Over 28 years ago, Lynea Lattanzio dedicated her home, her property,
her finances and her entire life to create The Cat House on the Kings,
a no-kill, nonprofit sanctuary, rescue and adoption center for cats.
Lynea has rescued tens of thousands of animals from shelters, abusive homes, and abandonment... and has helped get thousands more spayed and neutered.
It takes lots of (wo)manpower and time to take care of The Cat House.
Assistant Shelter Director/Petco Adoption Mgr/Board of Directors
One of our most valuable and multi-tasking staff members is Tammy Barker, who currently serves as the Assistant Shelter Director, the Petco Adoption Facility Manager (and she's also President of the Board of Directors!). She does off-site adoptions at our Fresno Petco adoption center, facilitates hundreds of spays/neuters for the community, coordinates TNR efforts, fosters a multitude of kittens, transports to other rescues out of town, co-chairs the Fundraising Committee, and leaps tall buildings in a single bound! (Not really, but she IS the force behind our twice-a-year Open House fundraisers!)
Kitten Quarters Supervisor
Karla Cortez has been with the Cat House since 2004. Karla is the supervisor of our Kitten Quarters 1 and 2. Kitten Quarters 2 is where the kittens with medical issues go. Karla’s duties include, but are not limited to, answering the always-ringing phones, setting up appointments for spaying, neutering, potential adoptions and assisting with cat surrenders. Karla gives visitor tours, manages the online adoptable cats, as well as tending to the daily tasks of cleaning up after, feeding and caring for our many residents. If that isn’t enough work, Karla also takes home foster kittens. Karla runs the Kitten Quarters with a calm, efficient hand.
Accountant & Spoiler of Cats
Lisa Boyajian is The Cat House on the Kings Accountant, and Official Spoiler of our office cats. She's been known to bring in a buffet of treats and cat food from home (yes, even tuna) to "make friends" with the multiple office cats who (of course) think she's the cats meow. Lisa is also a devoted and diligent Cat House foster mom and is quite active in the community with various TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) projects around her neighborhood.
Herlinda has been with The Cat House on the Kings for three years doing double-duty as the Housekeeping Supervisor (managing 6-10 employees) and also as the CareTaker/Cleaner in our super Senior Center. How does she get it all done? Her days start at 3:30am with feedings in the Main House and moving on to FIV ward and elsewhere! We're not sure, but we suspect she may be superwoman! Needless to say, the cats recognize and follow her EVERYWHERE!
Facebook & Fundraising Coordinator
A lifelong cat lover, Harvie has been formally involved in animal rescue for nearly two decades ~ and has fostered more than 50 dogs and 150 cats for various local animal rescues. She joined The Cat House on the Kings full-time in 2011 after being with us part-time since 2010. Harvie is an experienced Vet Tech/Adoption Coordinator who has fostered multiple litters of kittens, administers our Facebook page and related Facebook groups, serves as our Fundraising Coordinator, as a member of our Board of Directors, and has written monthly column about The Cat House on the Kings in Kings River Life Magazine. In addition, Harvie assists with special events and writing projects, supervises numerous volunteers and college interns, assists with Open House planning and helps staff our offsite Petco Adoption Center as an Adoption Counselor for more than 8 years. During her years with us, she has grown The Cat House on the Kings Facebook page from 2,000 fans to almost 1.3 MILLION fans and has created ancillary Facebook groups with over 100,000 members.
Beth has admired The Cat House on the Kings since she learned about our organization while working for an animal control shelter. She is thrilled to share all of the hard work that everyone does here to make the Central Valley (and the world) a better place for all animals. Her goal is to network The Cat House on the Kings Mission, through media, public speaking/presentations, education, social media outreach, volunteers, donor support, adoption promotion, and any means possible! "It has always been all about children and animals for me, they give us all that is truly meaningful in life, we should give back more in return! I feel that after being in the animal welfare profession for more than 20 years, this is the place that I can do the most good."
Supervises the maintenance crew.
Christine Cordova has loved cats since childhood, and she especially loves feral cats, as they really are just misunderstood. As a child she would bring them home and try to tame them. "It is heartwarming when a feral cat trusts you and allows you to pet it."
Christine loves helping to make a difference, along with her co-workers, in medical & supportive care for the cats. "I love working for Lynea, who has devoted her all to the rescue of cats, kittens, & even dogs, she is truly an inspiration."
Christine achieved a major goal when she became an RVT. She would like to take her career further by specializing in veterinary dentistry. She also hopes forensics in veterinary medicine will be in her future, as well.
Adoption Coordinator Satellite Adoption Center
Tara Boyd has loved animals for as long as she can remember. When she's not playing mom to a toddler, 2 dogs and 4 cats, she helps staff our Petco Adoption Center as an Adoption Coordinator. She initially came to work at The Cat House on the Kings soon after she completed her vet tech training and externship in 2016, and recently returned on a part time basis where she loves to organize, clean, and enjoy the cats at our Petco Adoption Center. Her interests include caring for animals, enjoying time with her son, aromatherapy and cooking.
Volunteers are critical to our survival. We cherish our group, and would love to have you join us!
There are aspects of doing animal rescue, re-homing and welfare that don't come to mind until you are in the thick of it and realize that you have a certain need like animal transportation. Until the cats or kittens are adopted into a family that will take them where they need to go, we rely on a special volunteer, Dave Ayers, for transport. This too involves more than one might think especially in the heat of the valley! Dave may have to make many stops during his transport trek and he always keeps the well-being of those in his care as the top priority. Dave helps with the adoption juggling production by taking a last minute transport request to get a cat from one location to another so that it can go home with their new family. Dave does the kitty change out tour at least every two weeks so that the cats and kittens can make the rounds in an increased effort of exposure for their adoption potential. Dave assists in supply transportation, event support, special project support and many other areas that we need volunteer help in. Dave also sets up the cats and kittens in their locations making sure that they have fresh food, clean cool water, fresh bedding and of course fresh litter. There is a lot that Dave does for the animals and we are grateful for his ability to pounce on so many last minute, "could you go now" requests!
