Susan Canterbury learned to take care of animals at an early age.
When Canterbury was 10, she volunteered at her local Humane Society. After she graduated from college, she worked her way up to director of the Grand Strand Humane Society in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
After a 3,000-mile drive with her two kids, her mother, a friend, three dogs, two cats and a guinea pig named “Sparky,” Canterbury, 34, is taking over as the new director of the Spokane Humane Society.
The Humane Society provides shelter for stray animals while trying to find them permanent homes. Some unwanted animals are put to sleep.
The society is in the process of drafting a proposal to take over SpokAnimal’s responsibilities for picking up animals.
“My mission is to get more animals spayed and neutered,” Canterbury said. “For a Humane Society, the goal is to put yourself out of business, to reduce the need.”
Canterbury hopes to establish a veterinary clinic at the Humane Society so animals can be fixed before they are adopted.
While in South Carolina she implemented a spay and neuter program where animals as young as 8 weeks old were getting fixed.
“Every decision I make is to benefit the animals,” she said.
But she needs the public’s help.
“This is not just a pound,” she said. “It’s a public, nonprofit organization. And for it to succeed, we need cooperation, concern and willingness to help from the public - it’s the public’s Humane Society.”
Canterbury is filling the void left by Paul Bosarge, who resigned in March 1996 after being accused of misspending donations.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo