When Lloyd Bunbury retired after 35 years as a senior manager with the RCMP, the world was his oyster. Healthy, financially secure and with energy to spare, Bunbury had lots of exciting options open to him. But what he wanted most of all was to make a difference in his community.
He didn't have to look far for inspiration.
"Our cats Sasha and Jude are both shelter cats, and I knew that there was no other organization in Ottawa looking out for animals the way the Humane Society does," explains Bunbury, who decided to dedicate his time to helping Ottawa's busy animal shelter care for more than 10,000 animals a year.
Since then, Bunbury has held down many jobs for the Humane Society. From dog-walking and visits with animals to local seniors residences, he also offered love and attention to frightened felines in the Comfy Cats program which helps them adjust to life in the shelter so that they can be successfully adopted.
Now, Bunbury is putting his life-long professional experience to use in the Humane Society's development office, where he inputs data and processes the donations that regularly save the lives of animals in the shelter.
But no matter what task he is assigned, Bunbury has come to learn that each job he undertakes, along with other volunteers at the Humane Society, makes a difference. "This organization couldn't survive without volunteers, which is why every job here is important - otherwise the animals would suffer."
That comment is underscored by Bruce Roney, the Executive Director of the Humane Society. "We couldn't do what we do without the time and talents of volunteers like Lloyd - they support everything here at the OHS."
Bunbury's dedication to animals goes beyond just the weekly volunteer work. He is also a monthly donor to the Humane Society's new building fund - which is set to open this spring in a new, larger location - and both he and his wife have put the organization in their wills.
"If you love animals then it's critical to help animals in need," says Bunbury about his commitment to the Humane Society. "It is a joy to do something worthwhile with my time and to also give back to such a worthy cause. And, quite frankly, it just makes me feel good at the end of my day!"
For more information on how you can support the Ottawa Humane Society, visit www.ottawahumane.ca or call 613-725-3166.
Catherine Clark is the host of Beyond Politics on CPAC, airing Sunday nights at 8 p.m.