SPCA searching for new executive director

Red Deer and District SPCA is looking for a new executive director now that Julie McInnis has announced her retirement.

Red Deer and District SPCA is looking for a new executive director now that Julie McInnis has announced her retirement.

McInnis has been with the SPCA since 2005 and led the capital campaign to build its new Animal Welfare and Humane Education Centre, which opened in 2010.

The $4.2-million centre, at 4505 77th St., is over four times larger than the old facility with double the capacity for pets, state-of-the-art cleaning and kennel systems, and a hospital-quality air exchange system for pets waiting for a forever home.

McInnis said fundraising and construction was challenging.

“The beautiful side of it is this awesome facility and the change that’s made in our profile in the community. We’ve become a community destination,” McInnis said on Thursday.

“A lot of SPCAs hear, ‘I just hate to go there, it’s so sad.’ ”

But people are impressed with Red Deer’s SPCA free-roam cat room, with its cat tree and cat walk, and a great environment for dogs, she said.

“It’s not sad. It’s a great place for them to be while they’re waiting to get to their new home.”

Last weekend, the SPCA grossed about $20,700 at its new annual fundraiser Walk and Wag and also celebrated the first anniversary of the new facility.

“There were some new faces and lots of our solid supporters,” McInnis said about the event.

In addition to donations, SPCA has been working hard to generate revenue through its small retail store, summer day camps, birthday parties and pet cremation services.

“We’re just really optimistic that as our business develops and grows and our community profile increases, we’re going to be in a better financial position then we’ve ever been in.”

McInnis is resigning effective July 31 pending the recruitment of her replacement.

“It’s a great time for someone new to come in and to just pick up the momentum we’ve established and move forward and inject some new energy into the leadership of the organization.”

For more information on the SPCA, go to www.reddeerspca.com.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com