The Oakville & Milton Humane Society is thrilled to recognize the work of our amazing volunteers through our Volunteer and Community Awards Program. Whether they are doing administrative tasks, working with the animals, or out engaging the community, we would not be able to provide the same quality of care for the animals, or our community, without our animal heroes!
Kudos to the Community Engagement Committee who had the difficult job of selecting this year’s OMHS award recipients in the following six categories:
- Outstanding Volunteer Service Award
- Foster Family of the Year Award
- Outstanding Youth Achievement Award
- Foster Family of the Year
- Lifetime Achievement Award
- Youth Crusader Award
The 2022 awards were presented virtually during our recent Annual General Meeting. Congratulations to all our award recipients, the shelter would not be what it is today without your ongoing support and commitment.
The Outstanding Volunteer Service Award
The Outstanding Volunteer Service Award is presented to a volunteer who has made a significant contribution to improving the quality of life for animals and this year’s award recipient is Albert Darimont.
Albert volunteers his time each week as a dog handler at the OMHS. Albert focuses his time teaching the dogs new skills, through positive reinforcement training, to set them up for success in their forever homes!
The contribution of Albert’s time, skills, patience and compassion means that each dog will receive individualized care, opportunities for socialization, enrichment, exercise, play and mental stimulation. The care provided by Albert, and other volunteers like him, is instrumental to the wellbeing of these animals. He also takes awesome photos of the dogs which show off their unique personalities.
Foster Family of the Year Award
The Foster Family of the Year Award is presented to an individual or family that has demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in fostering animals. This year’s recipients, Sandra Do Rego & Family, have fostered more than 19 animals since the beginning of 2021 of various species.
Sandra and her family work collaboratively with the Registered Veterinary Technicians, the Dog Trainer and Customer Care Department to ensure each animal in their care is set up for success during their foster stay as well as once they find their forever homes!
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a volunteer who has gone above and beyond in demonstrating compassion for animals and has also demonstrated exceptional service and leadership qualities.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Melanie McGlynn, has been an instrumental member of the volunteer team, and for over 27 years has selflessly given her time, talents and expertise to better the lives of animals and secure a bright future for the Oakville & Milton Humane Society and the communities it serves. Melanie has helped thousands of dogs improve their behaviours so that they could be successful in their forever homes. The OMHS is incredibly lucky to have such a dedicated volunteer!
Outstanding Corporation Award
The Outstanding Corporation Award is presented to a corporation or small business who consistently demonstrates dedication to animal welfare through equitable partnership, financial support and raising awareness for the OMHS. This year’s Outstanding Corporation Award recipient is Ren’s Pets (pictured is Cassidy Scholtens, Senior Market Manager, Ren’s) which has been supporting the OMHS for over 10 years in a variety of capacities!
To date, Ren’s financial support has exceeded $90,000. Most notable is their commitment to an increase in investment, year-over-year, since 2018. The OMHS is very fortunate to have such a supportive community partner!
The Outstanding Veterinary Partner Award
The Outstanding Veterinary Partner Award is presented to a corporation or business who has made a significant contribution to improve the quality of life for animals. This year’s recipient is the Oakville Animal Clinic which has consistently demonstrated commitment to animal welfare and shows an unlimited amount of kindness to animals and people.
Dr. Warren reached out to OMHS over 15 years ago to help with some of our orthopedic cases. The relationship continued to develop as the clinic performed other surgical procedures and in 2009 added a yearly tradition of doing 50 spays or neuters at no charge. In 2015 when the OMHS had an opening for a veterinarian to volunteer their time to visit the shelter animals weekly, the doctors at Oakville Animal Clinic jumped in to help.
The doctors at OAC have further shown their commitment to animals in their community and the OMHS by assisting with the creation of protocols for the shelter health team and provided training seminars on a variety of topics.
Youth Crusader Award
The Youth Animal Crusader Award is presented to a Youth fundraiser who has made a significant contribution to improve the quality of life for animals, by demonstrating kindness towards animals, is a role model who inspires others, helps raise awareness about the OMHS and enables the shelter to further our mission by raising funds. This year’s recipient, Alessia Bedernjak, is all those things and more!
Alessia is a grade seven student who took the initiative to create a fundraiser called “Presents for Paws” since it coincided with the holiday season. She visited the shelter to take some pictures, of which she included in the design of her poster to promote Presents for Paws. Alessia’s goal was to collect items from our Wish List and financial donations to help pay for the needs of the animals at the shelter. Once she was set up with her fundraising page, she set a goal for herself to raise $400. Alessia raised $800 through her Presents for Paws fundraiser and collected a variety of items on our Wish List.