Austin Pets Alive! is happy to announce our volunteer of the month for August is Maria Navarro Ehlis! We would like to thank Austin Subaru for sponsoring the monthly feature and Austin Woman Magazine for publishing the page about our wonderful volunteers! Maria Navarro Ehlis has been volunteering with APA! since 2010 and we are glad to see her get the recognition that she deserves! Maria helps out with both the Dazey’s Ward ringworm cats and is a foster mom for kitties. She has saved, and helped to save, countless lives through her years of dedication…
“Maria is one of our most faithful, dedicated volunteers. She works with a group of cats that many people are afraid to love, simply because they have a completely treatable fungus. We always know that the ringworm cats will be well cared for when Maria is here. Not everyone can manage to smile while scooping litter boxes, but Maria does it, and somehow manages to look stunning the whole time. We are so grateful for her continued presence in the ringworm ward. Our kitties would not feel as loved without her.” – Wendy Salter, Cat Adoption Program Manager.
“Maria is basically indescribably amazing! She began working with the ringworm cats before Ringworm was even a program, and has played such a huge part in making it everything it is now. She comes in multiple times a week, every single week, and consistently does everything that needs done, with an attention to detail that is mind-blowing: Cleaning, medicating, snuggling, organizing, and medical treatments like nebulizing and force feeding (and more snuggling!) And she always does it with a smile on her face and an absolute love for the cats. Her positivity is incredibly infectious to both the people and cats around her. Everyone loves her!
Maria has an uncanny ability to pick up on almost imperceptible cues from the cats if they aren’t feeling well, that has led to early diagnosis and treatments of some pretty severe illnesses. There was a cat named Firebird earlier this year who Maria reported looked as though she was feeling painful. She was basically asymptomatic of anything- no outward signs of infection or injury, no fever, eating and drinking just fine. We pursued the possible problem, with not much to go on, and it turned out Firebird had a uterine stump abscess, which was only found through ultrasound. Maria’s observations helped her get quick treatment, which saved her life!
She also fosters, and her foster cats are always so healthy, happy, and sweet. Everything she does is done with such an obvious love for the animals, and a desire to do whatever is necessary to give them the very best on their road to forever homes! I have nothing but the utmost respect for her.”
– Brittany Dell’aglio-Mitchell, Cat Ringworm Ward Manager
“Maria is always cheerful, happy, and on top of things. She works so hard that we almost don’t realize everything she does, because she does everything (cleaning, organizing, etc). She is a great foster mom and volunteer. When we are in the ward all looking messy, she’s comes in with full make-up, looking fantastic. She is just wonderful” – Deborah Leftwich, Dazey’s Ward Volunteer & Fostering Mentor.
While Maria gives as much of her time as she can, the ringworm ward is greatly in need of more volunteers.