K9Kastle exists because of the remarkable devotion of a handful (well, a polydactyl handful) of devoted volunteers, each of whom has compelling day jobs that almost never interfere with their commitment to the rescue efforts each makes. Below, in no particular order because there is no hierarchy of contribution, are a few words about each.
Jo Ann is one of the founding members of K9Kastle, who brings us our name as a result of her crew of small, elderly impaired dogs. They are now gone, but her passion for them, and for the cats to whom she was first introduced a mere 20 years ago, remains. A family lawyer by trade, Jo Ann sees our four-legged (and three-legged) family members as important family members. She has added many lawyers to our friends and fans, both as adopters and volunteers. It is they who prove that lawyers have heart.
Randi was also one of our founders. Working in human resources for a social welfare agency, she is well-positioned in her role as volunteer coordinator, principal adoption counselor for all our Petco stores, foster parent par excellence, go-to-gal for all sorts of questions from all sorts of people—including the rest of the board. Randi deals with situations that require finesse, and works to save every adoption from becoming a return with the confidence she exudes.
Nancy is a trained veterinary technician, formerly of the Bronx Zoo. She joined us as a full time employee—unpaid but for the satisfaction she gets from helping otherwise helpless animals. She does TNR (trap-neuter-return) at night, and then spends a full day checking on our cats in the Petco store in-house catteries in Brooklyn. Nancy is a girl who can’t say “no”—to any request to help an at-risk cat or dog—or squirrel or anything else that breathes air. In her “spare” time, she works for the Toby Project, ensuring that as many cats and dogs are spayed and neutered as possible, including the ones she trapped.
Emily is a set designer by education and trade. More importantly, she is a Renaissance woman, whose expertise in design, administration, animal care and welfare, time management, personnel, and issue resolution are exceeded only by her devotion to our mutual cause. Emily fosters, places, and delivers (be it across the street or across the country) more cats than any single person at our rescue. K9Kastle is fortunate that she has chosen to share all those attributes, and more, with us.
Tara is a social worker by trade, and a founder of K9Kastle more than a decade ago. An internet presence before many people were on the Internet, Tara teamed up with the rescue effort to bring her compassion and skill to K9Kastle, where she has saved dozens of elderly or challenged dogs, and taught us about the neurologically challenged cats on whose behalf the city shelter knows to contact us directly. Soon, Tara will be gracing Florida with her boundless capacity for compassion, but will always be a part of K9Kastle.
Alyssa is the newest of our board, but has proven that tenure has no bearing on the talent, time, or tenacity required to add rescue to her resumé. Combining her knowledge of pharmaceuticals with her love of animals, Alyssa has brought vibrant energy to K9Kastle, caring for those rejected by others, offering her own insight into the thorny issues that often arise, transporting cats, visiting our boarding facility and even tending to the cats there, doing countless adoption events and more.