Toronto Cat Rescue

National Volunteer Week – Thank you Yvonne Zyma!

As we close off #NationalVolunteerWeek, we are so grateful for all of the work our volunteers put in each and every day. Without you, we could not to the work we do. So in short- THANK YOU.

Today, we share a very special thank you to Yvonne Zyma from our Kitchener-Waterloo team.

I have been a driver for the TCR KW Chapter for several years now, and I love it. When I retired from my career in libraries I started to wonder how I would spend the sudden free time I had. (note: it gets filled up really quickly) So I just did more of what I loved doing before: gardening, nature and animals, reading, reiki, heritage and … being a helper and healer. It has taken me all these years recognize that this is something that I have doing all along!

I grew up in a household where there were always rescues of some sort, wild animals or rescue pets. The bond between humans and animals goes deep into our souls but many people don’t recognize it. My two sons both have an affinity for animals, but I am the only one who is teetering on (crazy) cat lady…

This volunteer position is really under-recognized because it is so much more than being “a driver”. I have listened to people pour their heart out because they had no choice but to give up their cat; I have driven a car full of hoarding cats and hosted two of them, as well as other short term fosters; I’ve comforted and played with innumerable fur babies. I think I have a knack for reading cat’s personalities and then matching them with their people, who happen to wander into the PetSmart store! There is something so special about seeing someone fall in love with a cat.

I’ve met some wonderful people who have become friends. I am part of a network of animal lovers who are actually doing something to make a difference. I feel fortunate to be involved with TCR and know that I am making a difference.

Stay safe and well. my friends. Kitten season will soon be upon us, whether there is a virus or not.

National Volunteer Week – Thank you Andrew Holownych and family!

This #NationalVolunteerWeek, Toronto Cat Rescue is celebrating the countless volunteers that support cats in need across Ontario and beyond. Today, we give a special thanks to Andrew Holownych and his family from the Toronto area.

I first learned about TCR when doing a presentation with Belinda, at the Digital For Good event that was held by Capital One. My organization (Environmental Education Ontario), was looking to develop an app to help people live in a more eco-friendly way. After seeing her presentation, and talking to her, I was immediately inspired to join as a foster home. I then talked with my wife and kids and decided this would be a great experience for us all.

We have been a foster family for two cats so far. The first cat, Cucumber Tuna, was a hoarding rescue, and needed a lot of work to become socialized. Having a super shy and scared cat for the first foster was definitely a challenge, but now she’s living in a happy home with her forever mom. Our second cat, Helice, was the exact opposite! A sociable, friendly and super cool cat! We only had him for a few weeks, until he also found his forever home at a donation event at PetSmart.

We choose to foster as we don’t want to commit to having our own cat just yet. Maybe once our kids are older, and can take on some responsibilities we will adopt a cat (or dog?). TCR is great because of all the support you get – from the foster coordinator, to the adoption team – there are always people to help deal with any situation that comes up. We can’t wait to get out next foster – maybe a mom with kittens!!

National Volunteer Week – Thank you Jenna and Lauren!

Toronto Cat Rescue is celebrating the countless volunteers that support cats in need this #NationalVolunteerWeek. Today, we’re celebrating two amazing Toronto-based foster parents, Jenna Nierop and Lauren Toliopoulos. Thank you for everything you do!

Our rescue journey began in 2017 when we started to volunteer at a local cat shelter, and this is where we had the opportunity to test the fostering waters. We immediately fell in love (obviously) but had to take a step back in June 2019 due to hectic schedules.

The itch to foster only intensified and when we saw TCR’s plea for foster homes in November 2019, we knew it was time to get back in the game. TCR was helping with yet another hoarding situation and were in desperate need of more foster homes. We applied, were interviewed and had our first foster cats within a week! Since November, we’ve had the pleasure of fostering and adopting out five cats and currently fostering our sixth.

As foster parents we provide the necessities, such as food, water and shelter, but we also provide daily enrichment, socialization, transportation to appointments, when needed, and are responsible for advocating for anything our foster may require. TCR also recognizes that foster parents know their fosters best and allow us to have the final say in whether a potential adopter is the best fit or not.

We’re SO happy to be a part of the TCR family because they continually put the cats needs first while ensuring foster parents are supported. It’s a real comfort to know that if our foster cat should fall ill, TCR will ensure they receive the veterinary care they require. A great example would be our current foster, Snowy, who was transported from Montreal on a April 4, 2020, and was seen by a vet Monday morning in a bid to manage her diabetes. Thank you so much for allowing us to be the bridge from their old life to their new one!

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