Team Members

HUMANE CANADA TEAM

Barbara Cartwright, CEO

Toolika Rastogi, Senior Manager, Policy and Research

Tara Hellewell, Director, Donor Relations & National Engagement

Kathy Duncan, Director, National Programs

Mallory Lloyd, Events Manager

Jasmine Ferreira, Manager, ACT Program

Shelby Pearson, Manager, Finance & Operations

Colleen Ovenden, Manager, National Pet Food Bank

Colleen Ovenden, Manager, National Pet Food Bank

Kristina Koehn Merchant, Manager, Marketing and Communications

Melissa Devlin, Manager, Annual Donor Relations & Engagement

Shannon Ingram, Events Coordinator

Garett Grittner, Coordinator, Policy & Research

Kerri Thomson, Coordinator, Criminal Justice System Reform Program

Sue O’Neill, Coordinator, ACT Program

Justine Stephan, Executive Assistant & Human Resources Administrator

Keira Mann, Coordinator, Marketing and Communications

Valerie Moncton, Coordinator, Research

Claire Dulude, Coordinator, National Pet Food Bank

Andrea Ondrade, MSW Practicum Student – ACT Program

Natalia Hanson, Marketing and Communications Consultant (on contract)

Barbara Cartwright, CEO

As the CEO of Humane Canada, the federation of humane societies and SPCAs, Barbara convenes and represents the largest animal welfare community in Canada, working to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals.

Barbara is sought after for her knowledge of policy and public affairs, securing amendments to the Criminal Code, Fisheries Act, Migratory Bird Act and Canadian Environmental Protection Act. In 2019, she secured a ban on cetacean captivity, as well as strengthen animal fighting offences, closed loop holes in the bestiality offences and ensured abusers convicted of animal sexual assault are listed on the Sex Offender Registry. Barbara has advised some of the top organizations in the world on animal welfare policy direction, including working with online giant eBay Inc. to end the illegal ivory trade on its site worldwide.

In her current role, Barbara launched the National Animal Welfare Conference, National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty, National Violence Link Coalition and conference, as well as spearheaded the first animal shelter Accreditation program in Canada.

Barbara holds a Master’s in Environmental Education and Communication, is a published author and lecturer, and received the Governor General’s Gold Medal. Formerly, President of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, she currently sits on the Board of PetSmart Charities of Canada and the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center in Congo. Barbara has been recognized as one of 5 “WOW Women” in Canada, is a member of Women’s Executive Network, International Women’s Forum and the Council of Women Executives.

Toolika Rastogi, Senior Manager, Policy and Research

Toolika has been with Humane Canada since 2013 and leads its research program, including the work on indicators of a humane Canada, and the national animal shelter statistics collection. Toolika represents Humane Canada at the Animal Welfare Committee of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, as the animal welfare representative on the Executive Committee of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), and as the sole animal welfare member organization at the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC).

Prior to joining Humane Canada, she worked in the areas of biodiversity conservation and environmental safety, both internationally with the OECD, and in Canada with Environment Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Her policy work in these areas allowed her to contribute to the development of international environmental agreements and drafting of federal legislation for environmental protection.

Toolika holds a PhD in Molecular and Medical Genetics, a postdoctoral certificate in Conservation Genetics and a Master’s in Ecological Economics and Sustainable Development Policy. She has published her primary research in peer-reviewed journals, and has authored Humane Canada’s publications.

Toolika is dedicated to cultivating compassion and supports community programs in addition to her own personal development in this area.

Tara Hellewell, Director, Donor Relations & National Engagement

Tara has been a strong advocate for the welfare of animals for many years through her role as Executive Director of Central Alberta Humane Society for ten years and former Humane Canada Board Director from 2015-2020. Her long career in the charitable sector specializing in fund development, marketing, and management has spanned over 20 years, actively furthering the missions of the central Alberta charitable sector in domestic violence, seniors long term care, and animal welfare.

During that time, Tara received recognition for her dedication as a Red Deer Women of Excellence and through a Humane Canada Animal Welfare Leadership Award in 2020. Tara now supports the work of Humane Canada on the staff team as Director, Donor Relations and National Engagement. Tara proudly supports Women for a Humane Canada as a founding member and is a strong advocate for the recognition of women in leadership in our sector.

