About Us

Our Board Members

Dr. Duane Landals - President

Dr. Landals and Duke

A fourth generation Albertan with deep roots in the province’s pioneer history, Dr. Duane Landals graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with a major in animal and soil science, in 1971.  In 1975, he obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.

Dr. Landals spent 25 years working in a rural mixed veterinary practice. After leaving private veterinary practice, he served 13 years as Registrar and Secretary-Treasurer of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association. He is Past-President of both the Alberta and Canadian Veterinary Medical Associations and served as Vice-President of the World Veterinary Association as well as chair for the 29th World Veterinary Congress in Vancouver.

Aside from a career in veterinary medicine, Dr. Landals’ commitment to improving the care and welfare of animals extends to several appointments, including Director and Vice Chair for Alberta Farm Animal Care, and Director for Veterinarians Without Borders, Canada. 

Dr. Landals lives on a small farm near Onoway with his wife Lucille. They share their life with 19 head of riding and driving horses and a joyful golden retriever. Their farm is conveniently located close to the families of their three daughters and six grandchildren.

Dr. Landals joined the Alberta SPCA Board in 2016 and was elected President in 2018.

Doug Sawyer - Vice President

Doug and his wife Carole have a beef operation near Pine Lake. Doug has over 20 years experience working within the livestock industry, as well as serving in various capacities on numerous industry-specific boards and committees, and uses a combination of skills and abilities within the boards he serves on. Doug is a producer who stays up-to-date with current industry trends and impacts. He has a strong history of identifying and implementing advanced strategic practices and policies, and has an extensive history of engaging and collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders. He has proven experience within many facets of the beef production sector, including both cow/calf and small scale feedlot operations.

Doug joined the Alberta SPCA Board of Directors in 2014.

Bonnie Weiss - Treasurer

Bonnie Weiss was elected to the Alberta SPCA board in 2015 and appointed as Secretary, a position she currently holds. Prior to becoming involved with our society, Bonnie was a teacher and served over 35 years in that capacity. Presently, Bonnie has no pets of her own but is kept very busy with four grandchildren, three ‘grandpups’ and volunteering.

Floyd Mullaney

Floyd Mullaney brings an extensive background in law enforcement and animal care to the Alberta SPCA Board. He grew up on a mixed farm in Manitoba where horses were always present. As an adult, Floyd has shown horses professionally on the Class A circuit for over 30 years, winning numerous championships along the way. His disciplines include halter, western pleasure, ranch horse and chore team competitions.

Floyd spent 23 years working for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including 16 years in Major Crimes investigations. After retiring from the Mounties, Floyd spent 13 years as a senior manager in Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. 

Floyd joined the Alberta SPCA Board of Directors in 2017.

Dr. Connie Varnhagen

Dr. Varnhagan is a professor of Psychology in the Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences department at the University of Alberta. As part of her work, Dr. Varnhagan studies, teaches and writes about the human-animal bond. Her educational achievements include a Masters of Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 1980 and a PhD in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara in 1985. Dr. Varnhagan is affiliated with the Centre for the Human Animal Bond at Purdue University of Veterinary Medicine where she began working with the organization to help low income people keep their pets.

Dr. Varnhagan joined the Alberta SPCA Board in 2017.  

Myrna Coombs

Myrna, Bodie, Salena & Dolly Parton

The Alberta SPCA works hard to ensure the welfare of all domestic animals in Alberta and having a board member like Myrna Coombs ensures we honour that commitment. Myrna and her husband raised llamas and goats for 19 years and Myrna was actively involved with the Alberta Goat Association and the Canadian National Goat Federation for many years. In that time, Myrna played a key part developing national standards for biosecurity for goat farms in Canada. While Myrna has retired from goat farming, she is still actively involved in helping animals. Myrna currently sits on the Board of Directors for Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS), and has been volunteering with the organization for nine years.

Myrna currently has three dogs, Bodie, Salena and Dolly Parton, as well as a cat named Matilda. All were adopted from SCARS although Matilda is not a fan of the dogs so she refused to join in for the attached photo.

Myrna joined the Alberta SPCA Board of Directors in 2020 and considers it a privilege and honour to work with such a storied organization, helping to support the organization and our staff to meet our goals and reach our objectives.

Maureen Manning

Maureen and Wheelz

Helping animals feeds her soul; this is how Maureen Manning describes her compassion and commitment to working with animals. Maureen has spent most of her life helping stray animals in precarious positions and in 2012 she formally started fostering cats and dogs for animal welfare groups. Maureen says she has helped care for too many animals to be able to count them all. In 2020 Maureen added “Alberta SPCA Board Member” to her title. As Maureen puts it, “I love animals and will do just about anything for them.”

Maureen’s family has always had animals including hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits. Currently she has 1 dog and six cats, and one of the cats, Wheelz (in the attached photo), is paralyzed in its back legs and uses a kitty wheelchair to get around. And if all of this wasn’t enough, Maureen is also certified in small animal acupressure and massage.

Lexi Burt

Lexi and Cayenne

Lexi and her husband Michael have a beef and grain operation south of Leduc. All cattle work on the farm is completed off horseback or using a dog. Lexi is a University of Alberta graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Health in 2016. Growing up around animals gave Lexi the passion to work in agriculture, and through post-secondary education, she expanded her knowledge of livestock production practices and the realities of livestock production in Alberta.

Aside from work on the farm, Lexi enjoys training dogs in agility and disc dog.

Lexi joined the Alberta SPCA Board in 2020.

Alberta SPCA News

Death of Dogs from Ukraine a Concern for All

June 24, 2020 The Alberta SPCA was saddened to learn dozens of puppies died while on route to Canada from Ukraine as part of a shipment of approximately 500 dogs last week, and we are pleased to hear an investigation is underway to determine what happened and to ensure a tragedy like this is not

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Dan Kobe

Foal Fun – Sharing #Pawsitivty

Spring is a time of new beginnings. A number of horses that came into our care this spring were pregnant and this means our herd is growing. And the babies are so incredibly cute! However, while we enjoy watching little ones like this having fun, we would prefer owners take steps to ensure we do

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Dan Kobe

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

What Happens When Your New Dog Stays Home Alone? One of the good news stories during the COVID-19 crisis has been the overwhelming number of people offering to foster or adopt pets. It seems many had wanted to include an animal in their family and decided that since they were home most of the time,

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The vision of the Alberta SPCA is that every animal in Alberta be treated humanely.

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