Management team


elise_desaulniers_credit-same-ravenelleÉlise Desaulniers – Executive Director

Élise Desaulniers is an independent researcher and animal rights advocate. She is namely one of the instigators of the Animals are not things manifesto which led to an amendment to the Civil Code of Quebec explicitly recognizing animals as sentient beings. She has also published three essays on food ethics, translated into English, Italian and Spanish, and she is often invited to speak at conferences on the topic. She has over 20 years of experience in management and strategic planning, including at Sid Lee and Air France-KLM. She is also a partner at Desaulniers Simard, a web development consulting firm. To reach her:
Photo credit: Same Ravenelle


SPCA-Alanna-Devine2Me Alanna Devine Director of Animal Advocacy

Me Alanna Devine has worked at the Montreal SPCA for almost six years. Before the SPCA, Alanna clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada and obtained degrees in civil and common law from the McGill University Faculty of Law after completing a bachelor’s degree in Criminology. As Director of Animal Advocacy, she oversees the Investigations and Inspections Department, the Advocacy Department and works primarily on improving the protection of animals on a municipal, provincial and federal level as well as leading awareness campaigns on important animal issues. Alanna is also an avid vegan baker and has adopted a blind dog from the SPCA. She shares her office with Me Sophie Gaillard where they welcome foster dogs and cats. To reach her:

After graduating from law school, I knew I wanted to be involved in helping those in society who are the most vulnerable and who cannot speak for themselves – which clearly led me to animal advocacy. Being able to work full-time on behalf of animals, at the Montreal SPCA, is a dream come true.”

SPCA-Anthony-JohnsonAnthony Johnson  Director of Development 

Before the Montreal SPCA, Anthony Johnson has worked in marketing and communications in the pharmaceutical sector for many years while volunteering with animals whenever possible. At the head of the Montreal SPCA development team since November 2010, Anthony’s wealth of experience allows him to oversee all the related activities which include fundraising campaigns, meeting donors, and direct marketing. One of his two rescue dogs was adopted from the Montreal SPCA. To reach him:

Being able to do the work that I do, helping animals who are in need, is the most rewarding way I have ever spent my time and energy.”

SPCA-Genevieve-PepinGenevieve Pepin – Associate Executive Director

Genevieve Pepin started with the Montreal SPCA as an adoption volunteer, and then as a dog walker, before beginning to work full time as the Operations Manager in October 2011. She is in charge of the following services: customer service, special placements, sterilisation and veterinary clinics, animal care, building maintenance (SPCA and Annexe). She makes sure that all the directors and supervisors have the required tools and equipment to fulfill their duties. Genevieve regularly houses in her home dogs that are part of our foster program while they are waiting for their ideal family. To reach her:

We have the big challenge of finding, for every one of the animals in our shelter, an adoptive family or transfer to optimal conditions, all the while providing a pleasant, safe and motivating environment to all our employees.“

SPCA-Daniel-TougasDaniel Tougas, CPA CA – Financial Controller

Daniel has been the Montreal SPCA’s financial controller since April 2011. He is responsible for the entirety of the accounting and submitting yearly financial statements, all the while making sure that the weekly pay checks are well calculated according to government norms and the collective agreement. Daniel supervises a team of three people and is part of the financial committee with Montreal SPCA board members. This committee meets once a month concerning the shelter finances which they are responsible for. Daniel adopted from the Montreal SPCA shelter a sick cat who is now healthy and happy. To reach him:

Working for an organisation like the Montreal SPCA is very gratifying. There are so many challenges, as much from operational planning to administrative functions that our days are always very full.

SPCA-Gabrielle-CarriereDr Gabrielle Carrière – Head Veterinarian                                          

Dr Gabrielle Carrière obtained her doctorate in veterinary medicine at the Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine of Saint-Hyacinthe in 2007. She then worked in a private practice with domestic animals during 4 years before being hired as a shelter veterinarian with the Montreal SPCA. Gabrielle was given the title of head veterinarian one year later. Her role mainly consists in coordinating the activities of the sterilisation and veterinarian clinics, as well as relaying information to the public and other services, all while being a full time veterinarian. To reach her:

Shelter medicine is a challenge and a source of daily motivation. Nothing ever goes as planned. We must always become more dynamic and creative. Through the failures, but most importantly, the successes and great stories, we learn every day about animals and human nature.”