Foster Care, Adoption Center Volunteer, Special Events Volunteer
Being compassionate about animals should be an easy thing to feel, it can certainly be said with ease, but it is difficult to actually DO! People like Christine Bagetakos make animal welfare very attractive by their incredible ability to continue to do more to help with the emergency vortex of animal rescue all while staying calm, collected, and considerate. Volunteers can suffer from compassion fatigue the more that they become involved in saving lives, causing them to become undependable, causing them to do things that are not so beneficial, causing them to leave, so when a long term volunteer not only stays dependable, takes on more, gives more, solves more, and does all of this while treating everyone in a manner that makes them walk away smiling...that is volunteer royalty! Christine is one of our long term royals, she wears a crown of love that whomever works with her can see and feel but she is the kindest of people that wouldn't accept a crown(unless she could sell it to raise money for the cats)! Christine volunteers her days off of her full time job to do adoptions at our Fresno Adoption Center, because she thinks that every companion animal should have a safe and happy home. She covers many aspects of our Spring and Autumn Open Houses, including being there all day for each one, working our script table that is incredibly busy, and keeping communications flowing! Immediately following our Spring Open House, Christine is the hostess with the mostess for our Annual Yard Sale, which if you have ever done a yard sale you know how much work that is.
Santa couldn't have a better assistant, photographer, companion and human juggler for each year's Santa photos that we do at our Fresno Petco Adoption Center. This being a short list of the many things, activities, aspects of help, support, involvement and hard work that Christine volunteers. "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention" ~ Oscar Wilde, thank you Christine for being a cheer evoking volunteer of so very much ACTION!
Open House Vendor Coordinator
Amanda's first word was “kitty” and she's loved cats since before she could walk! What else would you expect from someone who has grown up in an animal-loving family like hers. For more than a decade, Amanda has been volunteering for The Cat House on the Kings, helping with everything from kitten fostering to helping to care for injured cats to assisting with adoptions and at our Fresno Adoption Center as well as volunteering at Cat House on the Kings Open Houses. What's even more impressive is her energy and enthusiasm ... on occasion she has cycled from her home in Clovis to the Cat House in Parlier for the Open House and THEN volunteered a full shift! Amanda is not only great at giving tours of the Cat House on the Kings, for the last two years she's served as our Vendor Coordinator for our Open Houses, freeing up time for Tammy Barker (her mom), to focus on other aspects of the huge event. Thanks to her efforts as Vendor Coordinator, Amanda has single-handedly increased Open House vendor attendance, satisfaction and revenue through her outreach, organization and efforts. A registered nurse who works long hours at a local hospital, Amanda is a competitive cyclist, a vegan chef, and she loves to do agility with her standard poodle, Jet.
Lifesaving takes caring hands that give loving care, meet immediate needs, deliver medications, provide core necessities, and of course cuddle with compassion the very beings that our organization was created for. Our foster homes and foster humans carry the tiniest and neediest lives through their crucial formative days and we are grateful to introduce you to Jackie Berton, a furbulous fosterer. She fosters special needs kittens, litters of kittens and emergency situation kittens. Finding foster homes that can provide the kind of lifesaving care that Jackie provides can be hard and they are "priceless" and certainly precious to rescue organization's. Our hearts are calmed when we place lives in the care of those we know we can trust with them. Jackie also goes all in by also volunteering at our Adoption Center to help with home finding and placement of not only her fosters but all the foster families babies.
It's understandable why Jackie's easy going and steady caring personality keep everyone joyfully moving forward whether it is with her ongoing help to Collie rescue or before when she was a pet sitter. Jackie doesn't get rattled which is a gift and a superhero asset when it come to animal rescue, fostering and going the extra mile by doing emergency transportation. We adore you Jackie and we appreciate all that you bring, give, take, embrace and foster!
Kitten Care Riverside Petco
My name is Kim Buck, I am a huge animal lover. I have 6 cats and a Deer Chihuahua currently. This was not really planned.
My old man is Dakota who I rescued from a local rescue 19 years ago, Bella my Chihuahua was turned into a local shelter as an adopt a buddy, I have had her almost 13 yrs.
The 3 grey girls I have I adopted from friends who moved to Kentucky, they are 12 and I have had them for 8 years. The 2 youngest are 4 yrs old - were rescued from
a flip house in Visalia and I helped hand raise from about 2 weeks old. I originally had no plans to keep them, but between turning 50, not having human children and getting
SO ATTACHED from bottle feeding, there was NO ONE WHO WOULD LOVE THEM LIKE ME.
In 2014 I was feeling a bit depressed after losing my father suddenly in February. A great friend recommended volunteering and told me about CHOTK.
I had never heard of the rescue and was intrigued. It worked out wonderfully that they had a satellite adoption location at the Petco at Herndon - 99
near my home. So I have been volunteering for about 6 years and I Love it. It makes me feel needed and I like to serve and help save lives.
I also get my fix for playing and loving on kitties. It is a WIN, WIN SITUATION!!
I highly recommend volunteering, especially for the things you love to love!!
Volunteer, foster mom, transporter, special events and more!
Animal welfare involves a lot of juggling and it takes special multi-talented volunteers to help us meet the daily demand. Janis is one of our dedicated dependable volunteers who helps at Petco every Friday and every other Saturday feeding and cleaning. Keeping the kitties well cared for amidst the ever-evolving chaos is a calming centering force for the animals and the humans at our busy Adoption Center. Janis helps at our Open House setting up which begins very early at 6:30 am, where she brings her family to help because she shares her compassion with them and she knows we need as much help as possible. During her time with The Cat House on the Kings, Janis has also opened her home to several foster cats and kittens, giving them all that they need to grow and thrive until they can be adopted. Then her juggling continues by transporting animals to the places that they need to be for care, treatment and adoption processing. Having volunteers that understand our needs as an organization and that are willing to go above and beyond to meet those needs are vital, Janis is one of those volunteers! Kind, calm, steady and gentle are not only endearing qualities for volunteers but necessary in the life-saving business we are in and we are ever so grateful to have Janis by our sides to help us save more!
