RAPS is all about the animals! But everything we do is possible because of amazing humans! We’re introducing you to one every newsletter. This week, Mandy Lichtmann!
What is your title and role at RAPS?
I’m the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, but my role is so varied! In addition to coordinating volunteers for the different RAPS’ locations, I do school and group educational visits with animals, tours and volunteer group activities at the RAPS Cat Sanctuary, donation coordination and pick-ups from community pet food and accessories supporters, help coordinate fundraising efforts and events by school and special interest groups and I also fill in from time to time as an Animal Care Attendant at the RAPS Adoption Centre. I also help out with social media stories and posts and have driven to Vernon twice in the last four months to retrieve 72 kittens and cats from our Alberta rescue partner. Oh… I also help with trapping homeless cats when we are contacted by business or members of the public. No two days ever look the same for me!
How long have you been volunteering with / working at RAPS?
I started with RAPS almost 10 years ago as a volunteer. I cleaned the “Big Cat Room” at the 5 Road Shelter on Mondays for about two years when our youngest of three daughters started pre-school. I was then hired as auxiliary staff at the Shelter, which eventually led to full-time employment with RAPS.
What makes you committed to RAPS?
Of course I am an absolute animal lover and I believe very strongly in the good work our staff and volunteers do for pets and their people. I love RAPS’ No-Kill philosophy and the lengths our team goes to provide animals with the most loving care and ensure they have the best chance to live happy and healthy lives. The dedication and love our team has for carrying out our mission is so admirable – I feel very blessed to work with such incredible people.
What is your favourite / least favourite part of your job?
There really isn’t that much I don’t like about my job … except say, when I accidentally check a cat trap and discover a raccoon or skunk inside. I don’t even mind that though … I love ALL animals so nothing really fazes me.
What did you do before RAPS?
For 11 years, I was the Wish Program Director at Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon. That was also an incredible job that I thoroughly enjoyed before taking some time off to stay home with my youngest daughter. I was born in Toronto and my very first job at the age of 14 was working in a boarding kennel for dogs and cats part-time through high school. After graduating from U of T with a degree in social cultural anthropology, I traveled to Israel and ended up living there for three years. I then took a leap of faith and moved to Vancouver.
What do you do in your spare time?
Well, we have a small zoo at home with three cats and two dogs of our own, plus we often foster new mama cats and their litters at home. We are blessed with three incredible daughters and we love going on hikes with them and supporting them in their busy school and extracurricular lives. Binge-watching Netflix has also become a recent pastime for me, but, to tell you the truth, I don’t really “do” relaxing. I’d rather be out walking the dogs or climbing mountains with my family.
Thank you Mandy for all you do!