Celebrating Bruce Roney: Always Going Above & Beyond

After 22 years, Bruce Roney is stepping down as President & CEO of the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS). I have known Bruce for most of those years, and have had many opportunities to see the difference he has made for animal welfare.

Under Bruce’s leadership, OHS built a new 40,000-square-foot shelter, and launched programs to help newcomers to Canada, income-challenged pet owners, young children and seniors. He worked with Humane Canada not only to develop a national accreditation program for shelters, but to have OHS be the first humane society in Canada to achieve it.

Bruce’s leadership extends far beyond Ottawa. Bruce doesn’t hesitate to support others across North America, and to help their organizations accomplish what OHS has achieved. He is frequently asked to share his organization’s “secrets” to fundraising success. While others may become frustrated at these demands and instead focus their efforts inward, I have witnessed Bruce go above and beyond on many occasions to professionally guide others. He was a founding member of the Ontario Animal Welfare Network, and has helped to build a collaborative community of professionals dedicated to strengthening animal welfare in Ontario. It was a rare occasion when someone in the Network was looking for a policy or SOP and Bruce didn’t immediately offer, “OHS has one; I’ll send it to you.”

Because of Bruce’s time in animal welfare, connections between shelters are stronger than ever. He continually advocated for shelter professionals to attend Association for Animal Welfare Advancement conferences, never missing an opportunity to share how the conferences benefit leaders and build relationships. And he was a great friend to share a drink with at the end of the day!

While he will be missed in animal welfare, his colleagues wish him a very happy retirement.


Melanie Coulter, LL.B., J.D., M.Sc., is Executive Director at Windsor-Essex County Humane Society in Windsor, Ontario.


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