Volunteer Spotlight: Jillian

Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 100 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.

Jillian started volunteering with us in June 2020, and is one of our Adoption Coordinators—a crucial role in our rescue! As an Adoption Coordinator, Jillian helps our cats and kittens find their best-matched homes by reviewing adoption applications, checking references, conducting interviews with potential adopters, and working with our fosters.

Jillian has three resident cats, all of whom are Ten Lives alumni! Mochi is a six-year-old tabby cat Jillian and her fiancé, Chris, adopted in early 2020. Mochi is the inspiration behind Jillian’s choice to volunteer. Her second cat, Moose, is a three-year-old tuxedo cat who she and her fiancé adopted in late 2020. Their third cat, Laurel, was just adopted this month!

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

After deciding to adopt a cat, my fiancé, Chris, and I applied for a bunch of different cats that we found online. We were first-time cat owners and had a hard time finding a rescue in the area that was open to giving us a chance until we found Ten Lives Cat Rescue and applied for Mochi. He had a rough start to life, and Ten Lives recognized that it wasn’t his fault and gave him a second chance. I feel incredibly grateful for their hard work and dedication to Mochi, and it inspired me to get involved and try to help cats in situations similar to his find their forever homes.

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

I coordinated an adoption for a cat named Anastasia who was incredibly shy but ultimately a sweetheart once she warmed up. Her foster mom and I went through many different applicants before finding one that was a good fit and ultimately sending her home. The adopter followed all of the instructions in Ten Lives’ New Cat Guide (starting her off in a small space, moving at her pace, and lots of yummy treats), and I felt so proud to have been a part of the process that led her to her forever home. There is nothing more rewarding than earning a shy cat’s trust, and I’m so grateful for kind and patient adopters like Anastasia’s!

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

I think there’s a stereotype surrounding cats that they are all really independent and all have the same personality. Volunteering here has made it very clear that this could not be more false! Each of the cats we help have their own personalities and specific wants and needs when it comes to their perfect forever home. It’s our responsibility to do right by these special animals by understanding what they need and matching them up with adopters accordingly.

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

We do more than help kittens – we have a really successful Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program to benefit feral cats in surrounding communities, and we take in so many older cats with behavioral or health issues that are often overlooked. Mochi was abused for the first two years of his life before ultimately being abandoned and would not even let humans get close to him when Ten Lives took him in. He is now the biggest sweetheart and cuddle bug because of their hard work in teaching him to trust humans again. 

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

I love spending time with my family and reading on the couch surrounded by my cats!

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

I think we will just continue to grow and help more and more cats that need us.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

The cause our rescue stands behind and the people that are already a part of it make volunteering here something I’m really proud to do. It’s a genuinely enjoyable experience that I think anyone can benefit from.

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

I have gained a wealth of knowledge about cats in general, but I’ve also been fortunate enough to adopt three cats of my own and build some really amazing friendships with other volunteers.

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

I’ve coordinated 70+ adoptions since I started volunteering – that pales in comparison to the number of cats we have helped in total, but I can’t wait to keep increasing that number and finding more cats and kittens forever homes!

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, support The Lazzy Fund, and purchase needed supplies through our Wishlist!

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