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Valentino – A Valentine’s Day Love Story

On a routine trip to the Walmart on Almaden in San Jose, one of our volunteer families, a mom and her two teenage daughters, noticed a small orange kitten dodging under the cars and run into the bushes. The girls insisted they learn more and were surprised to find four kittens looking to be about 3 months old, which were immediately assigned fall-themed names (Draco, Pumpkin, Spice and Boo). The kittens did not appear feral, although they were cautious of people they still seamed curious and friendly.  They were young enough that they could still be socialized or TNR. The girls insisted on coming back with a trap immediately as living right next to a major highway came with many potential dangers. It proved to be more difficult than one would think. You see, it appeared there were many kind-hearted people feeding the kittens and food was readily available, so the drive go into the trap to eat was not there.         They took Draco home and immediately it was obvious this was no feral kitty. He was super skittish and scared but immediately nuzzled into the arms and neck of the family that rescued him. That moment he stole their hearts. For several months he lived in a bedroom and learned to not jump at every sound or run under the bed at every move, but he was always a lover-boy and the family was willing to give him the time he needed to adjust. Mom was perfectly happy foster him for as long as possible, but the reality was they could not keep him. So...

Meet Carmelita Coleman

Carmelita has been helping cats all her life. “I just do it because I love to do it,” she says. People call her all the time with questions about cats. Carmelita is a cat resource for her friends, giving advice on trapping and fostering. For years, Carmelita ran a one-woman rescue, trapping cats, bottle-feeding kittens, getting the cats spayed/neutered, placing ads in the newspaper and finding each one of them a good home. She says she would always charge a little bit to get decent people. Back in 2004, Carmelita and her husband moved to Morgan Hill from San Jose. Within a year, she had adopted Rea from PetSmart Gilroy, and beautiful Rea is still the matriarch of the family. When the founder of Town Cats, Rosi Mirko, met Carmelita, she recognized Carmelita’s expertise and dedication and Rosi talked Carmelita into fostering for Town Cats. Carmelita has been involved with Town Cats ever since. Carmelita now shares her cozy home with Rea and two, feline “foster failures” – Olie and Leila. Back in the 1960s when Twiggy was a famous fashion model, Carmelita was a local fashion celebrity. Like Twiggy, Carmelita is tall, thin and strikingly beautiful. Carmelita worked in San Francisco modeling at the City of Paris, The White House, Saks Fifth Avenue, and The Emporium. Her fine eye for marketing and merchandising with her modeling days. For years now, she has been merchandising our cats at our adoption centers. She creates colorful blankets and beds for the cats, cage toppers, table cloths and curtains for the adoption fairs and our shelter. Carmelita loves the change of seasons...

Meet our new Interim Executive Director, John L. Lipp

John is a nationally known leader in the nonprofit sector with comprehensive experience in fundraising, executive leadership and transition, governance, community engagement, and program development. John has worked with a variety of organizations over the past 28 years and has served as a trainer and keynote speaker for local, national and international audiences. His book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Recruiting and Managing Volunteers, was published in October 2009 from Alpha/Penguin. In 2015, he was a featured contributor to the anthology Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World from Jossey-Bass.   John served as a member of the faculty for San Jose State University’s Continuing Education Program in Nonprofit Management for over ten years and was also an instructor for CompassPoint Nonprofit Services in San Francisco.  He was President/CEO of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) in San Francisco from 2004-2011 and most recently served as Executive Director of the Greater Bay Area Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) before joining the national leadership team from 2012 – 2015 as the National Director/Associate Vice President, Volunteer Engagement.   A passionate advocate for the power of the human-animal bond, John serves on the board of directors for Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS).  He is also an active volunteer and fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. John and his husband Peter share their Alameda home with three wonderful rescues, their pups Marty and Primo, and the grand duke of the house, their kitty Rex....