always found Cindy to be friendly and cheery and more than willing to help out a new volunteer at the Humane Society,” said dog walker Glen Dawkins. “She’s very deserving of this MVP honour.”

She credits the people around her for making it so enjoyable. “The staff and volunteers here are awesome,” she said. “The animal care workers, adoptions staff, behaviour staff, clinic staff, and admin – they’re all just great! There’s a really good community of people here with all the volunteers. I love it. I’m going to keep doing this.

“I believe in community service,” she concluded. “I wish everybody could do something somewhere. Could you imagine if everybody could volunteer two hours a week somewhere? It’s not much time and there are so many places that could use a hand.”

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Guest Blog: Support Bill C-246 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/guest-blog-support-bill-c-246/ http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/guest-blog-support-bill-c-246/#comments Fri, 09 Sep 2016 20:57:08 +0000 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/?p=9537 Continued]]> The following blog is written by Debbie Wall. Wall is from Winnipeg and supports Bill C-246, a Private Member’s Bill currently in the House of Commons, which aims to modernize animal protection laws in Canada.

It makes my blood boil when I hear of stories like Asha’s, the poor northern Manitoba pup whose abuser posted a video of his cruelty towards her online.  But I don’t hold my breath thinking that he or other perpetrators will receive any type of meaningful punishment.  Canada has the shameful distinction of having some of the weakest animal protection laws in the world. The animal cruelty sections of the Criminal Code, first enacted in 1892 to address the protection of livestock, fall under offenses against property. They have not been meaningfully updated since 1954, thus falling behind in the dust of our society’s evolving attitudes towards animals.  They are riddled with loopholes, making it impossible for prosecutors to make successful convictions, even in extreme cases of animal cruelty.

Private Member’s Bill C-246, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act, was introduced into Parliament this spring by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith with the intent of bringing our laws into the 21st Century.  It will move animal cruelty crimes to a new section of the Criminal Code called “Offenses against Animals.”  While they would still be considered property, it would recognize that animals deserve more protection than, say, a chair.

The bill would make it easier to convict in cases of extreme neglect, make it illegal to profit from animal fighting and close loopholes, including those related to bestiality and the killing of stray animals.  It would also strengthen sentences for repeat abusers with a mandatory lifetime ban on animal ownership for any person convicted of animal cruelty for a second time.  Also included are the banning of shark finning and the import of dog and cat fur into Canada as well as requiring that all fur products be labelled with the species of origin.  What it will NOT do, as has been falsely claimed by fear mongers, is affect animal agriculture, animal research, hunting, fishing or existing aboriginal and treaty rights

In a June 2015 survey conducted by Environics Research Group, 92% of Canadians agreed that the Criminal Code should be updated to make it easier to convict people who commit acts of cruelty to animals.  It is now time for those Canadians to make their voices heard, loud and clear, when it matters the most.  The fate of Bill C-246 is to decided  the third week of September.  Please contact your MP and tell them that you want them to support the Modernizing Animal Protections Act.  Asha, and others like her, have waited long enough for justice.

For more information on Bill C-246, click here.

Print and sign this letter in support of Bill C-246 and send it to Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.

-Debbie Wall

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Manage your dog’s anxiety during storms http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/manage-your-dogs-anxiety-during-storms/ http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/manage-your-dogs-anxiety-during-storms/#comments Fri, 02 Sep 2016 18:41:38 +0000 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/?p=9481 Continued]]> A thunderstorm can mean many things to people. For some, it’s a ruined day that could have been spent outside, while others find the flashes of lightning and cracks of thunder to be mystifying and calming. But for dogs, thunder and lightning can have an opposite effect. When the clouds roll through the skies and thunder echoes in the streets, our dogs can become frightened. To a dog, this ‘unnatural’ phenomenon can make it feel like the world is crashing down.

Thunderstorms can create anxiety in a dog and you may find them in hiding, trembling and – in severe cases – even cause a dog to damage the house by clawing at dry wall and furniture. But with some understanding, work and patience you can help your dog manage anxiety during thunderstorms and other loud unexpected noises such as fireworks.

Puppy blocking its ears and looking up

Unexpected loud noises, such as thunderstorms and fireworks can terrify your dog. But with some patience and work you can help your pet manage.

Have a safe space

Just like how a child might have a security blanket, a dog will benefit from having a safe space where they know nothing can go wrong. The safe space can be in the basement, in a crate, or anywhere else in your household. Rewarding your dog with a treat or a bone will reinforce the idea that their safe space is a place where good things happen. Stay with your pup during the storm, comfort them with some petting and talk to them in a soothing voice. Your dog will appreciate knowing that you will be by their side during the thunderstorm.

