Everyday Hero: Cat Adoption Team volunteer logs thousands of hours, places 1,000 cats
Today's everyday hero knows that you need a furry cat friend at home even if you may not think so.
In the past three years, Cat Adoption Team volunteer Natalie Pascale has placed 1,000 cats in new homes.
For her efforts, her employer has donated $25,000 to the Sherwood-based adoption center.
If the cute, usually friendly cats don't convince you to take them home, volunteer Natalie Pascale can be pretty persuasive.
“I think he could be a really good cat for Stu. He’s friendly ...,” Pascale said.
But before she could talk our producer Stuart Tomlinson into adopting a gray-boy beauty named Fat Louie, Natalie talked about how she grew up with dogs, but became a passionate cat person.
She's connected those 1,000 cats with new owners at the rate of about one a day for three years.
The first thing she looks for in potential owners is compassion and patience.
“Some cats are really outgoing and you can make a good assessment in about 20 to 30 seconds,” she said. “And then some of the cats here are really shy if they’ve had some sort of trauma, if they’ve been owner-surrendered."
Working with local private and government shelters for the past 20 years, the Cat Adoption Team has placed more than 40,000 cats in new homes.
“My personal favorite age of cats is 6 to 10 because they have plenty of life left, but they’re chill, calm cats, " Pascale said. "Some cats are going to do great with a big family and lots of activities. For other cats, you’re never going see them.”
When she first started volunteering at the center, Natalie’s partner said fine, but please don't bring any cats home.
“We have Fritz, we have Nagby, we have Squirrel, and we have Bunny,” she said. “And three of the four of them are from here. I guess we know who won that one.”
In recognition of her outstanding example of volunteerism, Natalie’s employer awarded the cat adoption team $10,000 and then $15,000.
“Over the past three years she’s put in nearly 3,000 hours of time coming here and helping with everything,” said center manager Heather Svoboda. “She also helps with our cat help line to work with people who are having behavioral or medical issues with a cat.”
That money recently helped the team buy a commercial-grade washer and dryer.
“That money is extremely helpful and so important to the work that we do here,” Svoboda said.
And wherever these cats came from, Natalie’s talent is making sure everyone goes to a loving home.
“These orange boys have such lovely personalities,” she said.
The Cat Adoption Team has some 400 volunteers at the center in Sherwood, which also has an on-site veterinary hospital, a spay and neuter clinic and a kitten foster program.