Ren’s Story

Ren’s Story

This is Ren (we called him Sadness because he always looked sad). Today (August 4) we had to be there for him while he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He was my bottle baby and has been with me since he was a tiny baby. After many tests it was concluded that he had Intussusception which is where a part of his intestines slid into another part. This caused him to go into sepsis and his best option was to be humanely euthanized. He would not have survived the surgery he would have needed to repair it. Jesse was with him holding him. It’s heart breaking to lose him but at least he was loved while he was here. He was such a funny, sweet little boy. Rest in peace little sadness

Why is eye removal necessary?

Why is eye removal necessary?

We humans can only imagine what life is like for a cat that has a serious eye condition and needs to have that eye removed. They can’t understand why they have lost vision, why their eyes don’t work the way they once did.

Sweet Ulysses, one of Furry Friends’ kitties, is a cat that lost an eye. He doesn’t comprehend why he needed the surgery—or why he must wear two cones around his neck. (“Hey, humans, two cones are two too many!”). He also has no way of knowing the cost of his operation.

Vaneesha and Veronica’s Story

Vaneesha and Veronica’s Story

It started out as a typical story for Furry Friends, a cat rescue in Vancouver, Washington. We received a call that there was a pretty grey mom cat that had seven kittens. We took the mom and babies in and they went to Veronica and Sam Roderick’s home for foster care. They named the mom cat Vaneesha. The couple cared for the babies making sure they were growing up healthy and happy so they could be adopted out. Veronica soon found out that Vaneesha was pregnant again. How could this be? The cat was not allowed to go outside while in her care. It turns out that cats can become pregnant while they are still nursing a litter. When we took Vaneesha in she was already pregnant. So Vaneesha was growing and getting ready to give birth to the next litter but there was a problem.

Furry Friends Spotlight on Debbie Baughman

Furry Friends Spotlight on Debbie Baughman

Debbie Baughman has volunteered with Furry Friends since August of 2017. She retired in 2016 and moved to Vancouver from Georgia. Wanting more to do in her down time and to get to know the area better she visited the Human Services Council in downtown Vancouver to find some volunteer opportunities. She saw Furry friends and knew that would be the purrfect fit. 

Questions and Answers with the Furry Friends Medical Director

Questions and Answers with the Furry Friends Medical Director

Kensie Broom Peterson is the Medical Director for Furry Friends. She has been with our organization since March 2021 and is our first ever employee working around 25 hours a week. We have saved so much in vet expenses by having Kensie as a part of our team. We are able to do more things in house and it allows us to use the savings to help even more cats. Kensie also has many connections in the Vet community which has enabled us to form even more partnerships. On top of her medical duties, she has also joined our Board of Directors to bridge the gap between the Board and the medical team ensuring everyone is on the same page and up to date with the care of our cats.
We had several questions for Kensie from Portland State University students that are writing grants for Furry Friends.
Question (Medical Funding for Seriously-Ill Cats): What is the capacity of the new Medical Director? I see they are able to aid in doing procedures in house, cutting costs. What are you able to do in house and what still needs to be done with outside partners?

Milkshakes story and how she brought the community to the yard

Milkshakes story and how she brought the community to the yard

Milkshake was a stray girl who found her way to a loving community member. Right away she knew that the cat needed help as she was very pregnant. She took her into her home and kept her well fed and comfortable while she contacted local rescues. She got in contact with Jenn at Furry Friends and we just knew we had to take this girl in. It was a time deemed as “kitten season” so Furry Friends had many requests to take in pregnant mama’s. Fortunately we had just acquired several new fosters and we decided that Milkshake (named while with Furry Friends) would go to new foster mama Danielle.

Furry Friends Spotlight on Karen Laksamana

Furry Friends Spotlight on Karen Laksamana

Karen Laksamana is one of our volunteers that works behind the scene. She has been involved with Furry Friends since about 2008. She designs our yearly print newsletter and she works on the fall auction fundraiser committee every year and volunteers at the event along with her mom Cherry Berry taking care of the data input. We asked Karen a few questions, here are her answers.

