P.O. Box 7722 Charlottesville, Virginia 22906

(434) 738-2228

Cat Action Team

Cat Vision

Every cat has a right to a pain-free life with sufficient food, shelter, and medical care. Where these basic needs are not being met by other organizations in the  counties we serve in central Virginia, it is CAT's role to step in.

CAT serves the following 12 counties:

  • Charlottesville
  • Albemarle county
  • Augusta county
  • Buckingham county
  • Culpeper county
  • Cumberland county
  • Fluvanna county
  • Goochland county
  • Greene county
  • Louisa county
  • Madison county
  • Nelson county
  • Orange  county

Without our intercession,  many cats and kittens would starve, suffer, or die from injuries, illness, or exposure. The standard of living for feral cats should be just as high as for house cats when it comes to food, medical care, and shelter. Working in an effective and efficient manner, we liaise with other animal-rescue and welfare groups to fill a vital niche for the cats in our area.

 A compelling need exists for those felines who currently fall between the cracks of well-meaning but underfunded caretakers.  CAT advocates for and supports felines whose caretakers cannot provide for them, as well as for those cats living in counties with inadequate or non-existent low-cost clinics or shelters. By helping cats remain in place, our work reduces the numbers of cats brought into shelters who would otherwise be euthanized.  All cats deserve to live in peace in their colonies with appropriate care. 


Board of Directors

Betsy Ballenger, President & Secretary


  Betsy has a BA from Vassar College and has been a licensed real estate agent for over 20 years and a freelance editor for over 30 years. She began doing TNR of feral cats in Connecticut in the 1980s, as well as fostering/socializing feral kittens for adoption, and was a board member/volunteer for several animal rescue groups there. In 2004, Betsy moved to California and volunteered with the SFSPCA and started a small TNR group in Pacifica. Moving to Virginia in 2012, she quickly became involved with Voices for Animals. In January 2018, she became director of the Community Cat Project program of VFA. As president of CAT, Betsy will preside over meetings, direct ongoing strategy and fundraise, as well as continuing to trap and transport feral cats, deliver food to colony caretakers, and track the inventory of humane feral cat traps. 

Rebecca Dian Howe, Vice President


   Dian holds a B.S. Ed from the University of Arizona and currently teaches math part-time to GED students. While living in Massachusetts, she was a core volunteer and/or board member of several animal advocacy organizations and shelters. Dian moved to Virginia in 2005 and her commitment to animals is now in its third decade. She was a board member and co-president of Voices for Animals and also volunteers with the Nelson County SPCA and the Almost Home Adoption Center. As vice president of CAT, Dian participates in determining the overall direction and strategy of the organization, works with veterinarians, donors, other organization executives, volunteers, and colony caretakers. She also will continue to care for her own colonies, TNR community cats, and transport cats for medical care, adoptions, or fostering. 

Joanne V. Showalter, Foster/Adopt Coordinator


  Joanne attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland and raised a family while assisting in her husband’s medical practice. Beginning in 2011, she volunteered for Love for Animals, an animal sanctuary in Louisa, where she took on numerous roles. When LFA closed, she began working with the Louisa Humane Society, volunteering on the fundraising committee, and caring for cats and kittens in foster homes, as well as at the adoption condo at a local pet food store. In 2014, she joined the Community Cat Project of Voices for Animals as a volunteer, most notably founding the Foster/Adopt program to socialize and rehome feral kittens. Joanne continues to TNR, feed feral cats, recruit volunteers and foster parents, in addition to managing CAT’s Foster/Adopt Program.

Heather A. Woolfrey, Treasurer


    Heather holds a BBA from Pensacola Christian College and earned an MPP in Virginia. She now works in procurement at CFA Institute, a not-for-profit financial ethics organization. She began volunteering by fostering cats with special medical needs at both the Culpeper and Orange County Humane Societies in 2000. Heather served as a board member of the Culpeper Humane Society and as their cat coordinator until 2007. During that time, she worked for seven years as a paralegal in the Culpeper Commonwealth Attorney’s office, where she helped to successfully prosecute animal abuse cases. Heather is active with TNR projects and volunteers at high-volume spay/neuter clinics, veterinarians offices, and local shelters. In addition to her full-time job, she also feeds several cat colonies. As CAT’s treasurer, she will assist CAT in establishing its financial procedures and systems and in interviewing and selecting the organization’s permanent treasurer.