SPCA-Tammie-BenoitTammie Benoit  Special Placement Coordinator

 Tammie Benoit has a background in Administration and Management. Six years ago, she began as a volunteer at the Montreal SPCA Annexe, and since then, she has worked in almost every department at the shelter, including Animal Care Manager for 4 years. In 2014, she started as Special Placement Coordinator and is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with rescue organizations, training schools, and other shelters to ensure the placement of as many animals as possible and to minimize their length of stay. To reach her:

My passion in life is animals, and I believe that it is an honor and a privilege to be able to make a career of caring and saving animals. I currently have two cats and one dog, adopted from the Montreal SPCA.”


SPCA-Jade-MarcouxJade Marcoux – Customer Service Manager

During her 10 years of experience in customer service in different domains, Jade Marcoux has known how to equip herself with all the necessary tools to bloom in an organism that is in constant effervescence like at the Montreal SPCA. Since 2011, she has been responsible for the Customer service department which includes: the reception, the teams of lost and found and the patrollers, the food and product store, as well as the purchases for the Montreal SPCA and the SPCA Annexe. Jade manages approximately 20 employees and about ten volunteers on top of welcoming many trainees every season. She has adopted both her dogs at the Montreal SPCA – Chilli, a Chihuahua and Milo, a French bulldog. To reach her:

When adopting an animal, instead of buying one, we help to change attitudes. When adopting, we welcome a new member into our family and home. And when being adopted, the animal has a better chance of being part of the family for his or her entire life!

SPCA-Sofia-GonzalesSofia Gonzales  Adoption and Foster Coordinator

Sofia Gonzales works at the Montreal SPCA since November 2011 and she has an engineering background. She is responsible for the adoption services and our foster program. Sofia supervises a team of 10 people, all very invested in the Montreal SPCA mission. She also works with the head of each volunteer group which includes adoptions, foster families and Petfinder – a group of about 50 volunteers. She is also responsible for the PetPoint information system. Sofia has adopted two cats – Milos and Patita – as well as a Husky/Golden mix dog named Lili. To reach her:

I really love my work and my colleagues here at the Montreal SPCA, as we all strive for the same objective: educating the public and finding families for all our animals.”

SPCA-Marilyn-GelfandMarilyn Gelfand  Supervisor – Montreal SPCA Annexe

Although Marilyn’s relationship with the Montreal SPCA began in early childhood, her fate was sealed in the Fall of 2008 when a call from a fellow animal lover convinced her to come and help out with some 400 animals seized from Quebec puppy mills. Three hours a week at the SPCA Annexe (formerly the Emergency Shelter) became 40 plus and the rest is history. For almost six years Marilyn has participated in every aspect of shelter life including animal care, fundraising, event planning, adoption counselling, special placements, operations and currently co-direction of the Annexe. Her background as an Art Director and Photographer puts that creative twist on our animal portraits and bios. A failed  foster mom, Marilyn has 2 poodle mixes (both Annexe puppy mill survivors), a recently adopted 14 year old SPCA Yorkie, 2 senior cats and a senior English setter. To reach her:

Who would have thought that retirement would be so amazing? I have the honour of living my lifelong dream… rescuing animals!

sophie_portrait.jpg copyMe Sophie Gaillard  Lawyer, Animal Advocacy | Investigations and Inspections

Me Sophie Gaillard joined the Montreal SPCA in September 2013, after having graduated from McGill University’s Faculty of Law and articling at the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions’ office in Montreal. In her role as lawyer for the Investigations and Inspections Department, Me Gaillard supervises the SPCA’s inspectors and provides them with legal guidance, as well as acting as a liaison with prosecutors and law enforcement. As lawyer for the Animal Advocacy Department, Me Gaillard works on initiatives to strengthen animal protection legislation at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. She is namely one of the instigators of the Animals are not Things manifesto which led to the adoption of a new disposition in the Civil Code of Quebec recognizing animals as sentient beings. Her two rescue dogs, Milo and Pheobe, accompany her to the office every day. To reach her:

Having left an established career to go to law school in the hopes of becoming an animal protection lawyer, working at the Montreal SPCA feels like I have landed my dream job. The Animal Advocacy Department has made a real difference for animals in this province, and I am immensely proud to be part of it.

© All the images were created by Annie Dubois Photography –


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