As the saying goes… “time flies when you are having fun.”
A little over two years ago I was given the privilege to become the WHS CEO. At that time I tried to listen carefully to our amazing community. I spoke with donors, volunteers, staff and of course the large animal welfare community. I also talked to citizens who feel invested in the work we do, accepting over 8,000 animals each and every year.
It was a steep and rewarding learning curve. By the end of the Summer 2015, we had our first set of strategic goals and the Board of Directors agreed that these goals should be executed over a 3-year period. Believe it or not, we are ending this first 3-year cycle and we need to get ready for the next 3 years.
In order to help us, we are asking you to please complete a short survey by following this link:
Based on the initial feedback you kindly provided, we enacted a series of changes and we are pleased to report progress in all current strategic areas. Some highlights include:
- We are giving each animal a fair chance to find a new, better life. That includes dogs, cats and all other creatures available for adoption. The cost of doing this is very high, but our donors have responded with generosity and care. And we count on their ongoing support to continue to give each animal, no matter their age or type, a chance.
- We have reduced cat euthanasia rates by 25%. Today, 9 out of 10 cats arriving in our shelter will make it to adoptions.
- We have received special grant funds to open a community outreach space in Winnipeg’s core and in less than 3 months, hundreds of cats that otherwise would not be spayed or neutered are now fixed. Our thanks to the City of Winnipeg and The Winnipeg Foundation for their support.
- We are working with over 20 rescues all across Manitoba providing some spay/neuter assistance, visiting remote communities, and providing behaviour assessment and support. We are extremely humbled by their trust and we truly value the partnerships we have established. We hope to keep expanding our partnerships and continue earning their trust every day.
- The WHS Animal Protection Officers and our Humane Officers handle half of all cruelty investigations in Manitoba. And they do so with compassion and professionalism, always putting the animals first.
- Our amazing adoptions and intake teams accepted the challenge of helping more pets than ever with innovative programs to ensure a perfect match between pet and adopter. We now have the Adopt-from-Foster, Trial-to-Adopt, Care-to-Adopt and many other initiatives to make sure pets go to their perfect homes.
- We are now adopting out cats that carry FIV. In the past these cats were either euthanized or transferred to other rescues, putting an additional burden in the community. Not any more.
- The WHS formally adopted a policy to encourage people to reduce their meat consumption and to buy humanely-raised (and if possible, locally-sourced) meat. Factory farms are atrocious places for any animal, and we can all do something to eliminate them without giving up meat entirely.
And these are just a few highlights. We are also working internally to ensure our staff is celebrated and all their hard work and dedication is properly recognized.
Our volunteers are amazing and they have, for example, raised funds to completely re-do our dog yards. And our donors…they make our work possible. We could never thank you enough for your trust and generosity.
The future of the WHS is exciting, and it is in YOUR hands. Please help us shape our role in the community. Once again, the link to the survey is:
You have until Friday, August 25th to send your feedback.
In service and with immense gratitude,
A proud member of the WHS team