The BC SPCA presented two of its top animal cruelty investigators – Shawn Eccles and Eileen Drever – with Lifetime Achievement Awards at a special ceremony in Vancouver on June 1.
The dynamic husband and wife team joined the BC SPCA in 1980 and have been instrumental in saving thousands of animal lives during the past 32 years. “You will not find two more dedicated, knowledgeable or passionate protectors of animals anywhere,” said Craig Daniell, chief executive officer for the BC SPCA in presenting the awards. “Through a variety of roles within the organization they have had a dramatic impact on animal welfare in B.C. and across Canada.”
Drever worked with the SPCA in Scotland for two years before joining the Vancouver Regional Branch of the BC SPCA. She became executive director of the Chilliwack SPCA Branch in 1998 and in 2003 became a senior animal protection officer, overseeing a team of special constables in the Lower Mainland. In this role she has been involved in hundreds of cruelty investigations, including a case involving Canada’s largest known cockfighting ring and a high profile case involving Hazina – the famous hippopotamus used in the TELUS commercials. Last year Drever served as lead investigator in the high-profile Whistler sled dog investigation, the largest and most complex investigation in BC SPCA history.
Drever has also hosted a weekly adopt-a-pet segment on Global Television for many years and serves as an SPCA spokesperson to promote animals for adoption, to speak on behalf of the cruelty investigations department and to promote humane messages.
Eccles`s extensive expertise in every aspect of the BC SPCA`s work comes through his experience gained in hands-on roles in night emergency work, shelter operations and management, cruelty investigations, education and training, policy development and involvement in animal welfare and protection programs at the local, provincial and national level. He was instrumental in the creation of courses on animal cruelty investigations at the Justice Institute of B.C. and has created and delivered a wide range of highly regarded education and training programs relating to the welfare of domestic, farm and wild animals. In his current role as Chief Animal Protection Officer he is a mentor and role model for constables across the province who benefit from his exceptional skills and understanding of investigations. Shawn`s expertise is also sought by humane organizations and government agencies across Canada and he currently represents the society on the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and is a member of the Canadian Council for Animal Care.
The BC SPCA Awards Program honours both people and animals who have made outstanding contributions to animal welfare during the past year. Recipients include veterinarians, staff, volunteers and animal heroes. The non-profit BC SPCA cares for nearly 32,000 abused, abandoned, injured and neglected animals each year in British Columbia.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.