Some people think that working with an animal rescue means being covered in adorable kittens & puppies all day long. In reality, it isn’t always catnip and puppy breath. There is a lot of work that goes into maintaining Karma Cat + Zen Dog and our high standards of care and compassion. There is also a lot of money required.
In 2013, we spent $4,623 per month, that’s $152 per day, feeding and caring for our rescued animals. We start with good food for all ages; we believe that quality food leads to healthy lives. From our many bottle babies who need formula and baby cat wet food, to our several seniors who need filler-free quality kibble, everyone is given a chance to dine on healthy chow. All animals are spayed/neutered prior to adoption and vaccinated appropriately for their age. All cats are tested for FeLV/FIV.
We don’t shy away from rescuing a kitty because of possible long term health problems. Our covergirl, Kandy-pants, is FeLV/FIV positive. We took care of her until a wonderful adopter opened their home to her. Nicholas, Alvaro, Nicole, Natalie & Pedro all came to us as very sick kittens who probably would have been euthanized, but our wonderful volunteers worked with our vets to take care of them. All five are now in their own forever homes, happy and healthy. We currently have three cats, five kittens and one dog who need special care and the funding that goes with that care.
In order to support our efforts to save as many homeless animals as we can, we raise money in a variety of ways. We have at least one big event each year: our spring party, Paws for Celebration is our most successful fundraiser. We also have several ongoing fundraisers. Pura Vida donates $1 for every “Original” Karma Cat bracelet purchased and $2 for every “Platinum” Karma Cat bracelet, and Amazon Smile and iGive.com donate a percentage of your online shopping bills, and our latest endeavor is the walking app Walk for a Dog where we receive about a quarter for every mile logged while out on a walk. These are small fundraisers, but for us, every penny counts and we are thankful for each and every one donated by our fabulous supporters.
Now, you may be wondering what all this money talk has to do with a volunteer spotlight. Well, the woman responsible for our fundraising efforts is Linda Tamburro, and she puts every ounce of her heart into raising money for our rescued animals. Here is a peak behind the money at Linda Tamburro, Development Director.
(I) How and when did you start working with KCZD?
I responded to an ad for a Fundraising Coordinator on volunteermatch.com. I wanted to be involved with animal rescue but I didn’t think that I had the stomach to see them in distress, so I chose fundraising. Once I met Christie I knew that I wanted to do more so I also became a volunteer to help with the Kitties at PetSmart
(I) What is your favorite part of working for KCZD?
Too many to mention. The people definitely. The kitties definitely and how I feel when a kitty is adopted and goes home. It is a feeling that is very, very hard to top.
(I) Do you have a favorite KCZD story?
Jessica Rabbit (now Soot). Sweet little thing has Spina Bifida was adopted by a family in BOSTON who has a daughter with Spina Bifida. They learned about Soot on Facebook thanks to another group’s post. They started a Facebook page to raise awareness and even wrote a book! Special needs kitties are difficult to adopt. Black kitties are difficult to adopt. This kitty was a black, special needs kitty that someone came all the way from Boston to bring home. It just makes me cry with joy whenever I think about it.
(I) What is one thing few if any other volunteers know about you?
I was very afraid of cats when I was in elementary school. A cat scratched me (I tried to pick it up when she didn’t want to be) and it resulted in a trip to the hospital for a tetanus shot. Eventually I got over it.
(I) Do you have a favorite famous cat? (animated, internet, book character, etc)
I love Soot! I think my favorite is Justin, Fire Survivor. He is so awesome and adorable and sweet considering the horrific way he was treated. I love his story!
(I) What are your duties with KCZD?
Kitty care at PetSmart which involves cleaning out their cages, the litter, replacing food and water and of course lots of play and snuggle time. I love it if they can all come out to play together
I also try to raise money through events such as Give Back Night’s at restaurants, flea markets and fairs, Casino Night, Paws for Celebration and other methods. It is hard but very rewarding. I am also one of the newest Board Members
Claudine (adopter), Linda T and Rebecca S
(I) Do you have a favorite cat breed or color?
GINGERS. Love ‘em. Can’t get enough of them.
(I) What is your day job?
I work as a consultant for a financial services company that provides retirement plans for mainly nonprofit organizations. I straddle the line of IT and Business. My role is to determine system changes, document them and work with the business team, development team and quality assurance team to ensure that the changes work as designed and are rolled out on time and within budget.
(I) What do you consider to be your guilty pleasure?
Cake. All kinds. I love it.
(I) Do you have any pets of your own?
Three cats adopted together – not litter mates. All were approximately 6 months old when I took them home.
Roo – Brown tabby. She was named Miracle because she was born the day that her mother was going to be spayed. Her mother was so malnourished that they didn’t know that she was even pregnant. Roo was her only baby. She is very small but very feisty with the two boys. She likes to get up on her hind legs to play, like a kangaroo, so I named her Roo.
Jack – Ginger. Do you really want me to tell the Jack-ass story?? He was adopted as “Powder” when he was 6 months old. Within a few minutes of being in my house, he ran all the way to the back of the laundry room where got himself lodged behind a pipe. I had to climb over the washing machine to get him. He was thus dubbed “Jackass”. Jack for short Jack is absolutely my favorite because he is the most trouble and loudest of the clan.
Misha – Grey tabby. Thin and sleek – sweet as can be. He was the most timid and took the longest to get comfortable. Now he rubs up against everyone and LOVES attention!
(I) If you could meet a famous animal activist who would you meet and what would you talk about?
Jackson Galaxy – cat behavior and understanding what it means when they do…
(I) If you could teach your cat a trick, what would you want him/her to learn?
Using the toilet rather than the litter box!
(I) If you plan any kind of fundraiser (with no limitations) what would you want to plan for KCZD?
Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi concert
(I) Would you want to be able to talk to your cats? What would you want to ask or talk about?
Definitely. I think they would explain life to ME rather than me talking to them. I think that I would be in the listening end of the conversations!
Well, said Linda – well said.
We hope you enjoyed the second installment in our series introducing our volunteers to you. If you have any other specific questions you’d like answered, or if you have a specific volunteer you would like to see highlighted, please let us know! You can contact me at Rebecca@karmacatzendog.org