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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) will recognize the work and get to know these special MVP’s in a spotlight each month that includes an article and photo shoot. MVPs will 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!

Check out our previous MVP’s

MVP: Ian Hall

Story by Brian Kozak, photo by Jim Harvey

Respect for a long-time pet and companion are the main reasons why Ian Hall volunteers at the Winnipeg Humane Society.

He’s volunteered once a week in the Intake department since joining the WHS in January 2015. “It was easy to decide to help out here,” he said. “For 13 years we had an Airedale Terrier, Darby, who provided unconditional love and companionship for me and for my family. He was a cool guy. We had a lot of fun together.

“I thought I’d like to do something in his memory. It’s turned out good and it’s been a healing process for me, too. I often think of him when I deal with the animals.”

Retired for around five years, Ian had a dog most of his life and understands the relationship people have with their pets.

As an Intake volunteer, Ian has seen a lot in almost three-and-a-half years. Even so, it’s a role he loves but one he wishes did not need to exist.

Working in the area of the shelter where people surrender their pets “means you see a wide cross-section of people and animals,” Ian said, “and a range of emotions.”

But he’s quick to point out not all the stories you witness in animal intake are sad. There are many that touch your heart as well. “A couple of weeks ago, a Highways guy showed up here with a kitten,” Ian explained. “He’d been on Highway 2 several kilometers west of Winnipeg and this young kitten was in the middle of the highway.

“He stopped, got out of his vehicle and with some peril to himself, he rescued the little kitten and drove right here. He told us his story and said he figured the kitten required care and attention.”

His work in Intake includes setting up kennels to accept the animals, bring supplies in, cleaning and duties as required. “Basically, I’ll do whatever the staff needs me to do and that leave them with the time to do their jobs,” he said. “They do technical work and other things that I’m certainly not in a position to participate in, but I’ll do what I can to help.”

Staff and volunteers in Intake appreciate his efforts. His team says he is reliable, a great worker and so nice to have around. They enjoy his presence and appreciate his character.

Ian wishes people knew more about what the Humane Society does. “I don’t think the organization gets enough credit and recognition for what it does and the amount of work we do,” he explained. “If the Humane Society did not exist it could be dangerous for animals out there.

“And until I started volunteering here I didn’t understand that we accepted animals from the shore of Hudson Bay to Emerson and from Virden to the Ontario border,” he added. “I just thought they accepted animals from within the perimeter.”

Ian enjoys his weekly shift and encourages more people to volunteer. “It is the right thing to do,” he said. “It is a good work atmosphere.  New people, whether they are staff or volunteers, fit right in and part of that is because everybody really cares and they are committed to what they do.

“I’d like to see more volunteers here. It feels good to volunteer at the Humane Society.”