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jessica mccann

Jessica McCann, new manager of the Stratford-Perth Humane Society, is shown in a Gazette file photo from 2012.

McCann hired as new shelter manager

An eventful seven months continued last week for the Stratford-Perth Humane Society when it announced Friday the appointment of Jessica McCann, the shelter’s animal control officer, as its new branch manager.

“I am excited to have Jessica joining our team at this time,” says shelter executive director Jack Kinch. “While there are challenges, I believe Jess can significantly impact the quality of animal care in the Stratford and Perth communities by building on the strong community partnerships, and the existing volunteer and philanthropic programs.”

McCann takes over for Sarah Tickner, who resigned from the post last year after a much-publicized incident where 21 cats were euthanized while she was away on training. The incident also sparked a new strategy for the shelter, led by its community council, involving more public reporting of euthanasia and an improved foster home network for sick animals.

The organization says McCann brings extensive leadership experience to the job, adding as branch manager she will be responsible for directing the day-to-day operations at the Douro street shelter, ensuring the delivery of the humane society’s mission and vision, as well as its operational and financial goals and objectives.

She will also be the point person coordinating the shelter and community resources in support of the humane society’s commitment to achieving a 90 per cent live-release rate.

McCann is expected to continue in her role as animal control officer until a replacement is recruited and trained.

New board member

The shelter also announced last week the appointment of Stratford’s Eric Shapero to the board of directors of the Animal Welfare Agency of South Central Ontario, which oversees the operations of the Stratford-Perth Humane Society.

The board is responsible for the strategic direction and the resources for the humane societies in the region.

“Eric brings a combination of work and personal experience with the necessary knowledge and understanding of the financial, administrative, ethical and policy issues that may be put to the board,” says board chair Lisa Hoffman. “He possesses a notable track record of community involvement and has earned a reputation of trust and respect.”

Shapero retired to Stratford to start a business after a career in education and has demonstrated a commitment to bettering the lives of people and pets in the city though years of community service.

Neil Murray, board vice president and chair of the nominations committee, says Shapero addition would strengthen the recently merged humane societies of Stratford-Perth and Kitchener-Waterloo.

“We need more individuals from Stratford-Perth like Eric to add strength and regional representation to our board.”

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