Ron Wood is the kind of volunteer every organization wants to have. He’s dedicated, compassionate, and now, thanks to a program run through his former employer, CN Rail, his hard work has also become a cash donation for animals in need.
Each year, CN retirees, along with active employees, family members and surviving spouses, can volunteer for an approved charity and earn a donation of $15/hour, up to a maximum of 150 hours a year. Ron reached his 150 hours with the Ontario SPCA this fall and, thanks to the CN Railroaders in the Community program, $2,250 will be donated to the Society as a result.
Ron first began volunteering with the Ontario SPCA in the spring of 2021. He says he learned about the CN program the following year and was happy to begin recording his hours.
“I’m volunteering anyways, so might as well make money out of it,” Ron says with a laugh.
Making an impact through fostering
Kim Dooley, Provincial Manager of Volunteer Development at the Ontario SPCA, says Ron is a kind soul who goes above and beyond in every role he takes on.
“He wants to do anything he can to help,” she says. “He is very compassionate and he absolutely loves to foster.”
Ron has fostered nine dogs over the past two years, including 11 puppies at one time. He is currently caring for five puppies in his home. He says he first had the idea to foster after his dog passed away in 2020. For Ron, he says the best part about fostering is seeing the dogs change as they learn to trust.
“When you get them, a lot of them are shy and they hide in a corner,” Ron says. “But then after two or three days, you just see the change in them and they start to warm up to you a little bit. By the time I bring them back two or three weeks later, they’ve learned what it’s like to have a home.”
Hitting the road for animals in need
Ron has also volunteered as a driver. He has transported dogs to veterinary appointments, transferred animals to areas of the province where there are families waiting to adopt, and other driving as required. He also drove the Ontario SPCA Mobile Animal Wellness Services unit the last two summers to bring spay/neuter and wellness services to underserved communities.
Bonnie Bishop, Eastern Regional Manager of Community Outreach Services at the Ontario SPCA, says Ron is the kind of volunteer who’s determined to make a positive impact.
“He knows the importance of this work and is truly committed,” she says. “He really takes his work seriously, and is a true professional and a pleasure to work with.”
With five puppies to care for, Ron says he anticipates he’ll reach close to 300 volunteer hours in 2023. Now that he knows about the program through CN, he says he’ll continue keeping track and see how many hours he can reach next year.
How you can help animals in need
Interested in making a difference for animals in need? Become a volunteer with the Ontario SPCA! We are recruiting volunteers across the province for a variety of roles, including foster families, humane education volunteers, and so much more.
You can make a lasting impact in the lives of animals in need. Volunteer with us today!
Another way to support animals in your community is by adopting. Visit our website to see animals near you. Your best friend could be waiting for you!
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