Volunteers are at the heart of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society’s animal centres and community service programs. Every day, volunteers work tirelessly to give every animal and their families the extra support and care they need. From fostering to transportation, humane education and everything in between, volunteers are making a difference.
Dr. Janet Lalonde began working with the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society as a veterinarian with a private practice. After 40 years in private practice, which she sold three years ago, she continues to use her license to graciously assist the Ontario SPCA with the mobile spay/neuter clinic and animal re-homing missions.
Fulfilling a lifelong dream
Dr. Lalonde’s path to veterinary medicine was apparent early in her life. At six, she got her first canine companion. Her parents welcomed a Kerry Blue terrier into their family and he quickly became “her dog.”
Wildlife fascinated her and she collected every National Geographic book and magazine she could get her hands on. As she grew, she painted model birds and soon her bedroom walls were adorned with her work.
“At that point I knew the writing was on the wall as to where I was heading,” she explains.
Volunteering with the Ontario SPCA
After selling her practice three years ago, but still anxious to be involved with animals, Dr. Lalonde volunteers her time with the SPCA Mobile Animal Wellness Services unit, a mobile spay/neuter clinic that helps to reduce pet overpopulation across the province. To date this year, over 500 spay/neuter surgeries have been performed, preventing more than an estimated 13,000 unplanned offspring. Dr. Lalonde devotes long days and early mornings to the intake and the recovery of animals before and after they have had their surgery. She is a fixture at mobile events in the Cornwall area.
Dr. Lalonde has given much to the organization for many years, including free surgeries and medical care, as well as fostering litters of puppies. Now that she has sold her practice, she has more time to give to the organization that she has supported for over 25 years.
Learn more about the SPCA Mobile Animal Wellness Services Unit.
Dr. Lalonde also assists with the transfer of dogs from North Carolina into Canada. With many animal shelters in the United States at capacity, they don’t have space to help any more animals that show up on their doorstep. The Ontario SPCA works with partners south of the border to bring these dogs to parts of Ontario where there are loving families waiting to adopt.
“Janet works very hard with the Ontario SPCA and we’re very fortunate to have her volunteering with us in several components from food distributions to dog transfers and working at animal centres and with the mobile unit with her veterinary skills and expertise,” says Bonnie Bishop, Associate Director, Community Outreach Services, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society.
A love of animals has been a constant in Dr. Lalonde’s life. She currently has a “crew” of nine dogs and cats, all but one of whom were adopted from the Ontario SPCA.
Practicing veterinary medicine was a gratifying career, says Dr. Lalonde. “I worked six days a week and had accumulated 40 years of amazing clients,” she says. “I was never bored. Something good would come out of almost every day. That made all the work worthwhile.”
The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society is grateful to Dr. Lalonde for her unwavering dedication to helping animals.
Interested in becoming a volunteer for the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society? Visit ontariospca.ca/volunteer to find out how you can make a difference for animals in need.