We're always looking for foster

care providers and volunteers

to help with transportation and

staffing adoption events! 

Please see the page 'Volunteer/Foster' on this website!

If you have already signed up as a volunteer, please sign and return the Waiver, below.

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“Complete Cat Care” is the phrase that Kit Gustavson feels strongly about when she speaks about CatPAWS. The recent University of Oregon graduate has been working as a foster for the past few years when she’s not serving up your favorite beverage as a barista or working her second job as an interior designer. To say Kit is driven is quite the understatement!

Kit prides herself in being able to volunteer as a foster with CatPAWS and truly has come to love the organization. Her mother, a long-time volunteer with CatPAWS and countless of other organizations, is her biggest fan and supporter. Kit grew up as an only child and all animals including fish, mice, hamsters, and birds were welcome in the Gustavson household. The family is happy to take whole litters that need fostering until the kittens can be placed in their forever homes. “In architecture, we talk about a complete design. It encompasses everything from start to finish. In my volunteer time with CatPAWS, I can relate this same practice. From the beginning, sometimes when the kitten is hours old, CatPAWS helps these tiny lives. Throughout the many fosters that my family and I have now had, we feel supported through the whole process. If there is an issue, CatPAWS is there to help. And, finding the perfect forever home is equally just as important. They take the time to ensure that it’s a match for the family and the cat. CatPAWS also follows up once the cat is adopted- it’s complete care from start to finish. To me, that is what makes CatPAWS so special,” says Kit.

Ruby, one of Kit’s most memorable fosters was with the family for a while. Ruby had an eye infection, was a ‘ginger’ kitty, and was the smallest in her litter. She unfortunately had lost an eye due to an infection but was still as loveable and playful as ever. Kit knew that Ruby was a special cat who would need to find a special home. To CatPAWS and Kit’s delight, an adopter had recently lost a cat with one eye and was looking for another one- Ruby had found the perfect home! Kit’s room is usually the makeshift nursery for the foster kittens and she wouldn’t have it any other way. We are thankful for volunteers like Kit and her mother, Dee.

CatPAWS is always looking for fosters, volunteers, and donors. For more information, visit www.helensanderscatpaws.com

In 1978, Annelle met Helen Sanders on the Jetty in Seal Beach. Helen was feeding her ‘jetty cats’ (which had to be close to 200 cats back then) when Annelle had let Maui, her beloved dog, off her leash. Helen, coming up from the rocks, yelled back to Annelle to quickly get her dog back on her leash. Conversations started from there and they quickly became friends. Both also volunteered at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center. Helen had been helping with the jetty cats for years…even when she received threats from the local community who wanted those cats gone.

Annelle is a lifetime animal lover with a 30+ year volunteer history. Having animals her whole life, she knew when Helen was no longer going to be able to care for the cats that someone would need to step in. Along with other founding Helen Sanders CatPAWS board member, Deborah Felin Magaldi, the two quickly formalized the organization when Helen passed away to continue the mission of saving & helping Helen’s beloved ‘jetty cats.’ Other pertinent beginning volunteers include Kelly & Marianne.

‘CatPAWS continues to set itself apart by pulling vulnerable cats & kittens from high kill shelters in the northern Orange County and greater Long Beach area. We also continue with our voucher relief program that helps families spay and neuter their animals at a discounted rate. And, during this difficult economic time, CatPAWS has also worked with the public to get gift cards to animal owners who may need some help with pet food & antibiotics,” says Annelle. “The gratification of our work over the years, our volunteer growth, and our true community impact makes me proud,” notes Annelle.

Retired now from the travel business, Annelle continues her own personal mission of volunteering not only with CatPAWS but also with the Seal Beach Philharmonic which brings music to local school aged children with their ‘music mobile.’

Annelle has held all positions in the organization as a board member, past foster organizer, past volunteer manager, Bowling Event chairperson for the last 10 years, and helps with the day to day responsibilities of running the non-profit. She continues to foster kittens and cats in need. Her volunteer heart, generous time & loving spirit towards all animals has not only helped CatPAWS thrive but has also set this organization apart from other rescues that are trying to accomplish similar goals. “Carrying on Helen’s legacy, Annelle continues to be part of the glue that keeps us together & serving our mission of helping cats,” says Deborah Felin Magaldi. “Being able to work with Annelle over the years and seeing our organization transform over the past 10 years has been one of my greatest joys.”

CatPAWS is always looking for fosters, volunteers, and donors. For more information, visit www.helensanderscatpaws.com

2016 was a hard year for Mitchell and his family. With the death of a family member and the death of a pet, heartbreak was inevitable for Mitchell and AnnaMarie while they mourned dad and beloved Mazie. While they mourned for Mazie, AnnaMarie started peeking around at their local Petsmart knowing that new furry friends would no doubt bring some joy back into their lives. On a trip to the store one evening together, AnnaMarie pointed out two cats she had her eye on over the last few weeks. Within a heartbeat, they adopted two new kitties- MK & Ash.

This starts the volunteer and adoption journey that Mitchell has had with CatPAWS. With that adoption, Mitchell became aware of CatPAWS and decided that in retirement, it was time to start volunteering. New waves of life bring new journeys- and Mitchell was excited at the opportunity to give back to animals that had brought him so much love & joy.

“What sets CatPAWS apart from other organizations”, says Mitchell, “is the commitment to the cat over the length of its life. Most rescues focus on getting a cat into any home- that is not our mission at CatPAWS. “Our adoption committee seeks to find a solid match with each adopter. That helps ensure successful adoptions and reassures our foster home providers that the cats they cared for and loved are going to good homes. We often become friends with adopters and get regular updates about their cats. We love hearing from past adopters and know that for those cats we have indeed fulfilled our mission that they lead full and cherished lives."

Mitchell is proud of the infrastructure of the organization and the high standards that are set in safeguarding important feline protocol. Mitchell has learned to administer vaccines, care for chronically ill cats, and take in even the tiniest kittens (bottle babies) who need to be fed every two hours. “We are truly saving lives here at CatPAWS,” says Mitchell. As an active board member with CatPAWS, Mitchell has taken the lead in organizing the Traveling Comfort & Therapy events that are held at local retirement facilities around Long Beach and Seal Beach. Once a month, adoptable kittens are taken to retirement homes for the residents to interact with and play with. “Seeing the joy that this brings to many of these residents is one of the many reasons I continue to do this important volunteer work,” notes Mitchell. “Cats have captured my heart,” says Mitchell.

Helen Sanders CatPAWS is now in its 10th year and if there is any silver lining during the current pandemic, it’s the importance of what the human/animal connection looks like. For Mitchell, it’s comfort & tranquility knowing that animals always provide unconditional love.