To celebrate National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week, this week we’re recognizing shelter and rescue groups across the country. Today, PetMeds speaks with Randall of Whisker Kisses Koalition:
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Tell us a little bit about your shelter:
Whisker Kisses Koalition provides rescue, rehabilitation and safe haven to cats and exotic pets that have been abused, abandoned, injured and confiscated. We provide a life home for cats deemed un-adoptable due to behavioral, medical or physical concerns giving them a second chance.
Whisker Kisses Koalition is working on raising the funds to develop the Whisker Kisses Refuge to be located on 20 acres.
The Whisker Kisses Koalition has formed the Stray & Feral Community Outreach Program. Whisker Kisses provides cat food and care supplies to caring and dedicated community members. Together Whisker Kisses and their community partners travel throughout the community and provide daily care for the many stray and feral cat colonies. In addition, Whisker Kisses engages in Spay-Neuter-Release by supplying live traps to team members, transportation to participating veterinarians, and providing vouchers for the exams. Whenever possible, homes are found for friendly cats or kittens or those that need extra care.
How did you become involved in helping to rescue animals?
Been working with animals for 30 years. BS in Wildlife Management. AS in Veterinary Technology, AS in Exotic Animal Training & Management. Currently run my own business Kritter Kountry, Kare for all Kritters as well as founded and is Executive Director of Whisker Kisses Koalition.
How do you feel your animal shelter differs from those in your area?
We are the only local rescue that is working on developing a refuge. We are the only local rescue that takes in cats which aren’t considered adoptable. We are the only rescue that has a program caring for stray and feral colonies. We are one of two rescues in the U.S. that rescues exotic pets.
What does National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week mean to you and your organization?
Hopefully it brings attention to not only our causes but to other animal rescues.
Do you have a favorite adoption story you would like to share?
We rescued Chance when she was dumped out of a moving vehicle while pregnant. She had a dislocated shoulders and other injuries. We paid for her surgery and care. She gave birth to 4 kittens. One was dead. The other three are healthy. Chance also has occasional seizures probably due to hitting her head on the pavement. She is happy and is doing well. We call her the cat who can run but can’t walk. On slippery surfaces she has trouble getting her front legs going and pushes herself along but once she gets her footing she runs great.
We know the work you do is selfless and many may even say underappreciated. What do you feel is the most frustrating part of your job?
I have put in hundreds and hundreds of hours going through all the red tape, paperwork, and design process to establish our refuge. We have engaged in countless programs, campaigns and events to raise the needed funding. All to no avail. We do get some funding to help with our day to day care which is extremely important but without the sponsorship funding to build the refuge we can only do so much. Our organization is unique in that no funds are used for advertising, fundraising or administration. All these funds are provided by our Board and Executive Staff. All raised funds go directly to the needs of the animals.
On the other hand, what do you feel is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Knowing we have helped an animal or saved it’s life.
Is there any advice you would like to give to pet owners, or potential pet owners?
Spay and Neuter your pets.
Lastly, what advice would you give to others wanting to become involved in animal rescue?
Realize to start your own rescue is a life-long commitment. The animals depend on you. Everything else becomes secondary. You must be dedicated and devoted. You need to realize that time is not all you put into it, you also end up putting in your own money.
Donate your time to existing rescues. But again realize you must be committed. It is not something you do light heartedly. Lots of love. Lots of time. Lots of successes. Also lots of heartache.
For more information please visit: www.whiskerkisses.org
Or Call Mon thru Sat 10am – 4pm (707) 443-4034
Thank you for telling us about Whisker Kisses Koalition, Randall, and for your dedication to this important cause.
(Interview conducted via email)