When the Georgian Triangle Humane Society accepts dogs from other parts of Canada and North America, it’s usually Pam Odam behind it. Odam is the Canine Outreach Coordinator for the organization and has been nominated for the Ontario SPCA Volunteer of the Year Award.
“It’s overwhelming because there are so many dedicated volunteers here,” she said.
Sonya Reichel, Executive Director of the GTHS, said they couldn’t operate the organization without the more than 200 volunteers. Reichel felt this was an opportunity to recognize Odam for all of her work.
“It’s to recognize her as a volunteer who has gone above and beyond for our organization,” she said. “Without which, we wouldn’t be really seeing some of the extraordinary collaboration and outcomes we are seeing from our GTHS animal transport program as well as our canine intake program.”
In her role, Odam connects with other animal rescue organizations across Canada and brings dogs into the Collingwood shelter and helps them find a new home. She said a lot of the rescues they’ve been getting are from Manitoba and Nunavut. In the past, the organization has also helped dogs from the United States find new homes. Odam said other organizations enjoy working with the GTHS because they know they’ll find a home for the dogs, as the demand is high in South Georgian Bay.
“We know we’ll find a home for all of these dogs,” she said. “We have a really active community of adopters. They don’t stay here long and we have lineups for dogs.” She said it is difficult to see the condition the dogs are in. She said a recent rescue was found in a snowbank. “When you see those pictures, it can be pretty overwhelming,” she said.
Odam retired to the area five years ago, and after doing charitable work in York Region, she wanted to get involved in the Collingwood area. “I decided I wanted to do something different and I had heard really good things about the humane society,” she said in an interview with Simcoe.com.
The first three years she served as a member of the board but wanted to do more than just developing policy. So she transitioned to a more hands-on role as she also serves as an Adoption Coordinator. “I have kind of found my niche as the organization has grown,” she said.
Odam volunteers every Sunday afternoon, helping families who come into the shelter looking for a dog. She said the best part of her role is seeing the dogs, especially those who have come into the shelter in rough shape, find new homes. “When they get emotional, I get emotional right along with (the families),” she said. “That’s the awesome part.”
The organization helps more than 1,000 animals a year and serves all of South Georgian Bay including Collingwood, the Blue Mountains, Clearview Township and Wasaga Beach.
Article credit: John Edwards at Simcoe.com