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Look Who’s Talking – Katie Timber

Executive Director of the SPCA of Southwest Michigan

MY PERFECT DAY OFF:
A visit to my yoga mat, teaching myself some ballet and enjoying the wonders of Michigan (including kayaking or paddle boarding) with my pre-teen daughter and a poorly behaved dog named Kitten.

FAVORITE GULITY PLEASURES:
Swedish fish, diet coke and this chip dip that one of my favorite volunteers has made me since I’ve been 23. It’s delicious. I don’t know how Louise makes it!

FUTURE GOALS AND DREAMS?
I’d love to someday work with elephants suftfering from PTSD & reservation dog packs.

ANY UNUSUAL RESCUE STORIES?
I once rescued a pigeon named Mike Tyson from a hoarding situation. He couldn’t fly, so he used to sit in my lap during meetings. I eventually got him settled in a sanctuary.

LAST THOUGHTS FOR OUR READERS?
I hope you’ll remember those who are too often forgotten and left behind in our society. Whether they be two-legged or four-legged, we have to fight for one another, love one another and advocate for one another.

They say that home is where your heart is… and for Katie Timber, that’s right here in the heart of West Michigan. Though she was born and raised on the East Coast, Kalamazoo has been her home for over 20 years and she has no plans to leave. Ever.

Katie is the Executive Director of the SPCA of Southwest Michigan, but to call that her job is an understatement. Her work at the SPCA is a passion and a privilege for Katie and her commitment to the animals of the Kalamazoo area constitutes one of the major underpinnings of her life. She has worked in almost every sector of the field, from animal caretaker to her current position as head of this great organization.

Katie’s path to her current role has been untraditional, but she believes it has provided her insight she otherwise could not have gained. She is a hard worker, dedicated to animal welfare and community education. She received her licensing through the AAHA and her behavior certifications through the Rescue Wagon Program and the Boulder Valley Humane Society (both Petsmart charities) but her most valuable expertise comes from her time spent with the animals themselves.

Katie’s most passionate goal is that Southwest Michigan becomes a place where no animal is euthanized unnecessarily. She knows that this is an audacious dream, but looks to other communities with No Kill or Adoption Guarantee policies as inspiration. You’ll never convince her that Kalamazoo can’t become one of these places. She considers herself a co-worker in this crusade, crediting those she works with (especially a group of women she affectionately calls her “cat ladies”) for toiling daily to take care of the animals that need them. Without a small legion of dedicated volunteers, Katie’s work and vision would be impossible.

You’ll often find Katie’s daughter, Meadow, among this cadre of compassionate individuals, as she has inherited her mothers’ passion for small creatures.

She is Katie’s favorite person on earth and is a constant source of joy and inspiration to her mother. She practically grew up on the SPCA premises and loves to play a part in the work being done there.

While Katie’s family might be considered nontraditional by some, the love and consideration that define these relationships are as traditional and solid as it comes. Believing that family is defined by the love of the people who look after you and care for you day in and day out, Katie considers the team of selfless staff and volunteers at the SPCA to be part of her big, happy family. She knows exactly how lucky she is to have them on her team and in her life.

Erica Shier is a married mother of four who loves reading, scrapbooking & thrift stores. When she’s not driving her small pack of children around, she spends her time volunteering, writing & trying to keep on top of the laundry.

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