Humane Society CEO Embraces Animal Advocacy


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/07/2022 (252 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For a lifelong animal advocate, it truly is the cat’s meow to work in a profession that helps our furry friends.

Jessica Miller became Winnipeg Humane Society’s chief executive officer last February after serving as a board member for several years. However, she initially embarked on this journey when she was only 13.

“It was then I started to become aware of animal welfare issues and took an interest in doing what I could at that young age: becoming a vegetarian, signing petitions, volunteering and taking my education seriously,” she says.

“From adolescent to adulthood, I climbed the corporate ladder but never forgetting where my true passion originated. Obtaining the CEO position for the WHS was like having your cake and eating it too.”

In her dynamic role, Miller tackles duties that range from reporting to the board of directors and liaising with all levels of government to running a shelter that helps more than 10,000 animals each year. She also oversees efforts to fundraise $7 million to $8 million annually and encourages donations through

“I have been given the opportunity to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. There is legislation to change, costs of our programs to recover, and hundreds of perfectly imperfect animals to get into the homes they have always deserved,” Miller says.

“Not only do I see companion animals have their lives changed every day, but our organization also moves the welfare needle forward by being active in farm animal welfare, conducting animal investigations and attending emergencies, running One Health programming with northern communities, and providing much-needed programming to assist low-income owners.”

At the same time, Miller understands the importance of giving back and believes volunteer work helped pave the path to her leadership role. Over the years, she has volunteered with countless animal rescues, as well as Kids Help Phone, Children’s Hospital Foundation and the steering committee with the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba. She embraces the opportunity to work with post-secondary students and participates in I Love to Read Month along with her own furry friend, Abigail the mastiff.

As a woman in leadership, Miller aims to set a good example and provide opportunities to others.

“I have been mentored by many strategic, business-minded, kind women in my life. I want to offer the same to those up and coming in their careers,” she says.

“The WHS was founded by a woman and started out as an organization for the protection of women and children and evolved into an animal shelter. I am certainly where I belong and hope to do justice to those who ran the organization before me — and especially to those who will run it after me.”

For other girls and women aspiring toward their dreams, Miller encourages them to work hard and take the steps needed to get there.

“Manifestation can be powerful. See yourself in the position you want to be in and make it so — by believing it, working for it and choosing positive paths to get yourself there,” she says. “While you are following your dreams, be kind. Kindness is key.”

In Miller’s eyes, International Women’s Day offers a time to celebrate women for all that they are.

“We are a lot of things: powerful beings, major contributors, empaths, warriors and everything in between,” she says.

“Today, I will celebrate my life, my daughter and family, my career — and I will actively manifest the future I would like to see for myself.”

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