The Board of Directors oversees the affairs and business of the Nova Scotia SPCA and establishes policies, rules and regulations to carry out the obligations and powers of the Society in accordance with the Animal Protection Act and the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society.

The Board is currently comprised of 16 volunteer directors, seven of whom are elected as directors at large, three representing the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture and the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association and five regional directors. Directors serve for a four-year term and are eligible for re-election. All directors must be members of the Nova Scotia SPCA.

Contacting the Board of Directors

The Nova Scotia SPCA Board of Directors encourages questions and comments from Society members, supporters and the general public. If you wish to send an email to our Board of Directors, please email with Board of Directors in the subject line.

Board Members

Jim Kochanoff
Jim Kochanoff Chair of the Board Jim Kochanoff is an Accountant and Manager with NS Department of Health and Wellness. His hobbies include writing (six published books), hockey and kayaking. Jim has been involved with the NSSPCA for nine years and Chair of the Board for the past year.
Charl duPlooy
Charl duPlooy Treasurer Charl is a chartered accountant in public practice and joined the board of directors in 2010 bringing expertise in financial matters and governance to the society.
Sarah Oliver
Sarah Oliver Secretary Sarah Oliver has been a volunteer with the SPCA since 2009 and a Board member since 2011 – currently serving as the Secretary. Sarah grew up in Milton, Nova Scotia, completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree at Dalhousie University in 2005 and completed her Chartered Accountant designation in 2007. Sarah is currently the Chief Financial Officer at Fortune Bay Corp. in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Cara Boston
Cara Boston Member at Large An absolute lover of animals with the utmost concern for their welfare. Cara Boston is a Sales and Business Development Specialist with 20+ years in the Financial Industry. A long-time supporter of the SPCA and it's ideology of Saving Lives.... Creating Families.
Merridy Rankin
Merridy Rankin Member at Large Marridy Rankin is the appointed Civil Servant on the Board of Directors for the SPCA.
She is the Provincial Inspector for the NS Department of Agriculture and collaborates with SPCA inspectors for the enforcement of the Animal Protection Act.
Leah MacDonald
Leah MacDonald Member at Large
Barry McCarthy
Barry McCarthy Member at Large Barry has worked for the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources since 1998 in Parrsboro, Truro and Shubenacadie; where he loves working with animals at the Provincial Wildlife Park and his responsibilities are in animal care. Previously Barry has volunteered walking dogs at the Colchester SPCA and has been on the Provincial Board of Directors since 2010. At his home in Shortts Lake, Barry has a Dog Daycare and Boarding facility as well as having four of his own dogs – Hershey, Peanut, Cuddles and Gizmo!
Judy Layne
Judy Layne Member at Large Experienced in both the public and private sectors, Judy’s most recent position was Dean of Science and Health at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST). She possesses Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration degrees. A life-long animal lover, Judy is an avid SPCA volunteer.
Gail Melanson
Gail Melanson Member at Large
Virgina Jones
Virgina Jones Member at Large Originally from Newfoundland, Virginia now calls Halifax home. With her law degree from Dalhousie University and her MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, Virginia is curently the Vice President and General Counsel for The Armour Group. Throughout her career she has provided strategic advice to both professional and volunteer boards, ensuring sound corporate governance and business planning. A life-long animal lover, Virginia and her partner share their home with two dogs adopted from the Nova Scotia SPCA and a four year old gold fish!
Jessie Irving
Jessie Irving Member at Large Jessie is a solicitor with Nova Scotia Power Inc. and has practiced law in Halifax since 2010. Her experience in corporate, commercial and regulatory law has afforded her a sound understanding of how government and judicial systems operate.

She obtained her law degree from Dalhousie University in 2009 and prior to that, obtained a Bachelor of Science with Honours from Mount Allison University. Throughout her academic tenure, Jessie was the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards. She is also the author of several legal publications.

Jessie is a past board member with the East Coast Environmental Law Association as an Executive and committee member, and has experience with governance, strategic planning, communications, and fundraising initiatives.

Originally from PEI, Jessie has been an animal lover her whole life and grew up with horses, dogs, cats, and rodents. She currently lives in Halifax with her husband Ryan and their adopted dog Ella.

Jessie believes strongly in the importance of the SPCA's mandate and looks forward to contributing her time and energy to furthering the organization's animal welfare objectives.