Submitted by J.T. McVeigh of Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin
If the cat hadn’t come back who knows whether there would have been a celebration at the Georgian Triangle Humane Society.
You see a little over twelve years ago Fran Bernard was asked by a friend to look over her cat. It was an outdoor cat so Bernard didn’t mind , in fact it used to follow her around when she went outside to work in the yard.
“We talked about the cat, it was an outdoor cat so I kept it inside with me, then eventually would take it out when I worked in the garden,” said Bernard. “One day it just took off.”
Frantic, Bernard called the Humane Society to see if anyone had turned in the cat. After calling so many times, the volunteer Bernard always seemed to be talking to asked her if she would like to volunteer.
Bernard took her up on the offer and worked out of the satellite office they used to have in Craigleith before moving to the new facility on the 10th line eight years ago and has shown up every Thursday since.
Oh, the cat. “Fortunately the woman I had been friendly with found the cat about 4 and half months later,” recalls Bernard.
A cat person by nature, they don’t seem as needy as dogs, Bernard worked as a voluntary cat technician.
For Bernard the best part off helping out at the shelter is the animals.
“You are helping to do something for them, giving them medications if they are sick,” said Bernard. “it’s a great group of people here and we all work to make sure the animals are well-cared for,” said Bernard.
Sonya Reichel, executive director of GTHS knows how much stronger a the shelter with volunteers like Bernard.
“Fran’s been volunteering with us for 10 years as a cat car technician working so many important areas,” said Reichel. “but she also represents a volunteer that illustrates how we wouldn’t be able to operate without the help from volunteers like Fran who come every week and she will actually stay to 8 to 9 hours a day.”
“We have 300 active volunteers and without them we wouldn’t be able to help the volume of animals that we see her.” Reichel said. “Last year we saw over 1000 animals.”
For Fran her plans are taking her to Cambridge to be closer to family, but her experience with the GTHS will move with her.
She has plans to check out the humane society there once she’s settled.