Hamilton, ON (Monday, November 23, 2020) The Board of Directors of the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA (HBSPCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Melanie Barlow as incoming President and CEO effective November 30, 2020.

Melanie succeeds Marion Emo who will be leaving her role at the end of November following a remarkable eight-year tenure of building partnerships to support improved access to care and rehoming for animals at risk in our community.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Melanie Barlow as the incoming CEO at the HBSPCA on November 30”, says Kim Ciavarella, Chair. “Melanie’s knowledge of the community we serve, her understanding of vulnerable populations and her program leadership will support HBSPCA’s service to community well into the future”.

“At the same time, we say good-bye to Marion Emo who has led our organization through extraordinary changes in the animal welfare sector locally, provincially, and nationally. Marion’s steadfast leadership has truly reflected the principle of being in service to community. Marion and her extraordinary team of staff and volunteers have expanded access to animal well-being for chronically under-resourced pet families with the support of community partnerships and grants”.

Melanie and Marion will be working closely together over the next while to ensure a smooth transition. Both are committed to engaging staff and stakeholders during leadership change and sustaining service continuity every day.

Melanie was born and raised in Burlington and has been a Hamilton resident for twenty-three years.  With experience in the corporate, education and non-profit sectors her most recent role was as Executive Director at Ancaster Community Services, a local charitable and social services organization. Melanie is a proud owner of an adorable Brussels Griffon.

“I am thrilled to be joining the HBSPCA and to be a part of a community-minded team of staff, volunteers and Board Members. The support that the HBSPCA receives from donors is a testament to the incredible work that is done to support pets and their people and advance a humane community.”

The HBSPCA currently has an active staff of 22 and an annual operating budget of $2.3M. Its Companion Animal Hospital on site at 245 Dartnall Road served more than 6,000 animals last year.

For information contact Marion Emo. CEO. 905-574-7722 ext. 310.


The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA is a donor based charitable and non-profit animal welfare organization. Our mission is keeping pets and people together, supporting pet families and leaving no animal at risk behind. Discover the miracles that happen everyday at www.hbspca.com