But it’s important to make sure your dog doesn’t only associate this location with thunderstorms. If you only bring the dog to the safe spot when thunderstorms are occurring, your pet will associate the area with the storms; so even when the skies are clear, take some time to hang out with your dog in its safe space.

Sporting snug garments and anxiety collars

Most people feel comfort with a nice big hug. Sometimes that’s exactly what your dog needs during a thunderstorm. Consider purchasing an anxiety vest for your dog to wear when thunderstorms are approaching. There are a variety of makes and brands, but they all serve the same purpose. Anxiety vests fit snuggly around the dog and create pressure on the body. This pressure calms a dog during tense situations.

Dogs can also wear an anxiety collar to help minimize anxious tendencies. These collars release pheromones which can calm a dog down.

Medication is an option

The use of medication is a form of additional help, but should always be discussed with your veterinarian. Medication options vary from herbal drops in water to pharmaceuticals and help your dog through stressful situations. It’s important to remember that giving your dog medication to deal with anxiety does not mean you have failed them. It only means you are doing everything you can to help your beloved friend deal with its challenges.

Patience!

It’s important to be patient and understanding when your dog deals with anxiety. Your dog’s reaction to a thunderstorm is beyond its control and you might need to experiment with the above strategies to find what method best suits your pup. During that time, it’s important to stay positive and not show any signs of frustration to your dog. If you continue to be positive and reinforce your dog, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding. The WHS is always here for you through the process too. Call our Yelp Line for behaviour advice at 204-988-8808.


Is your dog anxious during thunderstorms? Call our Behaviour Yelp Line for advice at 204-988-8808 and visit http://fearfuldogs.com/. Books such as The Cautious Canine by Patricia McConnell and Help for Your Fearful Dog by Nicole Wilde act a good guide for curbing fearful behaviour in your dog.

Learn more about dog anxiety in this month’s CTV Pet Ed segment.

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Extending and Inspiring Compassion http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/extending-and-inspiring-compassion/ http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/extending-and-inspiring-compassion/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:43:31 +0000 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/?p=9432 Continued]]> ChapenWHSOnlineThe Winnipeg Humane Society’s Farm Animal Compassion committee presents Nikki Chapen’s free public lecture: Inspiring Compassion, Putting our Ethics on the Table. The lecture will take place in the WHS Classroom on Thursday, September 1 at 7 p.m.

Chapen’s talk will focus on understanding the animals we often think of as food and extend our circle of compassion to include them.  She also addresses factory farming practices and provides information and tips on making more compassionate food choices.

Chapen and her partner Trevor are Winnipeg’s Volunteer Outreach Coordinators for Mercy For Animals. Chapen is an animal rights activist who has devoted her life to speaking out for animals in the food, fashion and entertainment industries.

 

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August 2016 MVP: Kathy Shurvell http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/august-2016-mvp-kathy-shurvell/ http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/august-2016-mvp-kathy-shurvell/#comments Wed, 17 Aug 2016 21:19:52 +0000 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/?p=9384 Continued]]> A group of volunteers founded the Winnipeg Humane Society in 1894 and are vital to our success today! With the help of volunteers, we can provide care, love and attention to our four (and sometimes two) legged friends until they find their forever homes. The MVP (Monthly Volunteer Profile) will recognize the work and get to know these special MVP’s in a spotlight each month that includes an article and photo shoot. MVPs will receive a framed photo and gift card as our thanks!

Is there a volunteer you’d like to nominate to be MVP? E-mail us (volunteer@winnipeghumanesociety.ca) and tell us why you think they should be an MVP!

MVP is a volunteer-driven project with articles by Brian Kozak and pictures by Jim Harvey.

Check out our previous MVP’s.


August 2016 MVP: Kathy Shurvell

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If you’re at the Winnipeg Humane Society while Kathy Shurvell is volunteering as a cat cuddler, look for the cats most in need of affection or socialization. Chances are that’s where you’ll find Kathy.

“I tend to spend a lot of time in Room A because those cats seem to have been there a long time (but recently some of them have been adopted),” Kathy said. “I especially like to spend time with those cats.”

As of this month, Kathy has been a WHS volunteer, alongside her sister Karen Hill who started a few blog2months earlier.  “My sister and I have always loved cats,” she explained. “When Karen retired she said let’s do some volunteer work and for some reason we both thought of this place and we just absolutely love it.”