Kittie Care Clovis Petco
When you sign up to volunteer for something you are passionate about you are not always sure what lies ahead but you have high hopes to make a difference for those in your community. We share a lot about juggling because we all do so much of it, although it may come in different forms. Carol Contreras is a compassionate kitten and cat juggler, literally! When you volunteer at one of our remote Petco locations you have to handle cats and kittens in a small space which means while you care for them you may be actually juggling them. Not only do you deal with kitties wanting attention, you are also dealing with the daily care of feeding, cleaning, scooping, scrubbing, sweeping, linen fluff or change and watering! Carol goes above and beyond by helping us juggle supplies, messages, updates, changes, laundry, and all of the humans involved in the adoption process. We cannot thank Carol enough for all of the deep breaths of relief when she steps in to fill in a day of kitten care for another volunteer as well. There may be other needs that arise such as transport of kitties from one location to another, supply refills, wellness checks, and training of new volunteers, as you can see...juggling. Carol juggles all of this with kind and thoughtful dependability. The kitties come first with Carol and we are grateful that she keeps them at the top of the juggle pile and because she does, 100s of kitties have passed through her hands and on to loving adoptive families!
Remote Petco Volunteer
Janice has loved cats for as long as she can remember! It started with a Siamese cat that became a part of her family when she was five years old and it continues to this day, where she is owned by several rescued cats. Janice became aware of The Cat House on the Kings while shopping for her "fuzzy children" at Petco and she immediately knew that we were a cause that she needed to support. The Cat House on the Kings provides a vital service to the community and she said it's been an honor to be a part of our wonderful organization for several years now. Janice not only juggles kittens carefully, for a long time she also juggled humans and supplies to keep things running smoothly at one of our remote Petco adoption locations. It takes a lot of coordination to make sure that kitten care is provided daily, that sufficient supplies are available, and that kittens are transported for adoption and wellness needs. Whether she is transporting, fostering, participating in TNR or simply cleaning cat habitats, she knows that together we are saving hundreds of cat lives every year! We are very grateful for the many areas that Janice volunteers in and for her ongoing enthusiastic support.
Candie Faith and Daughter Kallie Foster Team
Candie started her rescue journey about 15 years ago. She loves animals and knew that she wanted to make a difference by changing the lives of rescue animals. For the first 3 years she volunteered for a large breed dog rescue. She fostered Great Danes and Mastiffs and did transports to get animals on to a better life. After her daughter Kallie was born, they decided that they would switch things up and foster kittens. Fortunately Candie had heard good things about The Cat House on the Kings and the work that we do so she reached out to us to see what she could do to help. Fostering is always a top priority when you are trying to save as many lives as possible. Candie has taken in and socialized hissing baby kittens that then learn they can love and trust people. Candie has fallen in love and although hard she knows that she has to let them go on to adoption so that she can make room for more. Fast forward nine years of fostering and she loves how much compassion it has taught her daughter, Kallie. Kallie has helped most of her life and is becoming quite a pro! Another part of their team is their English Mastiff that loves all the babies and is an excellent foster dog mom to all the kittens! Candie and Kallie also work together as a team to make their community a better place by doing TNR and educating people on the importance of spaying and neutering. Kallie is thankful to be a part of The Cat House on the Kings too and Candie knows that she will continue on to help as many animals as she can even as she grows and that makes her a proud mom! Candie said "thank you to The Cat House on the Kings for all that you do and I am honored to be a part of it." We say, "thank you, Candie and Kallie for being such a dynamic foster duo and we are grateful for your impact for our community and the future. We love having you as a part of our team!"
Adoption Center Window Genie
Noses, fingers even foreheads press against our Adoption Center windows to get a closer view of our kittens. Keeping a cat following your hand as you run it across the glass to keep their attention as you check out their beautiful markings, all apart of visiting and possibly adopting your next companion pet. Keeping all of our windows sparking, clean and shiny, meet Laurie Garvey! Volunteers bring sparkle when they help by helping their way, Laurie's way is fast, fancy and fabulous! Having clean windows and doors is something that supports our mission in a clear concise way but may not be what comes to mind when you think about helping animals. Making the windows seem invisible makes our cats and kittens more visible, so we are very grateful for Laurie's dedicated service. Laurie has been cleaning the windows and doors at the Adoption Center from it's opening and we can't imagine the cats and kittens looking out to the world through anything other than her lovely clean windows!
Foster Care, Profile Support, Special Events
Often our volunteers wear many helping hats including writing bios for kitties or even themselves, we are thrilled to have such talent as a part of our team! Meet Caitlyn who is a part of a whole volunteering family that we hold dear!!
"I can’t remember a moment in my life that I didn’t live with a cat. I started volunteering for the Cat House in 2011 with a litter of 3 bottle babies. They were so much fun, I was hooked. Bottle babies are pretty time consuming, but I loved it. It didn’t take long for my parents, Charlie and Cheryl Krauter to jump on board and foster too. I’ve fostered more than 100 kittens and lost count long ago. I have two boys, Dylan and Ryan, and they love to help. They have taken over bottle prep and feeding when I have to be gone. Ryan also takes amazing pictures of our fosters. The boys will tell me it’s time to get more when we are between batches. Who doesn’t love always having fun kittens in the house! We also have two dogs and two grown cats that help make our kittens more “well rounded” I like to say. Kids, dogs, cats...our fosters tend to be pretty laid back when we’re done with them. Sometimes it can be a little hard to part with them, but I know they are going to great homes that will give them tons of love and attention and if we let them go, it frees us up to help save some more. We’re having to take a break right now because I’ve gone back to teaching and grad school full time. I’m still able to volunteer and help by uploading pictures of cats and kittens onto the website when current fosters or Cat House staff take them. There are volunteer opportunities for all types of people. Have a few minutes to spare? Great! Write a kitten’s bio story or crop and upload some pictures. Have a spare bathroom or bedroom and a little more time? Sign up to be a foster and save some lives. There are kittens waiting to be saved right now, they just need foster homes to become available. Have no time OR space? If you shop on Amazon, use the Amazon Smile option and choose Cat House as your charity of choice. You do your regular shopping and Amazon will donate a percentage to The Cat House."
