Over 25 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 more than a decade ~ 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. She has fostered multiple litters of kittens for us, in addition to her primary duties of serving as the Facebook Page Administrator and Fundraising Coordinator for The Cat House on the Kings. She assists with writing projects, works with our college interns, helps staff the Fresno Petco Adoption Center as an Adoption Counselor, and coordinates Silent Auction Donations for Open Houses. During her time with The Cat House on the Kings, she has grown The Cat House on the Kings Facebook page from 2,000 fans to almost 1.3 MILLION fans!
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.
Working at The Cat House on the Kings has fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine to be a part of the animal rescue process. I come from a long line of animal lovers. My father used to rescue strays and re-home them. He taught me early in life that animals are unique pieces of our universe and should be protected and nurtured, always. Every day I get to love on furry little angels who return my affection ten-fold. I’m excited to come to work and see what new opportunities have presented themselves for the cats. I’ve always been a strong believer in the age-old adage, “it takes a village,” and here at The Cat House, the importance of getting everyone involved in becoming a part of the solution has never been more emphatic. I work with some of the most selfless and giving human beings who inspire me to do and give more than I thought possible. I have a front row seat to watch all the magic happen. The magic of generosity, kindness, compassion and humor. I’m blessed to be here and very grateful. Besides animals, I’m addicted to my family, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and cake…
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.
Jairo Medina is one of our dedicated office staff members who helps keep things running and organized behind the scenes. His sister is a vet tech and his first real experience with cats was helping her with kittens she was fostering. Since coming to work for The Cat House on the Kings, he's become totally hooked on cats! He loves how The Cat House on the Kings is really making a difference in our community and for the cats, and appreciates getting to spend time with cats while helping to fulfill our goals. In addition to being a lover of coffee, he's also quite musical and plays bass and drums!
Adoption Coordinator Satellite Adoption Center
Nicole Stirling grew up around cats on her family's cattle ranch, where she also helped take care of cows, horses, goats, dogs and cats! She has started her vet tech training, and enjoys the opportunity to gain more experience and to take care of the cats and kittens at our Petco Adoption Center where she works part time as an Adoption Coordinator. She hopes one day to become a veterinarian, and in the meantime enjoys ranch life, riding horses, and participating in rodeos!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.