Meet Annette and John: Our Paw-some Heroes for People and Pets

Hey there, fellow animal lovers! Let’s wag our tails in excitement as we introduce you to Annette and John, our fantastic volunteer superheroes who are on a mission to make the world a happier place for both humans and furry friends.

These incredible humans have their paws full as they team up to lend a helping paw with food deliveries and community gatherings for the HBSPCA. Woof, that’s not all – they’ve been spreading love and joy through volunteering for more than 20 years! From the moment Annette stepped into the volunteer world, she’s been a true leader, starting off with walks alongside our doggy pals. She soon switched gears and drove volunteers for pet visits and gathered donations. She even chauffeured animals to vets before our onsite Animal Hospital – talk about dedication! She then stepped in to help community cats and when the companion animal hospital opened, she rolled up her sleeves to clean instruments and cages, ensuring everyone had a comfy space.

Now, when John decided it was time to retire in 2012, he joined Annette in their mission. Together with their Golden retrievers Stewart (Stewie) and Buddy, they embarked on pet visitations, bringing smiles to people’s faces wherever they went. Stewie, a shining star from the SPCA, stole hearts with his natural charm, but he’s crossed the rainbow bridge since then. Buddy, who’s reaching a wise age of 12, still loves his people, but pet visitations became a bit tiring. He deeply missed his buddy Stewie when he left us.

When Stewie’s light dimmed, Stewie Jr., another Golden, came into their lives, complete with some health quirks. John believes it was destiny – they’re experts at giving extra care. They spread joy and warmth through pet visits until the pandemic put a temporary pause on gatherings. Nursing homes and adult day programs were their playgrounds, where they formed deep friendships. The circle of joy would see the dogs spreading wagging tails and the people sharing laughter. These memories are cherished.

As the world faced Covid, Annette and John turned their hearts to community days – an event they absolutely adore. A couple of times each month, they gather downtown with pet food in tow, helping folks who might be struggling to feed their furry companions.

Annette shares, “We find joy in giving”. And John adds, “Helping others is a big part of our Christian faith – if someone’s in need, we’re there to lend a paw.” Their love stretches beyond their doorstep, reaching their sons and nine grandchildren.

Annette and John understand they can’t save the whole world, but they’re paw-sitively dedicated to making their corner of the world shine a little brighter. Their commitment is inspiring and their actions show that making even a small difference can create ripples of joy.


Looking to make a difference in your community?  Be sure to check out our current volunteer opportunities