Introducing Leanne Niblock (and Hope)
Animals have been a big part of Leanne Niblock’s life at every stage. Growing up in northwestern Alberta, her family always had horses and cattle, as well as cats and dogs. Once Leanne embarked on her professional career, it seemed a connection to animal welfare was always nearby.
Leanne was appointed Executive Director of the Alberta SPCA on September 5, 2023, becoming just the fourth person to hold the position in the 64-year history of our organization, a position that allows her to have an impact on animals right across the province.
In Leanne’s early years, she spent a lot of time with farm animals, owning and riding horses, and as a member of 4-H caring for and showing steers, heifers and cow/calf pairs. Her agricultural background helped Leanne land her first job in television as the ag reporter in Lloydminster. Her passion for agriculture would be a theme throughout Leanne’s television career.
Eventually, Leanne switched careers and moved into roles as a strategic planner and communications professional. And still, animals were never far away. While working at the University of Calgary, Leanne was part of the team that helped open the new Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. Leanne also spent time volunteering with 4-H and agriculture programs at the Calgary Stampede as she worked hard to stay connected to her agricultural roots.
A new animal element found its way into Leanne’s life when she moved to Edmonton. She adopted Hope, a rescue dog, and since that time has fostered another 10 to 12 canines. As Leanne has learned, when you foster an animal, you’re actually helping two; the one in your home and the one that gets to use the shelter space that opened up when the foster animal came to you.
As Executive Director, Leanne has numerous issues she wants to tackle, and goals she wants to achieve, as she works to support our vision that every animal in Alberta be treated humanely. It starts with bringing a systems-thinking approach to dealing with the challenges facing all animal welfare organizations in our province. As we grapple with helping Alberta’s animals, Leanne’s hope is that by planning for those challenges, the Alberta SPCA and other dedicated animal welfare organizations in the province can serve their missions with even greater results.