Special Events Volunteer
“Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” – John D. Rockefeller
Jessica Johnson began volunteering as a PR student. Public relations classes can bring a variety of volunteers to our organization because who wouldn't want to work with animals! Promoting animal welfare can happen through many activities, events, outlets and opportunities. Jessica soaked up the information, education and daily workings of our organization so effectively that she could volunteer for many of our events. Engaging visitors to our booths, educating on our programs, listening to the needs of the public community to assist them in the best way possible, all compassionately done by Jessica.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
We have so much going on in our lives, it is understandable when some volunteers only give their class time requirement and then they move on. To have a volunteer really learn all about our organization so effectively that they can cover an event solo is rare. Jessica continues to promote the hard dedicated life saving work that our staff and volunteers do. She also helps us fill gaps like finding us newspaper, sharing special rescue stories, promoting and covering planned or pop up events and she helps at our ongoing Spring and Autumn Open Houses. Versatility brings benefits above and beyond just coping and helps us shine on to do more good.
Jessica champions networking to save animal's lives all through out the Central Valley, thank goodness the voiceless have such a remarkable Public Relations Purrson on their side! Thank you Jessica for your dedicated donation of your time, talents, gifts, knowledge and education! We are saving more lives with more people knowing about it!
Foster Mom, Transporter, Story Writer
Professional photographer Jess Lessard has been volunteering at The Cat House on the Kings for almost two years. She discovered The Cat House on the Kings when she was kayaking up the Kings River from her home in Reedley and saw all of the cats lounging about in the sunshine and knew it was a place she wanted to check out. As a faithful and dedicated volunteer, she spends time cleaning as well as socializing the cats and dogs. She typically works in the kitten quarters alongside staff members every Tuesday. She also spends a lot of time photographing new adoptables or things being built on the property. Many of the photos you see on our website, our Facebook page, and in our calendar were taken by Jess!
Jess Lessard is “owned” by three dogs (two rhodesian ridgebacks and one terrier mix ~ who is a rescue) and two cats, a lovely sweet calico and a crazy tuxedo cat with a mustache. Her photography page can be found (and LIKED!) on Facebook.
Posie Lieder Sutton
Silent Auction Piece/Gift Creator
"If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we just might set the world in the right direction." - Martin Kornfeld
Thank goodness that Posie's swift action of kindness put her on a path towards The Cat House on the Kings. Eleven years ago she came across a litter of ten day old kittens that had lost their mother to a coyote and she scooped them up and took them to her local veterinarian. The veterinarian that helped her with the five very young kittens told her about The Cat House on the Kings. Continuing to care and foster the surviving kittens that Posie rescued, further developed her understanding and affinity for the species. She made an appointment to come visit our Sanctuary and she said that the tour and the visit turned out to be the most amazing experience of her life. Posie was astounded by our Sanctuary, of Lynea's legacy, and all of our staff and volunteers dedicated work. After learning about our organization, all that we do for our local community, the world-wide cat community and for animal welfare overall, Posie wanted to volunteer her time and many talents. She is an artist, a crafter, a painter, a seamstress, a gifted creator. Posie began making incredibly beautiful one of a kind items for our world renown silent auction at our annual Open Houses. She donated a vast array of clever unique items such as scroll saw pieces, paintings, pillows, quilts, kitchen sets, cat themed purses, in fact amazing items with cat themed fabric! Posie continued to look for additional ways to help us and so she also signed up to sponsor many cats over their lifetime at the Sanctuary. It didn't stop there, when Posie released a CD, she donated her proceeds to The Cat House on the Kings as well, this is such a special gift when giving not only your own creation but the rewards from your creation! She adds additional support by using Amazon Smile to benefit us each time she shops so her everyday living supplies life too! Many people would CATegorize themselves as an animal lover, and Posie has always been animal person, raised with animals, raised animals and when her son wanted a cat, they did get him a cat that then went on to travel the US with them! We are ever so grateful that Posie puts her love of animals, especially cats after taking the time to realize what wonderful companions that they are, into making life saving actions with her donations and continued support. Action creates change, creates positive direction, and people like Posie take action daily to make a lasting loving difference. Set backs like not having our Open House don't stop incredible volunteers like Posie because they find a new way of helping, of supporting, of donating. Thank you Posie for sharing yourself, your gifts, your talents, your contributions with others to inspire them into action or multiple actions like yours! Posie and her three cat companions would like to let everyone know that they can make a donation for The Cat House to get a download of her album here posie-music.bandcamp.com or shop our wishlist www.cathouseonthekings.com/wishlist to help out during these extraordinary times!
Kitten Care Friant Petco
Meet Angelik, one of our remote Petco kitten caretakers and an 8th grader at Alta Sierra. She has loved animals her whole life especially cats. Two days each week Angelik and her Mom go in to provide the daily care needed for the kittens awaiting adoption in a habitat at a local Petco. It is quite a talent needed to juggle feeding, cleaning, scooping and playing with our cute adoptable kittens. Kittens that cleverly learn how to get the most out of their care visits and they quickly try every avenue to get to you when the doors are open! This daily care is vital to the kittens well-being and to their ongoing journey towards adoption. Angelik has hopes of working in the field of animal health and wellness. She spends a lot of her time loving and caring for her 2 cats Simba and Persephone as well as other cats in the neighborhood. She believes in behaving humanely towards all animals especially cats! Her mom has no doubt she will continue to advocate and love animals ? Thank you Angelik for your compassion in action!
