MELFORT — The North East SPCA has hired their first shelter manager.
Meagan Schmitz will be responsible for operating the Melfort-based Harry and Eve Vickar Shelter, which is scheduled to have its grand opening on Sept. 27. She started on April 29.
Schmitz said she applied for the job because she loves animals.
“I've always enjoyed being around them,” she said. “They're so central to the health and well-being, I believe, of people as well.”
The new manager, who’s from Prince Albert, said she's worked in animal welfare for a number of years.
“I worked at the Prince Albert SPCA for four and a half years and I've been volunteering with canine action projects since 2014, so it was just kind of my passion and up my alley.”
Schmitz said it’s rare to see new SPCAs being created with new shelters where there hasn’t been one before.
“They’ve all been there since before dirt, so this is a new challenge all in itself.”
A lot of effort is going to be spent, the manager said, getting the shelter set up and determining the exact details how basic operations like cleaning will be done.
“The board here has done tremendous amounts of work since 2011 to get [the shelter] going. They've done all the groundwork and now they're seeing the fruits of their labor because the shelter is being built,” she said. “There's gonna be challenges coming with that, but we'll deal with those as they come.”
Much effort over the summer will be spent on fundraising to help play for the new shelter.
“We're always looking for more volunteers to help in all kinds of different aspects, especially fundraisers,” Schmitz said. “We have so many that are coming up in the next couple of months that we could use some extra hands on deck to help those events go smoothly.”
There’s also a need for furniture items like tables and chairs, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, a refrigerator and a barbeque.