Along with partner Jaret and fur-kids Harlee and Bandit, she divides her time between their homes on the mountain in the Crowsnest Pass, AB, and their off-grid cabin on the shores of Kootenay Lake just outside of Nelson, BC. At home, they relish the freedom of nature, the beauty of the environment, and the wildlife that frequently visit both properties.

Kathy Duncan, Director, National Programs

Kathy has dedicated over 30 years to animal welfare in the province of Ontario. Her background includes working in the not-for-profit and municipal government sectors and leading open admission animal shelters for municipalities, SPCA’s and humane societies in Ontario. 

Kathy is a strong proponent of collaboration across the industry and has chaired the Board of Directors for the Association of Animal Shelter Administrators of Ontario (AASAO) for 12 of the 17 years she was on the Board.  She currently sits on the Government Relations Committee for the AASAO. She has been a strong member of the Provincial  Animal Welfare Task Force and the Programming Committee for Humane Canada’s  2021 National Animal Welfare Conference.  She currently sits on the National Violence Link Coalition and is a member of its steering committee.  Kathy has also been named an International Ambassador for the Human Animal Support Services project and sits as a Director on the Board, as well as a member of the Advisory Council for One Health Partners.

She is happily supported by her partner Paul and two children, as well as three Bouvier des Flandres, Morgan, Tori and Tucker.

Mallory Lloyd, Events Manager

Mallory has an interest in animal welfare in Canada and internationally and has spent the last 15 years working or volunteering in the animal welfare and environmental sectors.

She is a skilled events expert and corporate partnership manager with almost ten years of experience planning events of many formats. Mallory has two degrees, one in Business with a major in Finance and the second in Environmental Practice with a focus on sustainability. She focused much of her academic research on endangered species and the sustainability of critical ecosystems around the world.

Mallory is also an inventor who owns her own business, Get Out Stay Out (GOSO), which sells a campfire grill of her own design. Through GOSO, Mallory encourages people to get outside while sharing lived experiences of her own adventures.

She is the proud caretaker of two rescued dogs, Murphy and Dakota.

Jasmine Ferreira, Manager, ACT Program

Jasmine Ferreira is a Registered Social Worker and has worked in a variety of non-profit settings over the past 10+ years. Her professional experience has intersected with gender-based violence across roles in crisis intervention, residential program delivery, health care policy, youth unemployment, communications, and education. 

Jasmine holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Ottawa, an MSW from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is a Ph.D. Candidate at York University where her research focuses on animals, nature, and mental health in social work practice. She is happiest outside walking any trail with her two Samoyeds, Rufus and Rey.

Shelby Pearson, Manager, Finance & Operations

Shelby has a long history of volunteering in animal welfare, holding various roles from dog walker to Board Treasurer both locally and internationally. After working abroad for over 15 years in offshore investment and pension funds, Shelby returned to Canada and joined the non-profit workforce, marking the start of her career in animal welfare at the Guelph Humane Society in 2018. Combining her passion for animal welfare and accounting has proven to be an extremely rewarding path, both personally and professionally.

Shelby graduated from Conestoga College with a degree in Business Administration – Accounting, is a QuickBooks Advanced Certified ProAdvisor, and is formally educated in Equine Massage Therapy, receiving the Academic Award of Excellence upon graduation.

In her spare time, Shelby is an avid horse rider and enjoys hiking with her dog Loki.

Colleen Ovenden, Manager, National Pet Food Bank

Colleen Ovenden (elle/she/her) is the founder and former Director of ENGAGE: Éducation en bien-être animal, a non-profit organization dedicated to building empathy and advocacy among youth. ENGAGE collaborated with schools and organizations to empower youth to participate in the creation of a more socially conscious society—one that reflects our love for animals and for each other.  

Prior to ENGAGE, Colleen was the Montréal SPCA’s Director of Education and Community Outreach where she developed programs that fostered compassion and promoted empathy and respect for all living beings. During her tenure, Colleen helped organizations that service vulnerable human populations explore how companion animals can be incorporated into their programming. Her aim was to encourage social service organizations to consider “person+pet” as a single unit and therefore strive to service and house that unit. 