Foster Care, Kittie Care Volunteer
In the Summer of 2007, Mary rescued a neighborhood pregnant cat that was soon to have a second litter within less than six months! That cat had five kittens and another stray female cat had four kittens on the roof of her house! That is when Mary called The Cat House on the Kings for help with nine baby kittens! Kathy Scheer, our foster coordinator, took all nine kittens and one of the mother cats. Kathy asked Mary if she would foster kittens, so she said yes, "does anyone say no to Kathy!" From that point on Mary has fostered hundreds of kittens, teenagers, Mama cats with babies, and many baby kittens without mothers. She loved every minute of it whether, they were sick, healthy, and or scared, "well almost" says Mary! Mary has volunteered through The Cat House evolution by feeding and cleaning kitties at Petco even before our current Adoption Center opened. She also feeds, cleans, and cares for our kitties at our Riverside Dr. Petco. Mary transports kitties for spay and neuter services when their owners don't have a means to transport and she transports trapped feral cats needing spay and neuter from a local trailer park. Mary was raised on a farm and they always had a lot of tame barn cats. As an adult, Mary has always had rescue kitties from her neighborhood. Mary is thankful to Tammy and Kathy for her increased knowledge on felines. Mary also loves to shop so she has and continues to donate many lovely items to our Spring and Fall Open House silent auctions! We are grateful for Mary's dedicated longevity and ongoing support through our growth, expansion and daily provisional needs!
Adoption Center Volunteer
Meet Sarah Mukai. She loves all animals, but there is a special place in her heart for cats! She has been volunteering at The Cat House on the Kings Adoption Center since May 2020. Sarah first started volunteering at our Sanctuary main house location when she was in middle school and she enjoyed taking care of the kitties living there. Many of our volunteers start volunteering as students and we are very fortunate when they continue to volunteer or come back to volunteer after completing school. Sarah loves working with and getting to know all of the kitties at the Adoption Center and it is rewarding for her to see them go to loving homes. In July 2020, she adopted Winston (pictured). It was love at first sight for her. He is the first cat that she adopted by herself. She has taught him tricks like how to ring a bell for treats and high five (or paw five). She is grateful to be a part of The Cat House on the Kings community and have the opportunity to volunteer with us! Our team members appreciate having Sarah as a dependable compassionate volunteer that certainly helps keep things running smoothly on her days at the Adoption Center, especially since our adoptions have increased during the pandemic.
Meet Denise, one of our Foster Volunteers in her own words...
My experience with The Cat House on the Kings began in 2011 when CHOTK attended vendor fair at State Fund where I was working. I visited the booth but was not interested in a cat as I already had 2 male cats. However, my rescue dog, Codee who I had loved for 14 years, had recently passed. Surprisingly, they said they had not only cats but puppies and dogs too! They showed me a picture of a recently dumped puppy. My heart was so touched that I adopted her shortly thereafter. Her name is Macey and I have had her for 9 years. She breaks in my foster kittens, making them more adoptable as dog friendly kittens!
I have fostered kittens for a couple of organizations and landed at CHOTK. I am the foster who names the kittens with each successive letter of the alphabet. I am currently on “T”. People always ask me “how can you foster and then give them up?”. I will admit the first one was very difficult. His name was Grayson (He just wasn’t an “A” name).
After he shipped out, I actually tried to track him down to bring him back home to me.
It was then that I realized my role is to love them, socialize them, enjoy them and to nurture them to become the best possible pet for their forever human.
I love each and every foster. They give me WAY more than I give them.
Denise is also a member of CERT (California Emergency Response Team), a Chaplain with the Fresno Police RISE program, the Social Media Director and Volunteer Coordinator for CCADT (California Animal Disaster Team) and an Animal Transporter for the Kirkland Foundation. Thank you Denise for all that you do to help so many!
Kitten Care at remote Petco locations
Seven years ago, Amanda, signed up to volunteer for The Cat House on the Kings. Amanda filled a vital need for daily kitten care at one of our remote Petco locations. Meet Amanda in her own words, "I am an avid lover of all things macabre and spooky; art and photography. I am unconventionally conventional...I was never picky about breeds or species, but my bias is cats."
Amanda started marching to the beat of her own drum at an early age. Her compassion for animals is an important part of her path and we are grateful that Amanda not only marches out on her scheduled days to cover kitten care, she also goes at a moments notice to fill in for kitten care. You need a special set of juggling skills to take care of the kittens in this situation since they like to climb out of their habitat, they like to get into everything you are doing, they make providing the daily care a challenge to say the least! Amanda gives the kittens not only the cleaning, changing, feeding, watering care that they need, she gives them the much desired attention that they need to help them succeed in finding a family to adopt them. Amanda says, "Animals speak volumes when it comes to self love and loyalty. The very first feline I fell in love with was, Prince Albert. A partially blind Rag doll who was of calm demeanor." She does such an incredible job understanding the cats personalities that it makes being in a different environment not so scary, she helps them adjust to their temporary housing and get used to being around people in a different location. Amanda helps the kitties have the confidence to share their personalities and she helps take great photos of them when needed too. We have had to do a lot of adjusting due to COVID-19 and Amanda has patiently stood with us through all of the changes and we are so grateful for that as well.
When this pandemic ends, her goal is to attend Veterinary Technician school, then the rest will be history with her on going knowledge for all creatures big and small.
Foster Care, Transportation Specialist
You know that question, "are you a cat or a dog person?" well Gilbert Romero considered himself a dog person, until about 6 years ago. Two days after the adventure of climbing Mount Whitney, Gilbert found a tiny two day old kitten on the sidewalk. He immediately sought help for the kitten and this is how he found out that the kitten was only 2 days old, meaning she was born on the day that he had been climbing Mount Whitney. Whitney the kitten started a whole new path of adventure for Gilbert and thus changing his answer to the question, "are you a cat or a dog person?" to just YES! Anyone who has been in animal welfare/rescue for a bit knows that it draws you in deeper and deeper and can become overwhelming, it also seems to have a way of having animals in need "find" you! When a neighbor who was feeding feral cats suddenly stopped feeding them 4 years ago, Gilbert took over making sure that they were fed. This began the next journey of how quickly cats multiply when unaltered (not spayed or neutered) and Gilbert reached out for help. Gilbert continued learning through The Cat House on the Kings how extreme our overpopulation problem is here and he became a phenomenal Foster Papa! Finding a path to saving more lives faster is the goal for many volunteers once they become aware of how many lives need saving. Then came Gilbert's next adventure in animal welfare/rescue, transporting!! Many areas have more available homes, more foster families, and just more resources for the cats and dogs that they wouldn't have here so we need to get them there. Transport is very hard work all in a short period of time, for any of you who have children of any kind you know what it takes to load them up, now multiply that by 20, 30, even 50 lives! Gilbert has a rejuvenating spirit for everyone who comes in contact with him and he does this for all of us even after driving for ten plus hours. Having a Foster Papa do the transports makes a huge difference because he completely understands the needs of the animals in his care and provides that all throughout the trip. He also understands the pressure for traveling quickly back and forth since most transport vehicles are in high demand and are scheduled for trips back to back. Gilbert's actions of do the most good have translated into 350 animals being transported to other rescue groups in areas with more homes available, just this year alone. We are thrilled to look forward to next year with all the networking that he is doing for our animals in need here! We need special words for people like Gilbert and his supportive family because thank you doesn't always seem like enough! With a heart like his though we know he feels it when we say thank you and we will keep looking for those spectacular words that belong to Gilbert.
