Red Deer and District SPCA has a new leader with a familiar face.
Julie Crawford, who has worked for the group for over four years, was appointed the new executive director this week.
Crawford, an unabashed cat lover, has been the interim executive director since Monte Greenshields retired in July.
“I’ve always been involved in humane animal welfare and always had rescue pets,” said Crawford, who used to live with four felines.
Although her family is without cats now, the animals still seem to find her.
“I have three strays that visit me frequently at home,” said Crawford, who lives in Red Deer County.
The SPCA has about 40 cats waiting to be adopted and about 17 dogs.
Born and raised in Central Alberta, Crawford moved to Calgary, where she was involved with Kids Help Phone, the Mustard Seed and juvenile diabetes.
She returned to Central Alberta about four years ago from the West Coast.
Crawford is heading up the SPCA as construction of its new 12,300-square-foot building is getting closer to completion.
The bigger centre, west of the current quarters at 4505 77th St., will double the capacity for homeless pets and provide more educational programming.
“We’re looking at having the keys probably mid-January and it will take two or three weeks to set up.”
A grand opening for the $4.2-million building project will be held in the spring.
“Spring is such a nice time for new beginnings.”