Furry Friends Spotlight on Ruby Deal

Furry Friends Spotlight on Ruby Deal

Ruby Deal is one of Furry Friends newer socilaizers. She has been volunteering for the last 5 months. As a socializer her tasks include not only petting cats (although that is a perk!) but to give extra attention to the kitties who come in scared, abused, depressed/lonely, or a little feisty. 

Furry Friends Spotlight on Nichole White

Furry Friends Spotlight on Nichole White

Nichole is the shift leader for our Monday evening cleaning & care shift. When asked what she does during her shift, she said “When I come in and before I leave I do a full inventory of the cats at the shelter. I am always spending time with the kitties that need special attention. I pay close attention if they are eating and using the bathroom properly. I rely heavily on my team to tell me if they notice anything out of the ordinary and then make notes about it and pass the information along to the proper people. I clean and organize a lot at the halfway house. I make sure everything that needs to be done is done before leaving. I am also available most of the time if I am needed to come in and help.”

Furry Friends Spotlight on Paris Woods

Furry Friends Spotlight on Paris Woods

Paris Woods is one of our Furry Friends medical team volunteers who has been volunteering every Sunday since Sept 2020. She also likes to come in and socialize with the cats that need some extra attention. 

When asked what her favorite part of volunteering was she said it’s seeing all the kittens when they come in for their medical checks. So many cute kittens!

Volunteer Spotlight on Mike and Tanika Campbell

Volunteer Spotlight on Mike and Tanika Campbell

Mike and Tanika Campbell started with Furry Friends in 2012 by starting a food collection/donation at their work. This led into volunteering to be socializers and enrolling their lab in the pet assisted living therapy program. When Furry Friends made its big move into the current location they assisted with the tear down of everything, moving to the new place, yard work, and random handy work around the Halfway House. They also helped with in person events and kept four feral cat colonies fed over the years. Currently they are fosters for our medically needy adult cats, pregnant moms, & kittens. They are very good at coaxing cats out of their shells and getting them to trust people.

Furry Friends Spotlight on Lisa Baxter

Furry Friends Spotlight on Lisa Baxter

Lisa Baxter has handled the procurement for our annual fall auction for at least nine years now. It is a year round job. She often puts in close to 400 hours a year handling this big important job for Furry Friends. Here is a little about Lisa in her own words.

“How I got involved: My son needed a senior project for high school.  One of the staff members in the school office, mentioned Furry Friends. That began in May of 2010 and he still volunteers today, when he has time available. That was my introduction to Furry Friends.  I was intrigued by the dedication and caring of the volunteers and wanted to help. This is my forth year on the Dinner Auction Committee.

A Blessing in Disguise: Furry Friends and Second Chances

A Blessing in Disguise: Furry Friends and Second Chances

Before getting laid off from her design job in 2014, Stevens had often thought of what she would do when she reached retirement. “I knew I wanted to do animal welfare and my passion lies with cats and horses,” she says.

At 60-years-old, Stevens got a fresh start at Furry Friends, a no-kill, non-profit cat rescue organization that rehabilitates homeless and abused felines in Vancouver, Wash.

Volunteer Spotlight on Katherine Tucker

Volunteer Spotlight on Katherine Tucker

“Growing up, our family had dogs while most of our cousins had cats, and as a result, my sister and I loved ALL animals,” Katherine says. “When we moved to Texas, not only did my sister and I have horses, but so did both of my nieces. My youngest niece did dressage and boarded her horse at the stable that trained the two of them.

Volunteer Spotlight: Stacie Nakashima

Volunteer Spotlight: Stacie Nakashima

Today, we bring you another story chronicling a wonderful Furry Friends volunteer. Meet Stacie Nakashima, a person’s whose passion in life is to care for others, regardless of whether they have paws or opposable thumbs. Stacie first learned about Furry Friends through an article in the Columbian showcasing the organization. She was already interested in finding new volunteer opportunities to give back to her community, so the article’s mention of our constant need for new volunteers was great timing.

A Cats Perspective when coming into Furry Friends

A Cats Perspective when coming into Furry Friends

A nice lady is taking me out of the carrier and I don’t know what she is looking for but she is looking EVERYWHERE! My ears, eyes, teeth, skin, and even my umm… well you get the picture. She wants me to take this medicine, it’s a pill. I think I heard her mention something about worms. That’s quite the assumption but I guess if it makes them feel better I will take it.

Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Nash

Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Nash

Chris Nash has been volunteering in some capacity with Furry friends for the last 10 years! She and her wife, Jean, started out as kitten fosters after being introduced to Furry friends by their neighbor, Kathy Pierce (another FF foster). After three foster fails (adopting their fosters) they realized that wasn’t their calling.

Volunteer Spotlight: Sal and Ku’uipo Alcaraz

Volunteer Spotlight: Sal and Ku’uipo Alcaraz

Sylvester (Sal) Alcaraz and his wife Ku’uipo have been volunteering with Furry friends for over two and a half years together on our Friday night shift at the shelter. While Sal originally started volunteering as a community service project it turned into a passion and he really shined quickly becoming the shift leader for his team. He always has wonderful things to say about the people he volunteers alongside.
Sal and Ku’uipo are continually looking for new ways to help Furry friends and are up for any challenge.

Spotlight on Tricia and Sara

Spotlight on Tricia and Sara

We have a great medical team at Furry Friends and we appreciate all that they do for the cats in our care. Tricia Jones and Sara Thomson have both been volunteering with us for the last six months after responding to posts on social media looking for vet techs/assistants. They have dedicated almost every Sunday to the welfare of our current cats and cats coming into our care. 

Furry Friends kitty Linus is making progress

Furry Friends kitty Linus is making progress

Linus came to Furry Friends with his sister Trixie back in November, 2020. He was very skinny with a decreased appetite. Our veterinarians at Columbia River Veterinary Services examined him and recommended that he have a feeding tube since his liver seemed to be rapidly shutting down due to him not wanting to eat. When cats do not eat they can do serious damage inside their little bodies. Linus was diagnosed with feline hepatic lipidosis. When he stopped eating it forced his liver to convert his body fat into usable energy making fat build up in the cells of his liver. 

Monnie’s Journey

Monnie’s Journey

Feline stomatitis or Feline Chronic Gingivostomatitis (FCGS) is a rare condition affecting approximately 0.7-4% of cats. It is a chronic and very painful mouth tissue condition where the tissues/gums surrounding the teeth are very inflamed. The gums are usually bright red and bleed easily. Chewing and eating becomes a very painful experience for our feline friends. Cats that have this often lose weight, have bad breath, bleed & drool, and paw at their mouths. Currently it is not known what causes some cats to get FCGS but it is an over-reaction response by the immune system to bacteria in a cats mouth.
One cat that Furry Friends currently has in our care is Monnie and he has FCGS.

Medical Director/Veterinarian Assistant Wanted

Medical Director/Veterinarian Assistant Wanted

After 21 years of operation, Furry Friends is ready to hire our first ever paid employee. The position will be a paid part-time Lead Vet Tech position. Please message information@furryfriendswa.org if interested.
Furry Friends Cat Shelter in Vancouver WA is looking for a self-motivated Medical Director skilled in managing a diverse team of medical volunteers and capable of providing high-quality medical care.  He or she must demonstrate an aptitude in shelter/clinical medicine.  The Medical Director will act as a lead shelter Veterinarian Technician and provide oversight to shelter medical operations and medical volunteers as well as establishing relationships within the veterinary community.  This is a paid position and reports to the Furry Friends Board of Directors.

Spotlight on Jenn Hutchman, Furry Friends Volunteer

Spotlight on Jenn Hutchman, Furry Friends Volunteer

Following the pattern of many Furry Friends volunteers, Jennifer, or Jenn Hutchman does a lot. Both inside and outside of Furry Friends, she keeps very busy. Yet, despite being an independent consultant for the marketing company Scentsy and running an online auction, she gives about thirty hours a week to Furry Friends. Its twenty-four hours a day, of course, when she is fostering kittens. No matter how busy she is, however, she steps into the Halfway House ready to chat and a smile to give.

Furry Friends is a nonprofit cat adoption organization. Its mission is to help homeless, relinquished and abused cats by providing spaying and neutering, medical care, and foster shelter for as long as it takes to find their forever home. Copyright © 2013 – 2020 Furry Friends. All rights reserved. Website design and development by Christina Roberts.