Foster Care and Adoption Center Volunteer
Kittens are very cute and it is not surprising to us that cat videos are always number one on the internet! The hard and never ending work that goes into rescuing, fostering, adoption, and life saving is not always cute, can be heartbreaking, is endless however rewarding when it gets back to the awe of success. People like Patty Sanchez are surprisingly hard to find, especially when you consider how long she has been volunteering all while having an over full time job managing apartments! It is her very profession that puts her on the same path as so many animals needing rescue, services, help and compassion. Many people will just walk by an animal in need and do nothing, while Patty steps in and does everything that she can for that animal. She fosters kittens, she helps animals find their way home, she also helps animals get medical care, and then on top of all that she comes in every other week to help clean and set up the Adoption Center in Fresno so that families with loving homes can be found for the cats and kittens there. When you foster kittens or cats it is much more involved than many people realize too and Patty steps up to those challenges too. Being a kitten photographer, a kitten personality profiler and name giver, a kitten coach, a kitten trainer, a kitten cuddler and all of the non-glamorous tasks, kitten cleaner, kitten maid, kitten transporter, kitten wellness provider, kitten cleaner (so much cleaning has to be mentioned twice) and Patty has done this for many years already! Continuing to be a dependable volunteer and foster for so many years is so greatly appreciated by the entire team here at The Cat House and we hope to express our gratitude for you Patty!
Adoption coordinator, foster mom, all-round volunteer
Kathy Scheer first became involved with The Cat House in 2002, when she retired from nursing, she began to dedicate a great deal of her spare time to the Cat House. Tireless and deeply caring, Kathy has donated her time, energy, and financial resources to the plight of abandoned cats and kittens.
Kathy's work for The Cat House is far-reaching.She spends her time rescuing cats and kittens from the community, hosting off-site adoptions at local Petco stores, helping at fundraisers, fostering kittens at her home, and coordinating transportation from the Valley to other rescue organizations throughout California. Kathy’s level of commitment is incredible, and The Cat House is very fortunate to have her as a volunteer.
Open House Boutique Curator
Meet Sue Staicer who makes The Cat House on the Kings Open House Boutique purrfect each time! Thank you Sue for the gift of your fabulous skills including this beautiful bio!
When I was in college, I dreamed about a place where unadopted cats and dogs could live together and roam free safely. Then one day I saw the Cat House on the Kings on the news! My husband Jeff and I volunteered at the 2011 Open House so we could check it out.
We thought it’d be 1 time and just a couple hours. But Tammy assigned us to the Boutique which was a folding table in the main walkway. We jumped right in and muddled our way through. I found time to pick up a little cat that had been sitting in the walkway watching me for a long time. He curled up in my arms and went to sleep for over an hour! I was hooked from that point on. (The picture is that day and that cat!)
This year is our 10th year doing the Boutique and it’s grown from a couple of hours at a table to a booth with many days of preparation and planning year-round. We have repeat “customers” and co-volunteers who we consider friends and look forward to seeing each time. We play with the cats, sell items to raise money for the cats, and feel good that we're helping the cats in our own way.
2 years ago we lost our beloved senior cats (our children) and started the search for kittens to fill our house again. We found them at the Petco Adoption Center with the help of Tammy & Harvie: 2 bonded brothers who we are sure were waiting for us. They are gorgeous, precocious, vocal and perfect for us! The adoption process was easy and fun with everyone there excited for our new boys.
Volunteering at the Cat House is exhausting, frustrating, heartbreaking, heartwarming, fulfilling, and absolutely delightful. It challenges me to use my skills in a different environment with different people. I enjoy the camaraderie that we all share simply because we all love cats. Every day I am there, I fall in love with at least 6 more cats. I go home tired and dirty and as happy as can be.
Adoption Center Volunteer
Marsha's journey with The Cat House began 8 years ago when her neighbors moved and left many cats behind to fend for themselves. The cats found a way in to Marsha's garage and started having litters so knowing a bit about TNR, she reached out for help and found our foster coordinator Kathy Scheer through The Cat House on the Kings. Kathy set her up with traps and trained her to do everything needed for TNR including how to care for the cats and kittens with their many different needs. Diligently working with Kathy for 2 years of teamwork they were able to TNR all the cats with many of the kittens going through the adoption process and into loving homes. Marsha had limited resources and her way to give back for all of the help and support she received, she gave the greatest gift, her time and energy. She became a regular weekly dependable volunteer at our Fresno Adoption Center where she feeds, cleans, scoops, cleans, juggles and patiently resets the multiple kitten and cat rooms. Marsha says she loves to be around the cats of course and she especially enjoys being around other wonderful cat people. Marsha has always had a profound love for cats going as far back as she can remember. Having a neighbor abandon cats is traumatic for the lives that suffer that fate, however Marsha went to work on the problem and turned it into a life-saving journey that continues to give back to this day. She is grateful to be a part of The Cat House because she is in awe of Lynea, what she has done, she is extremely grateful to Kathy for her staunch help and she wants to continue to give her support through volunteering!
Kitten Care Friant Petco
Meet Patti, one of our remote Petco kitty caretakers!
