Danny Ménard: Passionate about Animal Welfare
I had the pleasure of speaking with Danny Ménard, Coordinator for the Fondation BEA and President of the Association des Techniciens en Santé Animale du Québec (ATSAQ). We talked about his passion for animals, his career, and the welfare of animals in our province.
A True Animal Lover
Danny is a true animal lover with a particular interest for exotic animals. He has had many four legged friends throughout his life including dogs, cats, and turtles. Today, he is a pet parent to five llamas!
Danny always knew that animals would be a part of his life. Naturally, he chose to work with animals. He began his career at the Granby Zoo after completing a diploma in animal care from the Cégep de Sherbrooke. For Danny, working at the zoo was a dream come true. Not only did he get to care for the animals he loved, but he also got to interact and educate visitors to the zoo on animal welfare. This aspect of his work is reflected in the work that he does today for BEA.
Danny’s energy and passion for the welfare of animals is contagious. I noticed this immediately the first time that we met in November 2016. We both attended the Salon national des animaux de compagnie. This passion, combined with his personal philosophy based on community involvement, lead him to implicate himself in his trade association early on in his career. He was nominated president of The Quebec Animal Health Technician Association (ATSAQ) eight years ago.
A New Direction
After 15 years at the Granby Zoo, Danny took his career in a new direction. Having been an active member of the committee that laid the groundwork for and registered Fondation BEA, he was offered the position of Coordinator. He was, after all, the best person for the job. Foundation BEA was registered in 2013 following the unanimous approval of its structure by the committee mandated to look for a financial solution for animal Welfare in Quebec. The committee, put in place in 2009 by the provincial minister of agriculture, was composed of several representatives from animal welfare groups following the shocking revelation of the puppy mill problem in the province.
In a Question and answer format, here is an excerpt of our conversation.
Danny, would you describe for us what BEA is about?
BEA is a non-profit organisation that works with several organizations across the province. We support recognized and approved organisations that work for the welfare of pets everywhere in Quebec.
Our aim is to bring solutions that will have the best long term impact. Our work is primarily based on the following: adoption, sterilisation, identification, and care.
Could you tell us more about your role?
As coordinator, my role is to communicate information about the foundation. It is also about fundraising. Since we created BEA, we identified 29 different fund-raising activities of which 5 are now being carried out. And, of course, it is also giving back to the supported organisations in a manner that will do the greatest good over the longest period of time.
2017 is an important year for you and the Foundation. Can you tell us why?
Before being able to give back to the organisations that we support, we first had to do a lot of fundraising. For example, we held fundraising activities such as selling advent calendars for dogs and held Cani-course BEA, a dog run on Mount Royal in Montreal.
This year, it is the first year since creating the Foundation that we are able to give back to the organisations. We are going to give microchip readers. We realized that not many organisations have readers. For us, this is crucial in helping them identify animals, and reunite owners with lost pets. We encourage people to identify their pets, but the organisations also need to be able to read the chips when a lost animal is brought into a shelter.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
I would just like to thank everyone who supports organisations such as BEA. It’s thanks to them, and to other generous partners, that we can achieve results.
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us today!
If you are interested in learning more about fondation BEA, you can visit their website (information available in French).