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Cat Adoption Assistant Shona Strome calls her two hours of volunteer work in Kitty Kat Way ‘refreshing’ and looks forward to it every week.

“I always feel good after my shift, I find,” she explained. “I go home after my shift and I feel energized.”

A relative newcomer to the Winnipeg Humane Society’s volunteer ranks, Shona is obviously a quick learner. She’s been volunteering at the WHS for six months but she’s already mentored four or five new volunteers. “It’s good to have new people coming on and I enjoy showing them the ropes,” she said.

Shona retired from the City of Winnipeg a couple of years ago and waited for a while before beginning a volunteering career. “I wanted to be involved in something I cared about and be able to help out with a good cause,” she explained.

The Winnipeg Humane Society was the first place that came to mind. Shona has had cats ever since she was young. She got her first cat at the age of seven and over the years she’s had another nine or 10 (as well as two dogs), so animals have always been a big part of her life. She currently has two 12-year-old sibling cats.

“I’m familiar with the Humane Society and the work it does over the years, so here was a place I wanted to consider volunteering at. I adopted one of my cats 18 years ago,” Shona said. “She passed away just last year but she was a WHS cat.”

She initially applied for a position in the Foster area. “But when I was interviewed, they talked about this position. They need people who can deal with the public, so it turned out to be a really good match – perfect. I have lots of experience talking to the public.

“It’s nice to see the cats and interact with them,” she continued. “But I like being helpful – customer service is a big part of my background. At work I was often dealing with the public. It’s kind of the same here, but with cats involved. I enjoy it. Also, the volunteers and staff here are great – very friendly and helpful.”

Shona has also joined the Knit and Purrl Club, which has started up once again. “They get together every other week and knit blankets for the cats. When a cat gets adopted, they get a blanket to take with them,” she said. Down the road, she may consider additional WHS volunteer opportunities, whether it’s fostering, feline enrichment or elsewhere. She said she enjoys walking, so dog walking might also be a possibility.

But for now, Shona’s WHS priority is working with the cats in Kitty Kat Way and people who come in to adopt. “To me, it’s really great to help people out, especially if they’re looking for a cat, which is something dear to your heart,” she said. “And it’s nice to match them up with the cat of their dreams, maybe.

“It’s exciting – a good feeling – to see cats you’ve met or worked with meet up with someone who will take them home.”


Written by: Brian Kozak, Volunteer MVP Writer
Photo by: Jim Harvey, Volunteer MVP Photographer

A group of volunteers founded the Winnipeg Humane Society in 1894 and are vital to our success today! With the help of volunteers, we can provide care, love and attention to our four (and sometimes two) legged friends until they find their forever homes. The MVP (Monthly Volunteer Profile) recognizes the work and gets to know these special MVP’s in a spotlight each month that includes an article and photo shoot. MVPs receive a framed photo and gift card as our thanks!

Is there a volunteer you’d like to nominate to be MVP? E-mail us ([email protected]) and tell us why you think they should be an MVP!