Hello! My name is Patti Stropko and I have loved animals for as long as I can remember. I live with my daughter, son-in-law, and 2 grandchildren. We have several cats at the moment, all but one of them is a rescue kitty. The first animal I tried to rescue was a very young baby bird that had fallen from a high tree. Unfortunately it didn't survive, but just the act of trying to save it made me feel that I was doing something worthwhile. It's funny - animals seem to know that I will help them because they just come to me, no matter how scared they are. Over the years I have personally gained a dog and four cats that way! I got started with The Cat House on the Kings because of my daughter Janet. She received an email one day about two and a half years ago after signing up for the newsletter from CHOTK, and in the email they were asking for people who could volunteer in the Petco stores. Janet shared that with me, knowing how much I love animals and that I had some extra time on my hands. After pondering it for a couple of days I decided that it would be the perfect way for me to help animals in some capacity. I've been volunteering for CHOTK ever since. I am constantly amazed at the work they do. Just knowing that every cat that comes their way will either be matched with an appropriate home or have a home at The Cat House is truly heartwarming. My granddaughter shares my love of animals and is always thrilled when she gets a chance to come with me to kitten care. She gives them lots of love, plays with them, and always wants to take them home with us! I am very proud to be able to pass on the importance of giving, no matter where or what form that takes place. I am deeply grateful to The Cat House on the Kings for all they do.
Adoption Center Volunteer
Ella originally came to The Cat House on the Kings to serve 365 hours of volunteer time to graduate from high school. While her graduation plans changed along with the requirement, Ella really enjoyed her volunteer time with us so she continued to volunteer at our Adoption Center at the Petco in Fresno. Ella didn't expect to learn so much about the many different breeds of cats and experience so many different personalities for each individual cat. Learning about breed traits, specific health and wellness needs and the interesting breed blends helps a volunteer connect and enhance the potential adopter experience which in turn leads to more adoptions! Cleaning litter boxes is usually not what volunteers think of first when they fill out a volunteer application, however it is one of the grandest gifts when well done as a part of your volunteer daily tasks because it is so important to continued good health and it is such a relief to our continually multi-tasking staff! Another extremely important duty that Ella does so well as a trained volunteer is greeting and properly guiding visitors and potential adopters through our visitation protocol. The steps needed to keep our kittens and cats healthy and protected from illness may seem monotonous but they are life-saving when you understand why they are so vital. Now more than ever we understand hand sanitizing between rooms for example and Ella does such a wonderful job at politely directing people to follow the health and safety protocols. Ella also does a terrific job of socializing the cats by paying attention to their personalities and helping them feel comfortable around more people then of course posing for increasingly incredible adoption photos! It warms our hearts and keeps us inspired when cheerfully reliable volunteers like Ella share that their time volunteering is also a stress reliever for them.
Thank you Ella for being a stress reliever for us too because we know that the next generations of cat rescue and care are in great hands like yours making the world a better place!!
Our fabulous fosters juggle a lot of life and lives, just like Debbie VonBerg! A teacher for 26 years with 2 adult children, Debbie, has a full life load but still constantly has foster kittens as a part of daily life. She has always loved kitties from as far back as her memories begin. Saving and helping lives in need has long been a part of Debbie's life so she was familiar with taking care of young kittens when she came across The Cat House on the Kings. A trip out for our Open House was the catalyst for Debbie to fall in love with our Sanctuary and our Mission that led to her applying to foster for us. Fostering takes a lot of hard work, way more cleaning than expected, intense emotions, dedicated diligence and unwavering care that can be difficult to maintain. Debbie has been delightfully dedicated to fostering for us since starting in 2015 and the math for all of these lives is impressive! Many people don't realize all of the extra efforts that go into fostering for adoption, like personality profiling, clever name giving, photography of a forever moving being, medical record keeping, appointment transport, potential family meet and greets among many others. That is why this math is so amazing when you consider all that goes into it, in the 5 years that Debbie has been fostering for The Cat House, she has fostered over 126 kittens with only 3 foster failures (a foster failure is when you adopt your own foster kitten/cat)! Foster families fall in love with their fosters and then they lovingly release them to an adoptive family to live out the rest of their lives. It takes strong compassionate incredible humans to continually foster, not foster fail every time, and keep increasing the math of lives saved, we are grateful that Debbie and her family are these kinds of humans!
Lacey is a champion for foster care as she understands the power of connection, home family care, and giving the best possible start to living a good life. It is hard work caring for foster kittens while
also juggling family life, however Lacey always makes it look fun and effortless. Lacey radiates the joy of care-giving and it shines brightly in all of her furbulous foster photos. It was one of Lacey's awe inspiring photos was the model inspiration for our new "Purrito" shirts. Lacey is also growing junior humane heros as well by having her children help with fostering, socialization and adoption promotion. Having kittens cared for, carefully handled and raised alongside children helps their chances of finding homes since they
will already be used to many different family members. Children are our future and Lacey involves her children in life-saving and all that that encompasses.
This is an adapted poem about fostering that is Lacey:
Although she is not their mother, she cares for them each day, she
cuddles, cleans and talks to them and watches them as they play.
She sees each new accomplishment, she helps them grow and learn, she
tries to understand their meows, she listens with concern.
They go to her for comfort, and she strokes away their fears. They
proudly show their pounce to her, she gives the loudest cheers!
No, she's not their mother, but her role is just as strong, she nurtures
them and keeps them safe, though maybe not for long.
She knows someday the time will come when they will have to part, but
she knows each kitten she cared for is forever in her heart!
Thank you Lacey for your way of life-saving that makes us all smile and
helps us keep going all the while!
Volunteer Satellite Adoption Center Fresno
Daniel has been volunteering at our Petco Adoption Center in Fresno for a few years now and he makes the day go much more smoothly by taking such great care of the kitties there. He came to volunteer at the Adoption Center when it was recommended by a foster parent family friend and now we can't imagine not having him there several days a week. The cats and kittens look forward to his gentle, consistent, and complete care. "I help out at the Petco Adoption Center because they need person power for cleaning and lifting supplies; I now have a rescued black cat named Lucky so I'm familiar with feeding routines and cleaning litter boxes. Thank you," Daniel says about volunteering. We know from his compassionate care that his cat is purrfectly named! We are very grateful to have Daniel, he certainly puts a smile on our staff's face as soon as he walks through the door. The kittens prance around when they see their friend Daniel because they look forward to his attention and care!
