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Penticton shelter top dog in B.C.

BC SPCA board president Cindy Soules (centre) presents the award for 2011 Branch of the Year to Simon St. Laurent, community council chair for the South Okanagan/Similkameen Branch, and South Okanagan/Similkameen branch manager Tracy Westmoreland. - Photo submitted
BC SPCA board president Cindy Soules (centre) presents the award for 2011 Branch of the Year to Simon St. Laurent, community council chair for the South Okanagan/Similkameen Branch, and South Okanagan/Similkameen branch manager Tracy Westmoreland.
— image credit: Photo submitted

In a year of economic uncertainty Penticton SPCA managed to meet its budget and increase fundraising, the main drivers of why they were chosen as the 2011 Branch of the Year.

The BC SPCA awarded the Penticton branch at a special ceremony held recently. Under the leadership of manager Tracy Westmoreland, the Penticton branch increased their fundraising to $23,000 from a projected budget of $15,000. They also increased their adoption revenue significantly from $63,000 in 2009 to $82,000 last year.

“Tracy’s business management background has served the branch well, creating one of our most successful branches,” said BC SPCA general manager of operations, Bob Busch. “We have seen consistent, steady growth since Tracy came on board in 2004.”

In addition to her role as manager in Penticton, Westmoreland has recently been promoted to the position of regional manager, providing support to other SPCA shelters in the area.

Linda Walker, a special constable with the BC SPCA, was also honoured with the Investigator of the Year award.

“Linda is known as the surrender queen,” said Marcie Moriarty, the BC SPCA’s general manager of cruelty investigations. “She has a superb ability to convince people to do the right thing and to willingly surrender their distressed animals rather than the SPCA having to get a warrant to seize them. This ensures the animals get the help they need as quickly as possible.”

Walker has worked as a cruelty investigator for five years and prior to that worked at the Kelowna shelter for eight years. She responded to nearly 600 complaints of animal cruelty last year, and in addition to investigations she transports animals to and from Penticton and Kelowna shelters for vet treatment or adoptions — all on her own time as a volunteer. For the past two years she also has been volunteering at the Penticton shelter.

The BC SPCA awards program honours both people and animals who have made outstanding contributions to animal welfare during the past year. Recipients include veterinarians, staff, volunteers and animal heroes.

 

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