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President’s Report: Reflecting on the Past

Animal Welfare, Board of Directors, Human-Animal Bond, News

January 25, 2022

Submitted by Dr. Sandra Neumann, Past President, SaskSPCA

Every year when the time comes to write the President’s report for the AGM I am at a bit of a loss. Generally it is a time to reflect on the past year and to look forward to the next.

But what to include? The projects we have started, those that we completed? What about those somewhere in between? Projects you have no idea where they’re going.

So this year I decided to take a somewhat different approach.

Having been involved in the Saskatchewan SPCA for over 20 years now, I decided to look a bit further into the past and a bit further into the future.

Since its inception in 1928 this organization has gone through a few changes. From an educational organization to an enforcement one, then finding its way back to its roots grounded in education. And looking at the world today one has no choice but to realize how vital a comprehensive education and critical thinking are.

But how do we know we actually contribute to changes for the better?

We often do not. Others may see the results of our work more directly. Legislation we worked on may now make it easier for animal protection officers to lay charges in cases of animal cruelty, due to networking we may be helping victims of domestic violence to be able to easier leave an abusive situation and being able to take their pets with them or a social worker may now have a number to call that was not there before. Someone having read one of our articles may now hesitate to do something he would have done in a heartbeat not so long ago.

For almost 100 years the Saskatchewan SPCA has been planting seeds. And plenty of them, countless ones. Most of them never even germinated, some grew into bushes but a few became trees.

All of us are just playing a small part in this organization and some of us will not be around to see what grows from most of the seeds planted during their involvement with it. Some of us may. But we all have hopes and dreams. After all what would life be without them. I for one have a vision that our planned Emergency Animal Care Facility will be a seed that will grow into a huge tree with wide branches touching the branches of other trees rooted in other organizations and so establishing a province-wide animal welfare network connecting every animal in need with a human who can help it.

As always my heartfelt thanks to our staff without whom we could never achieve our goals. Executive Director Frances Wach, Program Director Sandra Anderson, Community Relations Coordinator Josh Hourie, and last but certainly not least, ever present Administrative Assistant Crystal Stubbs.

I would also like to thank each and every one of our volunteers for their time and/or financial contributions. A special shout out goes to Jenny Marriott for the many hours she puts in helping us with our current projects.

My fellow Board members have been a true inspiration to me over the years. I would like to thank them yet again for their willingness to help, share their expertise, sense of humour, their trust, and above all, their ever rarer quality of common sense.

I am looking forward to another exciting year as we move toward an ever more humane Saskatchewan.

Presented by Dr. Neumann at the 2021 SaskSPCA AGM.