Before volunteering at the WHS Kathy ran a home day care for 20 years. She sees the similarities between caring for little ones and cats. “Like little kids, cats cannot communicate with words,” she said. “You have to read their body language, behavior and expressions and behave in reaction to that.

“They have human qualities,” she noted. “I see them by themselves looking up at you, saying ‘don’t leave me.’ You feel bad going home. You think about it all week and then you look forward to coming back and sometimes they are adopted and you’re so happy and excited for them.”

Volunteering at the WHS is another step in Kathy’s life-long love for cats. “Karen and I both have a passion for cats,” she pointed out. “We had cats while we were growing up and I’ve always had a cat while my children were growing up.

“They’re a bit less demanding than dogs. When you’re working, it’s difficult looking after a dog. Cats are more independent. If you leave for a while, they are perfectly fine. Some dogs are more active and need your attention more.”

Kathy is always eager to take up the challenge of socializing those cats that are shy or frightened. “There’s one cat now that just doesn’t want to come out of the back of her condo,” she said. “You just go very slow and you hope that next week they’re a little bit less shy and if not, you go in and try to gradually socialize them.”

Blog1Kathy remembers one cat, Mary, who “must have had a bad experience before she came here.” Mary would not leave the back of her cage but Kathy was persistent, coming back a few times a week. Other volunteers noticed Mary’s fright and also helped. Eventually Mary was coaxed out, learned to trust people and was adopted.

“Some of the cats allow you to bring them out of the shells and you feel so wonderful when you can do that,” she said.

Her determination and passion for cats has not gone unnoticed by staff and volunteers alike. “Kathy’s sensitivity, compassion, love and empathy for our cats is unsurpassed,” said fellow volunteer Janet Stanko. “She gives her time, energy and an almost magical creativity to the animals helping to transform them into an adoptable pet for some happy individual or family!”

Kathy recently adopted a new cat, Andy, after her previous one passed away in March after 17 years with Kathy and her husband. She showed the same determination in selecting a cat as she does in socializing the cats – she took her time until she found the one that was right for the family. “I didn’t want to rush into anything,” she explained. “I had to make sure I found one that doesn’t have bad habits. When I saw Andy and I took him out of his cage he fell asleep on my lap and I just thought ‘This is the one.’”

Besides Andy, what else does the future hold in store for Kathy? She does crafts and is now working on some mixed media pictures that she’d like to sell in order to make money for the Winnipeg Humane Society. It’s clearly a cause near and dear to her heart.

“Staff here is so wonderful. They give you so much support; they give the cats so much support. It’s a good place to be for the cats, the volunteers, everyone. It’s great to see people so passionate about what they do.”

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Winnipeg Humane Society joins pledge to save 1 million cats http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/winnipeg-humane-society-joins-pledge-to-save-1-million-cats/ http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/winnipeg-humane-society-joins-pledge-to-save-1-million-cats/#comments Tue, 02 Aug 2016 14:19:09 +0000 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/?p=9264 Continued]]> OnixThe Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) and shelters across North America aim to save the lives of one million cats by 2019 with the Million Cat Challenge. Reduced adoption fees, changes to intake procedures and adjustments to shelter operations will help the WHS increase cat adoptions and manage the number of incoming cats.

“Our animal welfare community wants to save more cats and as a grassroots organization it is our duty to meet those expectations,” says WHS CEO Javier Schwersensky. “We must work together and use proactive approaches in order to give every cat a fair chance.”

In July the WHS introduced a month-long cat adoption promotion that helped 287 felines (155 cats, 132 kittens) find homes from July 1-27. The WHS will continue offering cats and kittens for a reduced adoption fee until August 31.

August 2016 cat adoption fees:

  • Cats (six months and older) range from free to $20
  • Kittens are $100 or $179 for two

The WHS has introduced the Care to Adopt program in an effort to reduce the number of incoming cats. Individuals who find a cat now have the option to care for it over a two-week period. If no owner has been found after the timeframe, the finder has the option to adopt. Care to Adopt relieves the workload of the WHS, saves resources for cats that need them most and quickly finds the cat a home.

On Aug. 8 cats in the shelter will be provided double-cages. More space for the cats lead to healthier felines, reduced stress levels, and more adoptions.

The Million Cat Challenge is a shelter-based campaign with a focus on five key initiatives that will reduce euthanasia and increase live outcomes. The five initiatives are: Alternatives to intake, removing barriers to adoption, managed admission, return to field, and capacity for care.