Outside of animal welfare, Colleen has two children, one dog, and two grand-dogs. In her free time, you can find her taking unreasonably long walks or attempting to micromanage her adult children’s lives. Colleen is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Québec chapter of PFLAG Canada, an advocacy organization that offers peer-to-peer support for LGBTQ+ folks and their loved ones. 

Colleen holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies from Concordia University and has completed six years of her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from McGill. 

Kristina Koehn Merchant, Manager, Marketing and Communications

Kristina has always had a deep love for animals and became a devoted pet parent by the age of six to a stray cat. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, “one cat just leads to another.” She has had many four-legged friends throughout her life and is very passionate about the humane treatment of all animals.

As Humane Canada’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Kristina is responsible for the organization’s content creation and media relations, among other responsibilities.

Kristina is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College’s Public Relations program. When she is not hard at work, Kristina can be found walking a nature trail, exploring Toronto, or spending time with her family and sweet cat, Patches.

Melissa Devlin, Manager, Annual Donor Relations & Engagement

Melissa has been involved with Humane Canada since 2016 as one of the founding members of Women for Humane Canada. She has worked in the animal welfare non-profit sector for 10 years with a range of experience including Fund Development, Corporate Partnerships, Marketing, Events and Humane Education.

She began her education at St. Thomas University and went on to complete Veterinary Technician & Broadcast Journalism programs. Melissa is passionate about animal welfare and raising funds to help give animals in Canada a better future. In her spare time she enjoys reading, being outdoors and spending time with friends & family. Melissa has been an avid animal lover her whole life and at home has 2 rescue cats, a rescue dog, as well as 2 young children.

Shannon Ingram, Events Coordinator

Shannon has always had a strong love for animals being surrounded by a variety animals from a very young age. She has been a non-profit volunteer since the age of 12 and volunteered as an Events Intern with Humane Canada before joining the team full-time as the Events Coordinator in the fall of 2019.

Shannon is a graduate of the Algonquin College Event Management program as well as of the Advanced Diploma – Business Administration Program with a major in Marketing. When she is not hard at work, she enjoys traveling, camping, and spending time with her two dogs, Jasper & Denver.

Garett Grittner, Coordinator, Policy & Research

Garett has been with Humane Canada since 2020 as their Coordinator of Policy and Research. His work primarily involves conducting research on the status of various animal welfare matters across the country, and engaging in external policy review processes to help shape the development of animal welfare policies in Canada.

Garett holds a Master’s in Philosophy with a focus in animal ethics, and he has a background in Canadian public policy research with specializations in the areas of ethics, politics, and economics. Prior to joining Humane Canada, he conducted interdisciplinary research on the international policy landscape surrounding scientific animal use to explore opportunities for Canada’s path forward in this area.

Kerri Thomson, Coordinator, Criminal Justice System Reform Program

Kerri is a recent graduate of the Paralegal program at Mohawk College. After having spent a number of years in a completely different field, she had the opportunity to pursue her passion and is currently taking a Combined Honours degree program in Criminology and Policing, as well as a post-graduate certificate in Victimology. 

When she is not working or studying,  Kerri can be found reading as many books as she can get her hands on, as well as tending to her tabby girls Ivy and Iris, aka Princess Stinkerella and The Queen.

Sue O’Neill, Coordinator, ACT Program

Sue O’Neill has a background working in gender-based violence services, in both shelter and community-based settings. Her work in these settings resulted in supporting the development of an agency-based Safe Pet program. Her additional professional experience has been in various roles in the areas of mental health, employment, and education.

Sue holds an Honours Bachelor of Child Development and is a Master of Education candidate at Western University. Sue’s favorite role is that of caretaker to her two dogs, Hugo and Leslie.

Justine Stephan, Executive Assistant & Human Resources Administrator

Justine has worked in animal welfare for the past 9 years, with a range of experience in shelter operations, client services, adoptions and animal care. During this time, she has witnessed the needless hardships too many animals are forced to endure. This ultimately encouraged Justine to work towards building a better world for all animals. She is an advocate for treating all animals as the sentient beings they are.

