Jamie Crawford has always been a cat-lover, so it only makes sense that she now spends a good portion of her free time volunteering for Little Mittens Animal Rescue.
Crawford, who is a longtime friend of the organization’s founder Alannah Knapp, got involved with Little Mittens in 2011 once it became a registered non-profit.
“(Alannah’s) passion kind of spurred me on to join the group of them, which was pretty small back then,” Crawford said, while adding that Little Mittens has grown to encompass 20 plus volunteers today.
Crawford serves in what she calls a “behind the scenes” role with the organization while serving on the board as both the treasurer and vice president.
“My full volunteer title is administrations co-ordinator so I do all of the paperwork, stats, e-mail and that kind of stuff.
“It’s just where my skills kind of fit in. Not that I’m not a good cleaner but it’s not my favourite thing to do and they need somebody to do that paperwork.”
And a good part of what keeps her motivated is the organization’s immense success. The number of cats that the organization has adopted out into new homes is impressive.
“It’s really the successes and hearing about those happy endings that we make possible for both the animals and people that adopt through us (that keeps her motivated),” Crawford said.
“When we look back at the stats and see that we’ve helped six or seven hundred cats in the last few years…it makes it worth it because otherwise those cats wouldn’t have had happy endings without us.”
Through rescue and spay and neuter programs, the number of feral cats in the area has also decreased significantly, another testament to the group’s hard work.
“Cat populations can grow really quickly and I think Golden was seeing that back in 2009 and 2010…our programs have really helped slow down that population growth. We’ve done quite a bit of trap, neuter, return stuff over the years and now we’re able to put a little bit more focus on the community education piece of it,” she said.
“It’s a human caused problem but we can also be the solution to it too.”
The case of one cat named Christian, who wasn’t far from death when he was brought under Little Mittens’ care, is a perfect example of what Crawford enjoys the most about her work.
“When you see them come in (like Christian) as complete skin and bones, on death’s door and then in two weeks they’re looking like this,” Crawford said, while holding a healthy Christian in her arms. “They’re fattened right up and happy…I think those guys know that they got rescued sometimes. They’re just the sweetest cats…they love to give love and I think they’re just saying thank you.”