CatCon Heroes of 2019
With the close of the year, Team CatCon wanted to herald some of the people and animals who made our world a better place in 2019. Here is our list of those who had and will continue to have a lasting impact on our lives as we head into a new decade.
Lil BUB, Space Cat and Advocate
A true friend to all and magical force for good, Lil BUB crossed the Rainbow Bridge on December 1st of this year, but her impact on the lives of animals in need carries on. In her eight years on this planet she brought joy, science, and magic to the masses and helped raise over $700,000 for animals in need. She and her Dude joined us at CatCon for a number of years, where she met her fans and participated in seminars including They Put the Special in Special Needs. Her little 3.5 lb presence will be sorely missed, and her big eyed bub-beauty was unparalleled in the annals of kitty cuteness. Her message of positivity and perseverance touched people all over the world, and her legacy shall carry on with her Big Fund, as well as commemorative items that help special needs pets. Good job, BUB.
Tara Kay, Founder of the Odd Cat Sanctuary
An animal lover her entire life, Tara Kay founded The Odd Cat Sanctuary in Salem, Massachusetts to help odd cats who have no place to turn – regardless of whether they have medical illnesses, behavioral issues, are physically challenged, are abandoned, or are seniors. Tara and her group of volunteers believe that all cats deserve love, attention, and medical care, first with a caring foster, and then with placement in a loving forever home. Formerly an emergency veterinary technician, Tara Kay started the rescue in 2015, and she has dedicated her life to rescuing any cat that needs her help. She is meowmy to one of her foster fails, Memphis the 2 Nosed Cat. Odd Cat Sanctuary has saved over 3,000 cats to date, and currently has 65 cats in rescue and foster homes. Odd Cat was one of CatCon’s five charity beneficiaries of 2019.
Sir Thomas Trueheart, Feline Advocate
We lost this sweet kitty boy in November of this year, and in his short time on earth, he achieved so so much. The victim of horrific abuse, he rose above his wounds to become an advocate for those with no voice. With Tommy’s Cruelty-free Thursday, he spoke out against bullying, and offered support to special needs pets, as well as educated humans about his ongoing battle with FIV, and made the world a better place. He shared his world with us, his love and affection for his lady love, Daisy, and his meowmy, Michele. His forever home, Milo’s Sanctuary continues their good work in honor of Tommy and his new friend, Wizard, who will continue to carry on Tommy’s message of hope and kindness to humans around the globe.
Sterling “Trap King” Davis, TNR Advocate
“I was born to be a voice for the voiceless,” says Sterling. His mission to humanely address the problem of overpopulation and disease in feral cat colonies started in Atlanta, GA but quickly grew thanks to his viral videos and Instagram posts. “I have a children’s book called “Marvin, TrapKing for a day” and the intent is to teach compassion to the young, as well as work towards a TNR badge for Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts. I think it’s good for young men growing up to see a man with a cat to break some of the stereotypes…especially in the black community.”
He continues to evangelize Trap-Neuter-Return, and is bringing awareness and diversity to animal rescue to communities across the country.
Ashley Morrison, “The Youngest Old Cat Lady”, Foster Mom
Ashley Morrison has been fostering animals in need for years. After losing her father, she started caring for her first “bottle babies,” kittens in need of round-the-clock care. Today she helps spread knowledge and happiness as the “Youngest Old Cat Lady”, sharing resources and spreading the word about the most vulnerable feline population.
“I think we often concentrate so much on what others think of us that we don’t show our true selves,” she says. “My posts with the most responses are those about my own struggles with depression and anxiety, and how fostering has helped me, not just the cats. I will never apologize for wanting to make a difference in animals’ lives, and being called a cat lady is an honor to me, because people recognize the amount of time and effort I put into helping them.”
Dr Marty Becker, Veterinarian, Professor and Advocate
There’s a reason why Dr. Marty Becker was dubbed “America’s Veterinarian” on “Good Morning America” for 17 years. A kind and gentle soul, Dr. Becker’s has dedicated his life to helping animals large and small, and furthering the human/animal bond. He is Currently a member of the Board of Directors of the American Humane Association as well as its Chief Veterinary Correspondent.
In 2016 he founded Fear Free, an initiative that teaches vets how to “take the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified’” and get pets back for wellness visits by promoting a considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments.
With education, information and compassion, Dr. Becker and his team are creating opportunities for pet owners to create better lives for their four legged besties, alleviating fear, anxiety and stress and at the same time, inspiring and educating the people who care for them.
The health and safety of our human and kitty friends is CatCon’s #1 priority. Given the current guidance from state and city government around COVID-19, and for the safety of our attendees, staff, and talent, unfortunately we have no choice but to reimagine CatCon 2020, which was scheduled August 29th and 30th. We are exploring ways to bring some of the one-of-a-kind experiences, programming, and products you’ve come to expect from CatCon in a new and innovative way. Stay tuned for more information in the weeks to come.
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