Job title: Executive Director and Co-founder, Canadian Animal Task Force
Why he’s a 2022 Top 40 Under 40: R.J. Bailot’s internationally recognized charity provides animal-welfare services in underserved communities.
As executive director and co-founder of the Canadian Animal Task Force (CATF), R.J. Bailot’s days are spent in service of animal welfare.
Bailot incorporated CATF in 2007 and it became a registered charity in 2008. Recognizing that there was a great need for services in remote rural areas, CATF provides on-site veterinarian care, such as spay-neuter clinics and surgeries, for First Nations communities and other underserved regions. In addition to providing population control and other veterinary services, CATF also assists in disaster recovery of animals and pets and aids in relinquishment cases.
“We’re seeing an increase in the surrender of animals because [the owner is] not able to afford a veterinarian bill. In those cases, we try to help them when funds are available,” Bailot says.
CATF started out as a team of three and has grown to a network of more than 2,200 active volunteers. Since 2010, it has completed nearly 70 on-site clinics and examined, spayed, neutered, vaccinated and dewormed more than 21,000 companion animals. Additionally, CAFT has placed more than 7,500 surrendered animals with partner rescue groups. “We don’t go into a situation with an enforcement role; our role is to help people when they reach out for help,” Bailot says.
The organization’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. In 2008, Bailot was given an award for outstanding personal achievement by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. And, in 2021, the R.J. Bailot Bursary for Volunteerism in Animal Health Technology scholarship was created in his honour by the key donors behind the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre. The scholarship recognizes the impact Bailot has had on the lives of animals and people. “We can’t just care about animals and not people, or vice versa,” Bailot says. “We need to look at this in a full-circle way to see the long-term impact.”
“All my friends and family who have supported me and the work we do in helping animals.”