Justine holds a degree in Biological Science, with further education in animal care, welfare and behaviour. Justine has a special interest in disaster relief for animals and humane education.

In addition to her love for animals, Justine also enjoys travelling, running, and hiking.

Keira Mann, Coordinator, Marketing and Communications

Keira is a communications and design professional that has been working in the non-profit and charitable sector since 2017. She began her career doing policy work related to Indigenous Peoples’ human rights and criminal justice reform. It was while doing this work that she noticed the important role that communications and visual storytelling plays in rallying people together for a shared cause. 

Keira is a graduate of International Development Studies from Dalhousie University as well as Graphic Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design. She is also an avid sailor, a hobby she shares with her dog, Roo. 

Valerie Moncton, Coordinator, Research

After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University, Valerie (she/her/elle) took a year off and travelled around Europe with her partner. Meeting so many animals throughout this trip motivated her to pursue a Master’s degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Guelph. During her Master’s, she presented her findings at scientific meetings internationally, received multiple awards, and published three peer-reviewed articles as first author. She was also the first person at the University of Guelph to successfully adopt out broiler chickens to sanctuaries, securing a safe retirement for all 39 of her experimental subjects.

Since graduating, she has volunteered and worked as a researcher and editor for a number of animal advocacy organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, Animal Equality, and Food Solutions Action.

When she is not working, Valerie enjoys playing video games, writing, and spending time with her partner and their two adorable cats, Dusty and Gimli.

Claire Dulude, Coordinator, National Pet Food Bank

Claire (she/her/elle) joins Humane Canada having recently completed her Master’s in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Guelph. Prior to this, Claire earned an Honour’s Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Animal Sciences from Lakehead University.

Claire has experience holding both administrative and animal care positions within a Humane Society organization. Claire’s devotion to providing pet families with the tools and resources they need to stay together was fortified when she was given the opportunity to help coordinate a free Pet Food Delivery Program in her community as part of a COVID-19 relief effort. It is through working in a shelter that Claire also developed a robust passion for increased access to veterinary care, particularly for low-income individuals, as well as pet families living in remote areas.

In her free time, Claire enjoys baking, being outdoors, playing D&D with her friends, and spending time with her dog, Dozer.

Andrea Ondrade, MSW Practicum Student – ACT Program

Andrea Ondrade (she/her) self-identifies as a second-generation immigrant and settler to Canada and as a woman of colour. Prior to joining Humane Canada, Andrea worked as a Registered Social Worker supporting and advocating for recent immigrants and refugees. She has 6+ years experience in the post-secondary field with roles in program development, advocacy, policy review, and community needs assessment. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Manitoba. Currently, she is an MSW student from the University of Toronto with a focus in Social Justice and Diversity. Andrea is the happy mama to her cat, Tuco.

Natalia Hanson, Marketing and Communications Consultant (on contract)

Natalia is a Colombian and Canadian citizen who migrated to Canada in 2009 to pursue higher education attending college to become a veterinary assistant. She worked in that industry for 6 years, and during that time, she developed a passion for animal advocacy and fundraising, which led her to pursue a second career in public relations. Her goal was to broaden her skillset in this field to continue working for animals’ welfare and their well-being.

Natalia joined Humane Canada in 2016 as a public relations intern and has been involved with our organization on and off since then in a variety of roles. She is currently a marketing consultant for our events team. On top of consulting for Humane Canada, Natalia provides marketing support for other non-profits. In 2019, she co-founded Humane Outreach for Latin Animals (HOLA), a non-profit that provides assistance to dogs and cats in Latin American countries through vital sterilization campaigns. Spaying and neutering domestic animals are the most humane and most effective ways of reducing the problem of pet overpopulation.

Natalia is the proud mom of a four-legged rescued pup, Sammy, a black corgi mutt and is currently living in southern Ontario.

Thank you to Brittany Gawley, member of Women for Humane Canada, for taking Toolika, Mallory, Natalia and Shannon’s headshots.

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BOARD MEMBERS

Executive

Marcie Moriarty, Chair

Adrienne McBride, Vice Chair

Carrie Fritz, Treasurer

Lindsay West, Secretary

Marcie Moriarty, Chair

Marcie Moriarty is the Chief Prevention and Enforcement Officer with the BC SPCA. After obtaining degrees in Animal Biology and Law from the University of British Columbia, Marcie was called to the bar in 2003. Her passion for animal welfare and advocacy led her to a career with the BC SPCA starting in 2005.

