Volunteer Spotlight: Julie

Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 80 volunteers in various roles helping us achieve our mission—to save homeless, abused, and abandoned cats by providing veterinary care, rehabilitation services, and then placing them into loving adoptive homes.

Julie has volunteered with Ten Lives since May 2019, and she is a crucial part of our foster team. Julie has one resident cat named Remy, and three resident dogs named Roxy, Nina, and Penny. She has fostered over 30 cats in her time with us, and recently welcomed her newest foster, Cayenne. We truly appreciate everything that Julie does for our rescue!

1. How did you originally hear about us, and what made you decide to become a volunteer?

I was fostering for a different rescue, and a co-worker of mine discovered a Ten Lives fundraiser through PVDonuts, which paired donuts and cat rescue together. I immediately knew they were my kind of people and I applied!

2. What is your favorite story or memory while volunteering with us?

I truly enjoy taking in pregnant mother cats and giving them a safe place to have their last litter of kittens! My favorite memory was fostering this orange cat named Doug. He came to me filthy, matted, and injured, and he was scared of just about everything. I took him in at the same time as a pregnant mother cat named Ambrosia and was just hoping to keep him long enough until another foster home could take him. Much to my surprise, he formed an incredible bond with Ambrosia and started to learn to be a cat by watching her kittens grow up! It was the sweetest thing watching him overcome his trauma and become a big dopey uncle. He and Ambrosia were adopted together and get to continue to be each other’s best friends!

3. What have you learned during your time as a volunteer?

I’ve learned so much during my time with Ten Lives. When I first started fostering, I thought I would be a cat whisperer and it would be as cute as a Dodo video. In reality, fostering is a lot of hard work, and I’ve had my struggles. The cats and kittens we take off the streets are very vulnerable and usually have some kind of illness or ailment that needs tending. I’ve learned to recognize how and when to intervene, sometimes learning to bottle feed or administer subcutaneous fluids, and it’s been incredible to save lives!

4. What do you wish other people knew about us?

I wish that people knew that fostering doesn’t need to be a huge time, space, or financial commitment. I have a dedicated room in my home for my fosters, but most of the cats are just happy to have a bathroom to decompress in. Ten Lives provides all of the supplies you could need and finances every vet visit, and there’s no expectation to provide anything from the volunteer’s pocket.

5. What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?

When I’m not working or volunteering, my fiancé and I are avid animal lovers and hang out with my resident animals and upkeep our two aquariums. We also love to travel, go hiking, and kayak!

6. How do you think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will change over the next five years?

Ten Lives has grown so much in the two years that I have been volunteering, and I’m sure the next five will have even more growth! Melissa (Ten Lives’ Executive Director) is an incredible leader and has so many great ideas to expand our influence and find better ways to provide care to our cats.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

I can only speak from my own experience, but volunteering with Ten Lives has become such an important part of my life, and I really don’t know what I did without it!

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

I’ve fostered over 30 cats through Ten Lives and I’ve gained so much knowledge from the experience and also from the other members of the group. Everyone is always willing to ask for or offer advice, and I always feel so connected. I’ve met some of the most kind, like-minded people through this group and have made some pretty amazing friendships.

9. How much of an impact do you feel your volunteer work has had with Ten Lives Cat Rescue?

I’ve seen some pretty amazing transformations in my fosters – from shy to confident, from emaciated to chubby, and from ill to healthy. I know for a fact that some of these cats would not have lasted very long on the streets. I stay connected with some of my previous adopters, and they show me pictures of my former foster cats living their absolute best lives.

Are you interested in volunteering with Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Read about our open volunteer roles and fill out a Volunteer Application, become a foster, sponsor a Forgotten Feline, and purchase needed supplies through our Wishlist!

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