New position involves investigating animal cruelty complaints
TRURO - A new position as a special constable with the local animal shelter is a dream come true for an East Mountain man.
© Raissa Tetanish – Truro Daily News
SPCA special constable Shawn McGuiness plays with Marley, a dog up for adoption at the Colchester shelter. McGuiness was hired on with the SPCA in September to investigate animal complaints.
Shawn McGuiness was hired for the position at the end of September.
"This really is a dream job," said the 23-year-old who is originally from South Australia. "My background is in policing and law enforcement, and with a love of animals, to combine the two was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."
For the past 18 months, McGuiness, who works fulltime with a private security firm, has been calling East Mountain home.
He's been volunteering at the Colchester SPCA for about a year and will now be investigating animal cruelty complaints that are called into the Halifax office of the Nova Scotia SPCA.
"The Halifax office will look at the file and send it to me, and then it will be up to me to check out what's going on and make sure there is nothing untoward the (provincial) Animal Protection Act."
While he's been out training with the special constable from the Halifax branch, McGuiness said there have been complaints in Colchester County that he has been looking into. He's also able to investigate those that come out of Cumberland County.
"My main objective is to reduce the response times so people don't have to wait for someone to arrive from Halifax or Cape Breton," he said.
Growing up, McGuiness always had pets in the home.
"From the time I was born, we had a German shepherd - he sucked me into being an animal lover. We've had dogs and cats for as long as I can remember."
Along with McGuiness, the provincial SPCA appointed two others in the province - Teri-Lynn Leblanc in Yarmouth and the Tri-Counties, and Jo-Anne Landsburg in Halifax and Halifax County.
"This is what I have been doing, but I'm part of the team officially now," said McGuiness.
If anyone believes an animal is being abused or neglected, a complaint can be made by calling 1-888-70307722, or emailing email@example.com. All complaints go through the Halifax office, not the local branch.