In her current role, Marcie leads a department that combines cruelty investigations, stakeholder relations and scientific programs. Some of the BC SPCA Prevention and Enforcement Department successes she is most proud of are the strengthening of the provincial animal cruelty laws, including increasing penalties and the incorporation of various codes of practice. Marcie was also a key contributor to the creation of the National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty (NCPAC). In recognition of her work with NCPAC, she was presented with a 2016 Animal Welfare Leadership and Innovation Award by Humane Canada in 2016.

A firm believer in the change-making power that a group of committed, talented and diverse women can have, Marcie is pleased to join Women for Humane Canada. It is her hope that her experience being a vocal advocate for animal issues will be an asset to the group and will help secure lasting and impactful improvements for animals in Canada.

Adrienne McBride, Vice Chair

Adrienne McBride is the Executive Director of the Guelph Humane Society (GHS). She is a lawyer whose passion for animals led her to a career path in animal sheltering and advocacy. She brings more than 10 years of experience in animal welfare to the role, as well as a keen understanding of the not-for-profit sector and community partnerships.

Adrienne joined the GHS during a transitioning phase – a time when employee morale was low and shelter productivity was down. Her can-do attitude and unique approach to motivating her team has been crucial to the GHS’ continued success – building a better, brighter future for both the staff and the animals in their community. Adrienne thoroughly enjoys animal advocacy and believes strongly that we can create policies and partnerships that benefit both animals and people alike. 

Adrienne completed an Honours degree in Media Studies and a diploma in Journalism through the University of Guelph-Humber, graduating with distinction. She earned her law degree (LL.B.) at the University of Ottawa in 2010. While studying law, she held internships with the Ontario Racing Commission and Humane Canada™ and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2011.

Prior to joining the Guelph Humane Society, Adrienne worked for Smith Valeriote Law Firm in Guelph. Originally from Toronto, she, along with her husband, their 2 children, 2 dogs and 2 cats, now call Fergus, Ontario home.

Carrie Fritz, Treasurer

Carrie Fritz is the Executive Director of Calgary Humane Society, a position she has held since 2014 when she was promoted from the position of Controller.  Carrie is a CGA-CPA, who attended the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University, obtaining her accounting designation in 1996. She worked at a public accounting firm focusing on audit, assurance and business advisory services before making the leap from public practice to the not-for-profit sector, and finally landing at Calgary Humane Society in 2007.

This was the perfect role for Carrie; one where she could bring her lifelong love of animals, along with her extensive not-for-profit experience, to an animal welfare organization she already had a long relationship with in a community she had grown up in.

Since taking on the role of Executive Director, Carrie has focused on reshaping the culture to one which embodies an open, inclusive and supportive environment to aid in the Society’s mission of helping as many animals as we can.  She has worked to build a highly professional, highly skilled team, capable of successfully supporting staff, volunteers, and other key stakeholders through a period of transition and organizational change in order to better meet the needs of the animals in our care and the community we serve. 

Carrie  lives just south of Calgary where she shares her home with her daughter, her two dogs, Daisy and Lacey, as well as her rescue rabbit , Winter.

Lindsay West, Secretary

Lindsay West is the Director of Operations at the Regina Humane Society.  After spending a decade working in roles throughout the Society, she recognizes that working together with other individuals and organizations is what truly drives the improvement of animal welfare.

Lindsay holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, a Veterinary Technology diploma and is fiercely committed to improving the well-being of animals. She is excited to be a part of Humane Canada™ and its spirit of partnership and innovation. It is her hope that her membership on the Board will help positively shape a world in which all animals can lead a humane life.

