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:
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.
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.
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 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 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.
After graduation from the University of Connecticut and completion of additional training in computer software development, Jo Ann Freeman had a multi-decade, Information-technology career at a major group health insurer in Connecticut. She managed development of business software and headed the organization’s strategic planning group. After retirement, she was a long-term volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in Greensboro, North Carolina before moving to Virginia. After personal experience with a tickborne illness she founded BugBeWear, an online retailer of tick repellent clothing. BugBeWear worked with many Lyme Disease support groups to improve public knowledge of tickborne threats and effective approaches to tick-bite prevention. Jo Ann lives with her husband and two cats, Miss Pippi and Lucky, in western Albemarle county.
Jenny Joczik has lived in Crozet, Virginia for the past three years, having moved from Burlington, Vermont, where she served on the board of directors for the Green Mountain Animal Defenders and on the advisory board for Protect Our Wildlife. As an English teacher/college administrator, she brings to volunteer groups such strengths as writing, editing and designing flyers, newsletters and appeals. Jenny has also been in the trenches as a cat trapper, particularly in her hometown of Charleston, SC, where her cat-rescue group trapped, socialized and found homes for 35 cats living at the college where she taught. While in Vermont, Jenny and her family (husband, daughter and two sons) were featured in newspapers and on television for their work with animals and for building winter-proof feral-cat shelters. The Jocziks continue to build cat shelters here in Virginia and have (among their menagerie) two "failed fosters" from C.A.T. named Maggie and Golden. She enjoys working with the other volunteers of C.A.T on a variety of projects.
Rose Lemaster has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for the past 30 years and is presently the manager at a restaurant on Pantops. She has been an active volunteer with multiple central Virginia animal rescue organizations, including Peaceful Passings Senior Animal Rescue, Voices for Animals, Green Dogs Unleashed, Fluvanna SPCA and Cat Action Team. Rose is passionate about TNR and the care of community cats, as shown by her assistance with trapping, transporting, emergency grooming, fostering, and caring for special needs/senior/hospice animals. She is committed to helping the animals in Fluvanna County, where she lives with her partner, several dogs and multiple cats; she has a grown daughter and son. She has been the primary trapper in Fluvanna County for several years, and coordinates caretaking of several colonies in the area.