The Niagara SPCA announced Thursday that Amy Lewis, executive director, will be leaving her position as of Aug. 31.
"The shelter has evolved to a point where we finally have an experienced team and the right number of staff in place for the first time in six years. This gives me the confidence to now focus on furthering my career, possibly pursuing a veterinary degree," Lewis said about her departure.
Lewis has been in the position since February 2012 and, in that time, has helped restore the public's trust in the organization. She led the transition to a no-kill facility shortly after she arrived in 2012 and has consistently kept a 90 percent save rate. Since then, the shelter has saved the lives of over 12,000 animals.
In addition, Lewis was a vocal advocate for the Niagara County animal abuse registry, created in 2015, which was one of three in the state. She also hired a cruelty investigator to her team so the true mission of the Niagara SPCA could be fulfilled.
Lewis also involved the community in the Niagara SPCA through the creation of a junior volunteer program for children ages 11 to 18 and helped organize the "Orange Cat Campaign" that encourages local businesses to raise money for neighborhood TNVR (trap, neuter, vaccinate, return) programs.
She was able to update the infirmary to modern levels of care, resulting in more animals being treated and the shelter now has an isolation room for sick and injured cats. The Niagara SPCA has hosted numerous free clinics for vaccinations, microchips and spay/neuter under Lewis' direction. She acquired a surgical trailer in 2013 and organized vets to accomplish the program and has now hired the SPCA's first full-time veterinarian to start this year.
Bob Richardson, president of the board, said, "Words alone can't express the significant impact Amy has had on the Niagara SPCA and it will be tough to see her leave. The shelter was going through a difficult time when she arrived and she faced incredible challenges from day one. Amy never gave up on the mission of saving animals and the shelter would not be what it is today without the tremendous talent and dedication she possesses. We are so proud of the many things she has accomplished and wish her nothing but the best in her future aspirations."
The board of directors has retained Career Partners International to help conduct the search for a new executive director. Those interested in applying can send a cover letter and resume to Mary Ellen Carlo at [email protected]
The Niagara SPCA is a nonprofit animal welfare organization and shelter dedicated to preventing cruelty to all animals through public education on their humane treatment and to provide love, care, shelter and advocacy for companion animals in the community.
The SPCA is committed to a no-kill philosophy, embracing the practices of rehabilitating, fostering and rehoming companion animals in need and preventing their overpopulation through community outreach. For more information on the programs and services, visit www.niagaraspca.org