Directors

Andrea Dykstra, Director-at-large

Christine Tausig Ford, Member Director, Ottawa Humane Society

Kevin Toyne, Member Director, Winnipeg Humane Society

Rob Rosenfeld, Director-at-large

Elizabeth Murphy, Member Director, Nova Scotia SPCA

Shane Bateman, Director-at-large

Debbie Johnston, Director-at-large

Sophie Gaillard, Member Director, Montreal SPCA

Andrea Dykstra, Director-at-large

Andrea is a member of the Pictou Landing First Nation, a Mi’kmaw community in Mi’kma’ki or what is currently known as Nova Scotia. Andrea is a senior policy leader with the Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Team at Health Canada where she leads work to develop and implement an anti-racism framework for the department. Prior to her time at Health Canada, Andrea has held a variety of senior posts specializing in Indigenous policy touching on conservation, carbon emissions, economic development, the legal duty to consult, and cultural safety and humility in the health care system. 

She is a published, but retired, freshwater ecologist turned wildlife biologist. Andrea is also a laureate of the Indspire Awards for her previous work in political and environmental advocacy to advance the interests of the Mi’kmaq Nation and all Indigenous peoples.
Andrea is focused on finding opportunities for Indigenous ways of knowing to inform the activities and mission of Humane Canada and its member organizations.

Christine Tausig Ford, Member Director, Ottawa Humane Society

Christine Tausig Ford is president of the Ottawa-based consulting firm, Higher Thinking Strategies Limited. She provides consulting services to many clients at universities, non-profit associations and federal government agencies in the areas of governance, women’s leadership, higher education and research policy. 

Christine is a former chair of the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Humane Society. She is currently a board member of the Beechwood National Cemetery and Foundation, a member of the executive of the International Women’s Forum Ottawa chapter, where she holds the governance chair and a member of the Governance Committee of the International Women’s Federation Canada.

Christine was formerly vice-president and chief operating officer of Universities Canada, the national membership organization representing Canadian universities. She has also served as interim executive director of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

For her work in higher education, Christine received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for service to higher education.  A lifelong animal lover, especially cats, Christine lives with her husband and two beloved cats, Tiger and Toby. 

Kevin Toyne, Member Director, Winnipeg Humane Society

Kevin is an experienced civil litigation lawyer at Hill Sokalski Walsh LLP in Winnipeg.  He has practiced law in Ontario and Manitoba for over 15 years and his practice includes the growing field of animal law.  In 2012 and 2013, Kevin successfully represented the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary pro bono before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in proceedings involving “Darwin the IKEA Monkey”. 

He served as the Vice-Chair of the Animal Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association in 2014-2015 and regularly appears as a media commentator on animal law issues.  He is the Chair of the Winnipeg Humane Society’s Animal Protection Committee and serves on the Board of Directors. Kevin teaches Civil Procedure at Robson Hall Law School at the University of Manitoba and is a Presiding Member of Manitoba’s Co-operative Housing Appeal Tribunal. In 2017, he obtained his Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall at York University. 

Each November, Kevin volunteers at Isla Animal’s Rancho Viejo Spay and Neuter Clinic in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.  Most importantly, he is the proud father of two vegan toddlers.

Rob Rosenfeld, Director-at-large

Rob Rosenfeld, Vice President – National Capital Region and Corporate Communications for Morneau Shepell works with a wide variety of clients to help increase the quality of mental health and wellness support offered to their employees.

Prior to joining Morneau Shepell, he worked for the Government of Canada, where he held senior posts in the offices of the Ministers of Science and Veterans Affairs. He has years of experience working in advocacy and public affairs, including on behalf of research universities, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and telecommunications and high-tech firms.

Rob is passionate about working to improve understanding and support for those impacted by mental health issues and is proud to work with Humane Canada™ on the intersection between animal welfare and mental health.

Elizabeth Murphy, Member Director, Nova Scotia SPCA

Before being named CEO of the Nova Scotia SPCA in September of 2013, Elizabeth built her career in the not-for-profit industry. Her professional focus was guiding organizational leadership to create and strengthen strategic partnerships, enabling them to become self-sustaining and thus, ensuring that their vital programs would continue to be offered in the communities they serve. Elizabeth’s strengths lay in identifying and developing unique revenue streams and encouraging collaboration among stakeholders to see them securely established.

It has always been important to Elizabeth that her profession leave a positive lasting impact on communities. Over the past 20 years her work has focused on improving the lives of people and animals in need – her passion for animals was likely derived from her childhood experiences being raised on the back of a horse by her equestrian coach Mum. 