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July 2016 MVP: Karen Vincett http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/july-2016-mvp-karen-vincett/ http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/july-2016-mvp-karen-vincett/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2016 16:52:25 +0000 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/?p=9218 Continued]]> A group of volunteers founded the Winnipeg Humane Society in 1894 and are vital to our success today! With the help of volunteers, we can provide care, love and attention to our four (and sometimes two) legged friends until they find their forever homes. The MVP (Monthly Volunteer Profile) will recognize the work and get to know these special MVP’s in a spotlight each month that includes an article and photo shoot. MVPs will receive a framed photo and gift card as our thanks!

Is there a volunteer you’d like to nominate to be MVP? E-mail us (volunteer@winnipeghumanesociety.ca) and tell us why you think they should be an MVP!

MVP is a volunteer-driven project with articles by Brian Kozak and pictures by Jim Harvey.


 

July 2016 MVP: Karen Vincett

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Karen Vincett never had a pet growing up in North Kildonan, so when she began volunteering with the Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) in July 2015 she had no pre-conceived ideas about what area would be best suited for her.

She chose rabbit wrangling and has never looked back.

“I have always wanted a pet and never had one as a kid,” she laughed. “My parents said ‘no’ because they felt that they would be the ones taking care of it instead of me or my brothers.

“My family suggested I try volunteering here to give me a chance to work with the animals, and it went from there.”

Describing herself as ‘not much of a cat person,’ Karen decided she would work with the rabbits and guinea pigs after hearing that dog walking positions fill up quickly during her orientation. It was a decision she has enjoyed.

“Rabbits are not necessarily affectionate like cats or dogs,” she said. ”So maybe they’re notKaren-Vincett-3 as popular for pets but the longer that they are here the more you do get to know their personalities. It’s kind of tough sometimes seeing ones who are here week after week but you develop a relationship with them.”

Karen’s volunteer work with the WHS was recently recognized by her employer, Great-West Life. The insurance company encourages employees to become involved in their community by offering grants to eligible charities. The WHS recently received a $1000 award from Great-West Life after reading Karen’s application.

Like most WHS volunteers, Karen enjoys interacting with the animals and with people visiting the area. “I like helping our visitors determine which rabbit would be the best pet for them,” she said.

Karen’s enthusiasm and caring is not lost on staff and her fellow volunteers.

“I would like to nominate the ‘Bunny Girl,’ Karen for MVP,” volunteer Liane Murphy’s said in her nomination of Karen. Liane, who normally spends time with the cats, started visiting with the bunnies and Karen in the critter area. “We talked about the rabbits and the people who come looking for pets.  She is always friendly and welcoming.”

Liane added that Karen has volunteered over 120 hours in her first year, mostly with the rabbits but also assisting with the WHS Bow Wow Ball.

The rabbits are usually pretty easy to take care of, but sometimes they can “get a bit jumpy,” Karen said. “Last year on the pictures with Santa day there were a lot of people walking around with their dogs that had been brought in with photos. The rabbits get used to a certain level of noise and with more dogs in that day the barking made them a bit nervous.”

Has Karen ever thought about taking her volunteer work home with her, i.e. adopting a rabbit?

“Yes I have thought about it but right now my place is not pet-friendly,” she noted. “I wouldn’t mind one in the future. They’re fairly independent compared to cats or dogs. They’re pretty quiet mostly. They just want to be fed and to get a bit of exercise.“

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Foster Today! http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/foster-today/ http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/foster-today/#comments Fri, 08 Jul 2016 21:09:28 +0000 http://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/?p=9180 Continued]]> URIFoster-page-001Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to have a cat in your life, but not sure if you’re ready to make the full commitment? Perhaps you don’t have a lifestyle that allows you to constantly care for a cat, but you still have times when you could support and love a cat. Or maybe you’re just the type of person who loves animals and wants to help in any way possible.

We’re seeking foster homes for cats and kittens that are recovering from URI (upper respiratory infection). URI is similar to a person having a cold, so rest and relaxation go a long way in helping with recovery! When you give a cat a temporary home, you are helping them find a forever home.

Fostering is generally a three-week commitment and we provide all of the supplies and vet care for you! All we ask is that you have your own transportation to pick-up and return your foster cat, give them a quiet space to unwind, and show them some love!

Does this sound like a good opportunity to you? E-mail us (foster@winnipeghumanesociety.ca) or give us a call at 204-982-2049.

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