What speaks volumes about Shannon Broderick is not the BC SPCA staff excellence award she won, but the number of people who nominated her for it - seven, in fact.
"Her dedication, diligence and commitment to animals on the Sunshine Coast inspire everyone around her," said Karen Holland, who chairs the community council for the BC SPCA's Sunshine Coast branch.
The community council and branch employees all nominated Broderick, who was presented with the award during a special ceremony in Vancouver last Friday.
When Broderick joined the branch more than a year ago, she had no employees and no animals because the shelter had been temporarily closed. She hired and trained all her staff and gradually readied the shelter for re-opening, working long hours, often by herself, and for many days in a row.
Once the shelter and adoption centre were functional, Broderick began transferring animals from other overcrowded SPCA shelters to the Sunshine Coast to give them the greatest chance of adoption. Working tirelessly on behalf of the branch, she also put in long hours meeting with local veterinarians and members of the public and handling animal cruelty complaints.
"Without a doubt, she's one of the best things that's ever happened to this branch," Holland said. "She's been a godsend."
Broderick has also built up the branch's volunteer base, which is essential to its success and the success of the animals in care.
"Shannon works so hard herself that you can't help but follow suit and work hard right along with her," Holland said, whose own volunteer hours reach double digits every week.
On her days off, Broderick also "hangs out" at the shelter and it's not unusual to find an adoptable dog, cat or entire litter in need of some special attention spending nights at her cabin.
Bob Busch, the BC SPCA's general manager of operations, also has high praise for Broderick.
"Shannon has done a great job turning a slowly sinking ship into a sleek, dynamic speedboat," said Busch. "I have a problem keeping up with her."
After Broderick won her award, Holland made her promise not to leave her position for at least five more years.
"We can't do what we do without her," she said.
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 even animal heroes.