Meet the Cat Pawsitive Pro 2020 Participants!


Animal Welfare Department- Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cat Pawsitive Pro Trainer-Mentor: Molly DeVoss

Cat Pawsitive Pro Team Leaders: Marina Mick, Rose Hargis, Kambre Holder, Carolyn Tiseo, Mallory Begay

“The benefits of Cat Pawsitive Pro to the homeless cats in our care is multi-faceted, not only does it enrich their lives while here at the shelter, it also increases their chance of finding forever loving homes. Staff and volunteers, in a pet shelter environment, struggle with compassion fatigue and this program will provide focus, a unification of enrichment methods and a reason to celebrate as more cats find homes.”—Danny Nevarez, Animal Welfare Department Director

“I am looking forward to learning how to enrich our shelter pets in a way we couldn’t before! The power of mind far surpasses anything we can imagine, so tapping into and engaging in this aspect can help our cats past our shelter environment and into their new homes.”—Carolyn Tiseo, CPP Team Leader

“Two cats that may benefit from the program are Pantera and Sid as they both overstimulate easily and are two of our longer-term cats. We also have some shy cats that have been here a while and would benefit from the program. Some of these shy cats include Athena, Carver, and Marie.”—Marina Mick, CPP Team Leader

Brandywine Valley SPCA- West Chester, Pennsylvania

Cat Pawsitive Pro Trainer-Mentor: Lisa Stemcosky

Cat Pawsitive Pro Team Leaders: Kyler Tatum, Zachary DelFabbro, Aaron Brown, Desiree Pulliam, Rebecca Stern

“We are thrilled that we have been selected to participate in Cat Pawsitive Pro. The skills this program brings to our staff and volunteers will thoroughly enrich and brighten the lives of our cat population while in the care of our shelter.”—Adam Lamb, Executive Director

“We aim to improve quality of life through enrichment, tailor behavior modification to our cats’ individual needs, and ultimately reduce the overall length of stay by allowing our cats to shine to prospective adopters.”—CPP Team Leaders

East Bay SPCA – Oakland, California

Cat Pawsitive Pro Trainer-Mentor: Carrie Seay

Cat Pawsitive Pro Team Leaders: Rebekah Piedad, Micah McKechnie

“We look forward to being part of this innovative program and the benefits that our shelter cats will receive. Additionally, it is exciting to be able to use the knowledge we gain to serve as a critical resource for owned cats and their owners. We are thrilled to further promote and nurture the cat/human bond.”—Allison Lindquist, Chief Executive Director

“Our shelter already has a structured volunteer program for canine volunteers who want to go above and beyond socialization and learn how to train our dogs using positive reinforcement. The support this program provides the Behavior and Training department is invaluable. It has long been a goal to create a similar program for cats, but as with any shelter, change happens slowly. The opportunity to implement a structured training program for our feline population is so exciting. We are most looking forward to creating a culture where positive reinforcement training for cats is an everyday tool in the toolbox of both our staff and volunteers!”—Rebekah Piedad, CPP Team Leader

“A cat we are excited to have in the program is Shadow, a beautiful snow-white senior cat who is one of our long-term residents. Despite being affectionate and an active player, she sets clear boundaries (sometimes very firmly!) for when and how she likes to be petted. We hope that CPP training can offer her fun ways to interact with humans that focus on giving her the choices she craves!”—Micah McKechnie, CPP Team Leader

Heartland Animal Shelter- Northbrook, Illinois

Cat Pawsitive Pro Trainer-Mentor: Sara Russell

Cat Pawsitive Pro Team Leaders: Lou Basten, Julie Matos

“Participating in the Cat Pawsitive introductory program last winter made a tremendous impact on the lives of the cats in our care. All of our original Cat Pawsitive cats were adopted, including our longest resident cat who had been at the shelter for almost four years. We are eager to provide this advanced-level enrichment to the special cats who need a little extra support to build confidence at the shelter and develop meaningful connections with people, which will allow their beautifully unique personalities to shine when meeting their future families for the first time. Increasing the adoptability of the cats in our care will not just help them find loving homes quicker, but it will also allow us to save the lives of even more at-risk cats in need.”— Stephanie Muller-Simpson, Executive Director

“We are looking forward to learning the best ways to work with our shy cats and our cats who have behavioral issues. We are hoping to teach other volunteers the methods we learn so that we can help all of the cats in our care for years to come.”—Lou Basten and Julie Matos, CPP Team Leaders

Homeward Pet Adoption Center- Woodinville, Washington

Cat Pawsitive Pro Trainer-Mentor: Cary Munschauer

Cat Pawsitive Pro Team Leaders: Jenny Black, Megan Yuasa

“Overall, I see Cat Pawsitive Pro giving our staff, volunteers, and our cats a big confidence boost. By giving our more challenging cats the appropriate outlets that they need, they’ll have more positive interactions with our staff, volunteers, and potential adopters, ideally resulting in a shorter length of stay and more successful adoptions.”—Nanette McCann, Executive Director

“I’d like to build a really strong core group of volunteers who are consistently working on training and behavior modification with our cats. I’d love to see some of our volunteers break out of their comfort zones and prove to themselves that cats can be clicker trained! I’m also especially interested to see if our bite/scratch incidents decrease as we progress in the program.”—Jenny Black, CPP Team Leader

“We have a few spicy long-timers, Speckles and Coruscant, as well as some kitties who are still adjusting to the shelter, Kirby, and Buba. We also have a very active, smart 5-month-old kitten, Willow, who is on bite quarantine and would love some extra mental stimulation.”—Megan Yuasa, CPP Team Leader