Since joining the Nova Scotia SPCA, Elizabeth has facilitated the merge of 11 independent SPCA Societies, combining them into one provincial organization which oversees the complete operation of six animal shelters. Elizabeth has built the business of the Nova Scotia SPCA to include: two veterinary hospitals, two veterinary clinics, four thrift stores, a windmill farm, and a professional inspectorate responsible to enforce the Provincial Animal Protection Act. 

While Elizabeth has lived on both coasts and spent a few years working at the PEI Humane Society, she currently resides in Hubbards, NS with her husband, twin 16-year-old girls, dog, Hughie and two cats named Ruby & Max.

Elizabeth describes herself as: 1 part Executive, 1 part Entrepreneur, 2 parts cat lady and 2 parts Mum.  

Shane Bateman, Director-at-large

Shane Bateman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Studies at the Ontario Veterinary College and practices as an Emergency/Critical Care specialist in the Companion Animal Medical Complex at Ontario Veterinary College’s Health Sciences Centre in 2023. He was the Chair of the Board of the Guelph Humane Society from 2011 to 2021 during construction of a new $10M shelter that opened in March 2021.   

In addition, Shane was the Regional Veterinary Director for Community Veterinary Outreach from 2011-2021- a charity that provides free preventive veterinary care for pets whose owners are homeless or at risk of homelessness using a One-Health delivery model.  He also participated in a number of initiatives that deliver preventive care at low cost to First Nations communities in SW Ontario from 2012-2020. He is passionate about involving veterinary students in all of these activities.  

It was this passion that helped him to advocate for creation of a new learning pathway at OVC focused on Shelter and Community Medicine.  The Kim & Stu Lang Community Healthcare Partnership Program, was funded by an $11M gift from Kim & Stu Lang to OVC in 2019 that will ensure that DVM and graduate students graduating from OVC will have acquired the skills, values, confidence and cultural awareness to deliver veterinary services of the highest possible standard to disadvantaged animals and people in diverse inadequately serviced communities and in environments that are poorly resourced.  Shane served as the interim veterinary director of the program from 2020-2022 and was responsible for the overall vision of the program and developing a comprehensive curricular proposal for OVC.  

During his sabbatical leave in 2022, Shane is completing a Master’s degree in Veterinary Forensic Science and hopes to broaden student learning of this important animal welfare discipline at the college.  

Debbie Johnston, Director-at-large

Debbie is the Executive Director and Senior General Counsel leading the Competition Bureau of Canada’s legal team. She is a former federal prosecutor and public sector lawyer with expertise in criminal prosecutions, human rights law, competition law, and in public sector governance.

Debbie is a community member of the University of Ottawa Human Rights Research and Education Centre. Over the past decade, she has provided pro bono training in Spanish to judges and prosecutors in Colombia and Mexico on human rights and adversarial system prosecution skills in the context of Latin American criminal justice reform. She and her daughters helped privately sponsor and integrate newly arrived Syrian families in Quebec.

Debbie is a lifelong animal lover and became especially passionate about animal welfare when she adopted an Akbash puppy mill survivor. In the past decade, Debbie has devoted efforts to the animal welfare of street dogs in Latin America- on the ground rescuing, fostering, transporting dogs and donated vet supplies, adopting, helping at spay/neuter clinics, sponsoring urgent veterinary care, fundraising, and supporting NGOs both in Canada and abroad. She has helped rescue over 30 dogs.

She lives with her husband, three kids and her Latino-Canadian canine rescue pack in the Gatineau Hills.

Sophie Gaillard, Member Director, Montreal SPCA

Sophie Gaillard joined the Montreal SPCA in 2013, after having graduated from McGill University’s Faculty of Law and articling at the Crown prosecutors’ office in Montreal. In her role as Director of Animal Advocacy and Legal Affairs, she oversees the Montreal SPCA’s efforts to strengthen animal protection legislation and public policy at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, as well as acting as the organization’s head legal counsel. She is namely one of the instigators of the Animals are not Things manifesto which led to the adoption of a new provision in the Civil Code of Quebec recognizing animals as sentient beings. Gaillard is also currently acting as the Montreal SPCA’s Interim Executive Director.