What You Don't Know Can Really Hurt: Planning, Designing and Building An Animal Shelter

TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 10:45AM-12:30PM

Bruce Roney, Executive Director, Ottawa Humane Society
Sharon Miko, Director, Operations, Ottawa Humane Society

The OHS opened its new 40,000 square foot shelter in 2011. It was nearly on-time and was under budget, but some of the lessons learned were painful. This workshop will share the lessons learned in costing and financing , planning, design, materials and the thousands of other details that went into the project. Discussion will include working with architects, contractors and other consultants and the processes for each, as well as the many potential pitfalls in these roles and relationships.
Participants will receive an extended tour of the OHS shelter, with an opportunity to discuss materials, equipment and design elements hands on and in real time.


Bruce Roney has been the Executive Director of the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) since June of 2000. In this time, Bruce has overseen more than tripling of operational revenues at the OHS, the planning and building of the new facilities on West Hunt Club and guided considerable expansion of services for animals and people.

Bruce also worked as a consultant for the Humane Society of the United States. He has also advised the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and served on the board of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Association of Animal Shelter Administrators of Ontario.

Before joining the OHS, Bruce was Executive Director of Bruce House, an Ottawa organization providing supportive housing and care for people living with HIV and AIDS. Bruce held the position at Bruce House for four years.

Previous to his work with Bruce House, Bruce worked for over 11 years at the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa-Carleton in a variety of roles, including residential, individual and group counselling and coordinating YSB’s Drop-in Centre for street youth.

Bruce was born in Ottawa, dragged to a farm outside Almonte to grow up, and later had brief sojourns in Belleville and London.


Sharon Miko is Director: Operations with the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS). She began her career as a communications specialist in the non-profit field, and subsequently worked for several years as managing editor of a medical journal and then as a documentation manager in high tech. Sharon joined the OHS in 2004 as Manager: Outreach and assumed her current role in 2007. She has a special interest in policy and procedure to improve animal shelter practice and outcomes and was heavily involved in the years-long project resulting in the OHS’s new shelter building in 2011.
Prior to joining the OHS, Sharon served on the board of the OHS, Ontario SPCA and Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.