Adoption Center Photographer
Val is a mother, wife, works as a School Psychologist and Rodan + Fields Skincare consultant and has always had a love for cats, dogs, and animals of all kinds! She has a passion for photography and has found a way to use her skills to give back by helping to capture the personalities of the adoptable kitties at the adoption center at Petco. It is her hope that someone will fall in love with a photo, come to the adoption center and give a forever home to a much deserving kitty.
Terry Noell has been volunteering for The Cat House for a little over 13 years. It all started when his wife Tammy got involved with The Cat House and she was always asking for his help.
Terry is never in the spotlight (until now), but always in the background supporting and helping Tammy and The Cat House however he can. He has made several trips to the Bay area to transport kitties to other rescues and made a trip to Redding to deliver two fosters to their forever home. Terry also helps with off site adoptions at Petco.
He built a special room in their home just so Tammy could foster kittens, enabling them to foster and adopt out several hundred felines in the past several years. He is always loading and unloading food, paperwork and kitties. It was through The Cat House that he learned of the overpopulation problem in Fresno, so he proceeded to trap, neuter and return over 18 cats at his worksite so they would not continue the cycle of unwanted kittens.
Terry continues to help Tammy with TNR by transporting cats to The Cat House for spays and neuters, stops at the SPCA to pick up a cat that is on its last day and has learned how to help Tammy with blood testing and medicating their foster kittens. He always supports her in her efforts to foster, house and love as many kitties as their house and hearts can hold.
Terry is better known as the DJ at all of our open house events or the guy with the poodles.
Thank you Terry, for the time and energy you have devoted to our cause. The Cat House on the Kings would not exist without loyal supporters like you!
Eileen used to work for us. During that time, she absolutely loved her job swearing it was the best job ever because it combines the 2 things she loves - helping and kitties! She was sad to leave us because she loves the Cat House so much, but took her office cat Lt. Fuzzy to live with her. She still volunteers doing what she can online and she (and her hubby too!) still come up twice a year for the open house and man the front gate. Eileen says, “There’s no place like The Cat House! This place is as close to heaven as I’ve found! If you haven’t ever come and visited, you’re sure missing a treat! The staff, volunteers, sponsors and supporters are the best. It takes a lot to run this place. It’s absolutely amazing!”
Meet our volunteer extraordinaire, Charles Schaeffer! Charles has been retired from teaching for 20 years but he has been anything but idle. Mr. Schaeffer has volunteered his time with CASA, (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Habitat For Humanity, and tutoring homeless children. He says he is most happy volunteering his time at The Cat House on the Kings. Charles doesn’t watch TV much, preferring to read and listen to classical music in his down time. He does like to build things though. He has a complete shop with all the equipment needed for an expert carpenter to do the amazing job he is doing for the Cat House.
Charles noticed that the kitchen in the main house was in need of some help. “I saw that while it is a favorite hangout for many of the cats, time and the cats had caused some serious deterioration of the cabinets and the linoleum floors”, said Charles. Charles also wanted potential adopters to enter into a bright, inviting adoption area.
Charles is about halfway through refinishing the kitchen cabinets. He removes the doors and drawers and refinishes them in his workshop. The cabinets are being double varnished to make them moisture resistant. He then reinstalls them complete with updated hardware. Charles has contributed countless hours towards this immense project.
Charles has said that he intends to be around for a while. We were truly blessed the day Charles Schaeffer decided to come to the Cat House on the Kings. The Cat House is eternally grateful to be graced with the time and talents of such an extraordinary man.
Kitten Care Clovis Petco
Meet Tracie one of our dedicated kitten caretakers at one of our remote Petco locations. Tracie has been volunteering for several years now and has also helped with special projects/events like our annual yard sale to raise funds for incoming kittens with multiple needs. She has always been an animal lover and always seems to be rescuing some animal. She can’t tell you how many possums she has rescued! Tracie started volunteering for The Cat House on the Kings after she saw a sign up at the Friant Petco looking for kitten care volunteers. She really like the fact that our organization was a Best Friends partner, especially since her and her husband had visited their facility in Kanab a few years prior and they were very impressed. She also volunteers for several dog rescues by transporting rescue dogs from the southern states up to Northern California. Here's a bit more about Tracie in her own words, "I am particularly fond of cats and I have had cats as long as I can remember. We currently have two cats – both of whom we rescued from Woodward Park when they were tiny kittens. I have rescued many cats and kittens from Woodward Park and have always been fortunate to find homes for them. I also rescue rabbits and we currently have two rabbits." Tracie understands the importance of constant, consistent, and compassionate kitten care, how vital it is for their well-being and livelihood but also how it increases adoptions. Tracie enjoys volunteering for The Cat House on the Kings and always looked forward to seeing the cats and kittens and spending time with them. She would always be very excited when learning that one of them found a forever home. Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, she has really missed her volunteering work this last year and she looks forward to starting up again soon. We are very grateful for Tracie's patience during all of the changes that we have worked through due to the Pandemic. Tracie also said, "I am so impressed by and thankful for the work that The Cat House does in saving cats. I think they do an amazing job, and I’m honored to be a part of it." Thank you Tracie, we are grateful to have your dedicated and patient help!
We Need YOU!
It's easy! We need folks with all sorts of talents. A good deal of our work isn't glamorous; in fact, our greatest need is for people to help us scrub the facility and keep it in tip-top shape!
We also need people to foster kittens and cats, and help us medicate and tend to those cats and kittens that need extra TLC. To get started, just fill out a volunteer application, shoot us an email, or give us a call.
Lynea Through the Looking Glass
Beth Wilson of Bristol, UK, a self-confessed "Crazy Cat Lady" and artist, created this lovely drawing of Lynea, which she has kindly allowed us to show you here. You can click on the picture for a larger version.