- Under Rick Perciante’s Leadership OMHS is Ready for the FutureRick Perciante made one of the most meaningful career decisions in 2018 when he joined an organization that shared his love of animals, the Oakville & Milton Humane Society (OMHS). Rick quickly saw how OMHS played an essential role in giving voice to the voiceless through our rescue, rehabilitation and education programs in Oakville and Milton. After much reflection and 38 years working to further the missions of several not-for-profit organizations, Rick made the milestone decision to retire on January 31, 2023.

Under Rick’s leadership, OMHS has grown in many positive ways, and he is proud of what he was able to accomplish over the past five years working closely with the Board of Directors. Clayton Shold, Board of Directors Chair, shared how impressed he is with the “tenacity and creativity” that Rick brought to the organization. “His calm demeanor and ability to get everyone pointed in the same direction resulted in a more efficient shelter operation. All of that said, the compass for his decisions was his incredible passion for the animals and their welfare. On behalf of the Board, I want to express our sincere gratitude and wish Rick a well-earned retirement.”

Rick says, “leading the efforts to develop back-to-back strategic plans that have helped and will continue to help guide and grow the organization has been particularly satisfying. We’ve seen continued growth in our fundraising and corporate partnerships and have expanded our programs in the community to include educational information sessions, a Pet Food Bank, and much quicker adoptions so animals can get to their forever homes faster. I’m thrilled that we have been able to solidify a strong social media presence and create greater awareness of the organization in the community. We’ve modernized our technology and enhanced an aging shelter with renovations and updates to make it more inviting and create a better space for the animals, staff and volunteers.”

When Rick first joined the Society, he found it difficult to witness firsthand the neglect that so many animals suffer. What was so helpful in those early days was seeing how passionate OMHS’s staff, volunteers and supporters were for our cause. “Everyone wants to do what’s right for the animals and that was so empowering to me,” recalls Rick.

What excited Rick about his role at OMHS was the new, daily challenges that presented themselves. “There is no typical day at OMHS. That’s what I’ve loved about the role, the variety of challenges and opportunities change constantly. For example, and more so since COVID, we are dealing with many more difficult cases involving animals. We now have animals in our care with more complex medical and behavioural challenges and regrettably they are with us longer. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing an animal leave the shelter and thrive with their forever family after we’ve done all we could for them at OMHS,” says Rick.

Rick says he is particularly grateful to have had the support of a highly committed and talented staff team and Board of Directors who have given countless hours to support the Society’s mission. Under Rick’s leadership, the organization is stronger than it’s ever been, with high-functioning committees, a new strategic plan for 2023-25, and a passion to eventually build a new shelter for the community.

Retirement will bring new travelling adventures as well as time to enjoy his home, garden and family that includes Snow, a dog he adopted from OMHS in 2021.

Rick, on behalf of the staff, volunteers and hundreds of animals that are now in their forever homes, thank you for your leadership that has contributed to creating a humane community for generations to come.