Featured Volunteer – Nicole Furtak

A regular feature where we get to know a little more about one of our amazing volunteers.  This time round, Nicole Furtak spills the beans…


Can you tell us a little about your background before you became a volunteer?

I’m a PhD student at the U of A; I study socks. I also have 4 cats: Socks, Tess, Tux, and Moo. I’m a crazy cat lady, but I also have a husband.

How did you first get involved with Zoe’s?

I met Kath and another volunteer at the Edmonton International Cat Festival. Some time passed, and I kept thinking about volunteering, so one day I decided to sign up.

What roles have you carried out for the society?

I’m a foster, I rescued 10 cats from an unfortunate barn situation with the help of Kath and Sasha, I’ve helped out at events, organized a couple fundraisers, and now I’m an Official Fundraiser, co-cordinating the Fundraising Team with Maggie Hamilton.

How long have you volunteered for Zoe’s?

5 months… I dove in once I got involved!

What types of things have you been involved in as a volunteer?

I’ve made some items for silent auction, acted as security for Taste of Edmonton, and started a Donation Drive that has already exceeded ten times it’s original goal.

What’s been your funniest experience as a volunteer?

Arranging for a donation of pet food and kitty litter from a large grocery store chain and finding out that the donation was 4 pallets of dog food, 1 pallet of cat food, and 1 pallet of kitty litter. The look on Michelle Kavanagh’s face when my pallet of kitty litter arrived at her house for temporary storage was priceless.

What do you like most about volunteering?

Kitty cuddle time – and seeing all the before and afters of animals that come in that we’ve been able to help. Fundraising, you aren’t always in direct contact with the animals, but without the funds there are animals that we wouldn’t have been able to help. I have a really great graph that shows what Fundraiser Team has done since October, when it was formed.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone thinking about volunteering for Zoe’s?

Jump in. If there is something you want to do, just start talking to people about it. There might already be someone doing that or something similar, but chances are they’re involved in a number of different activities and wouldn’t mind a hand.

How much time do you spend volunteering?

It varies. Right now it’s been quite a lot with the Donation Drive in full swing, but I think I’ll have a little more down time once mid November rolls around.

Do you volunteer for any other organizations?

No, I’m sort of a one trick pony.

What makes you happy?

Organization, graphs, tracking parameters, kitties, socks, and pie.

What makes you sad?

Turning away animals and not finding enough volunteers for events.


Many thanks for your time and honesty Nicole – we salute you!