Jane Kwiatkowski – I have loved cats all my life. One of my earliest and happiest memories is of my family’s black cat, pressing against my side like a wall of softness half as tall as me when I was a baby. My best buddy of childhood was my grey cat who played with me and followed me like a dog everywhere I went in our neighborhood. When my husband and I were newly married, our first “cat” was a quietly smiling, fuzzy black gumdrop-shaped toy cat who lived on the top shelf of our bookcase in our apartment where we renters were not allowed to have a real cat.
Cats became a permanent part of my family when my children were young, and a tiny grey-and-white tuxedo girl was dropped in our yard when we weren’t looking. Of course, we had to get her a friend, so she was soon joined by a spotted black-and-white tuxedo boy from the shelter. In the 30 years since then, we have had five more cats, two or three at a time, up through our current two boys, one of whom “followed me home” from the PetSmart North cattery in 2013.
Until recently I was always busy with family and work, so I never had time to do more for cats than share my home and love with these seven furry family members. But now, after retiring, I finally have time to join other volunteers helping cats and kittens find real homes and families.
I am one of the cattery volunteers who helps the cats and kittens get as comfortable as possible so that prospective adopters can see them at their best and most social. What I love is patiently waiting for them to overcome their shyness to allow me to make contact. I love the delicate extension of trust they give – if you wait long and quietly enough. And best of all is the chance to give them tenderness once they let you begin petting them, or when they finally climb into your lap, or when a little kitten relaxes completely into sleep in your arms, or leaps with delight after a toy. (Editors note: Jane was too shy in her bio to mention that she is the creator of our new logo design. Everyone is very excited)
Roxanne Jensen assists our cat rescue efforts behind the scenes all the way from Spotsylvania, Virginia(!). Roxanne works with our online cattery scheduling system (SignUpGenius) and our volunteer database to determine how many hours volunteers contribute each month. She pulls three different reports for the adoption center partner volunteers (Petsmart on Chad Drive, Petsmart on Willamette and Petco at Valley River). “I use what they signed up for and what they say in the comment section to determine their total time. Then I use a report in the new database to give the active fosters their volunteer hours.” To catch many other volunteers who work outside the adoption centers (transport, medical coordination, etc., etc.) Roxanne sends a monthly email to ask them for their time. These volunteer hours are used when applying for grants and donations and help us estimate what it actually takes to run our all-volunteer cat rescue group. “I volunteer because I love animals. If I could take them all home I would. I stay with WCDC because I started there and you have made it so easy to stay and help out.” Thank you Roxanne! Roxanne has been an active volunteer since 2015.
Jessica Kosie is one of our administrative and paperwork goddesses without whom we could not function. She has been an integral part of the Petsmart South team since 2013 when she was a socializer at the cattery at 2858 Willamette St. Now she puts together most of the adoption folders and cage cards for the cats and places the weekly Register Guard newspaper ad along with ads in other local publications to promote our adoptable cats. Jessica handles the Lane Rescues 30
Dave Dorrance has been a dedicated, dependable volunteer for WCDC for two years (and counting). In fact, it was exactly two years ago today, March 24, that Dave completed orientation/training as a socializer in the adoption center inside Petsmart on Chad Drive in Eugene. The kitties there look forward to greeting him Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00-4:00pm where Dave gives them lots of fun toy time and snuggles.He fills visitors in on the adoption process and loves to share the unique history of each rescued kitty to find just the right fit. 30
Debi McNamara is our Volunteer of the Month for January 2017 for her continued dedication and ongoing commitment to care for our feline friends. Since 2007 Debi has rescued strays and ferals all around her Oakridge community. She also works full time for the Lowell School District as their Business Office Manager. There’s really never been a time Debi hasn’t had at least one homeless cat in her care in varying stages of health, socialization and adoption. Over the past year alone, Debi has partnered with other volunteers and WCDC to reclaim the lives of nearly a hundred stray cats in the Oakridge community. 30
Kim Chapman and Greg Pope
The dynamic duo of Kim Chapman and Greg Pope have been a tremendous force in furthering the success of West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue since they joined in the fun of WCDC over a year ago. Always eager to help wherever needed, they have fostered, transported, adopted, cleaned cages, taken photos with Santa, made bedding and jewelry for sale and donation, participated in promotions and contributed countless hours and love for the tender furry souls in their care. 30
Charlie Chang has supported our location at Petco near Valley River Center for at least two years. He is very loyal and dependable and shows up even if a kitty is getting adopted on or near his shift, just to help and clean. He is always responsive and dedicated. It’s volunteers like Charlie who make WCDC’s mission possible, keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes to ensure every cat is loved and cared for.Thank you so much, Charlie! Here he is cuddling a scared kitty at Petco. More volunteers like Charlie are needed at Petco. For information, please contact Allison at email@example.com.
Mary Sooh is the current President of the Board of Directors of West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue. She brings years of experience as an educator, amongst other things, to the work she tirelessly does for our group. She puts in many hours each week, but is always modest about her accomplishments.A short list of the duties she performs includes organizing and leading the Board meeting each month, interfacing with West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue lawyers, writing grants, fund raising, writing the Donor Newsletter and the Volunteer Newsletter, 30
Like many who volunteer with West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue, Dune Erickson Hyatt has been rescuing and rehoming kitties on her own for many years. She’s volunteered with other organizations too, and we are fortunate indeed to now have her helping our cats and kittens.
Dune is able to work with and tame some of our shyest, skittery-est, nearly-feral kittens. She is one of the few fosters that will take on and bring around the older, unsocialized kittens for us. She lavishes them with love, spends countless hours teaching them to trust human touch and human care to make them adoptable. Her patience and skill are amazing.
In her non-cat-rescue life, Dune is also a huge dog lover, outdoor enthusiast, supporter of women’s athletics, and artist specializing in graphic design. Her lovely coloring books, cards, and other products are available through Dē Design.
Kate is a founding member of West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue. She is one of those people who saw a need, and stepped up to fill it.
She served as President of the WCDC Board from 2007 until 2015.
And following her retirement from the board (when not riding her horse), Kate is still working with WCDC to organize adoption events, set up a cat condo for a new foster, explain the medical needs of our rescued kitties to a newly-partnered veterinarian, rescue kittens from someone’s yard, offer counsel and advice to a confused volunteer, work at our fundraising events, foster adventurous kittens or elderly cats, and so much more.