Robert Paasch and Mike Mikulak
by Anita Bradley
Fact or Myth?: Animal rescue is a female dominated industry.
It’s a fact. Some would say, a bright spot in a male dominated world. It’s difficult to get exact numbers, but estimates are that 85% of animal rescuers are women.* If you know ANY cat rescuers, and chances are you do, you probably aren’t surprised. As Chris Roy of the Animal Rescuers Professional Association* asserts, “Yes, it’s true, if you’re a male in the animal rescue world, you’re somewhat of a unicorn in a stampede of horses.”
Thats’ why this month we’ve decided to spotlight several of the men who have recently joined the ranks of FAN volunteers. Welcome to the herd, gentlemen!!!
Mike Mikulak has a motto: “Don’t just talk about it – BE ABOUT IT!” And that’s what he did when a co-worker asked him for help with a litter of kittens in his yard. He did the best he could, not knowing much about rescue, even finding homes for the kittens. But, when another litter appeared, he contacted Catnip Cat Cafe for advice, and they referred him to FAN. Mike says that FAN seemed very engaged and involved within the whole network of Hampton
Roads cat rescue work and was eager to help. Feral cat wrangling in his Norfolk neighborhood has given him the opportunity to meet more of his neighbors. He has found that with his “get involved” motto, the entire neighbor hood is on board with his trap, neuter, return (TNR) mission. Mike wasn’t even a cat owner prior to his trapping projects! But, one special rescue kitten, King James, has now become part of Mike’s family along with his two rescue dogs Chief and Maple.
Robert Paasch came to Virginia from San Diego where he and his wife Mollie were very active in TNR. Robert has personally trapped 39 cats since January as well as a few other critters who wandered into the trap – 1 possum, 1 raccoon, and 1 skunk! He heard about FAN from a friend and dove in to helping with trapping, transporting, fund raising and social networking. Robert noticed that FAN was often tagged on Facebook to respond to requests for help on the Community Cat Caretakers page. So, he took it upon himself to help out with those requests in Portsmouth where he lives, taking some of the load off of FAN! He likes to dig in to the story, get involved, and help people along with their cat concerns. Robert’s enthusiasm is infectious; he tries to network and bring groups together and we are all about that!
We’re also grateful to Prasanna, Sam Bolton, Doug Dye, Archie Whitehill, Bevon Moore, Bert Schmidt, another new volunteer Dave Brown, and all the other cat daddies who have supported FAN in their own way!
We hope that more men will look into their hearts to find their passion for animals and make a choice to get actively involved in saving them.
*https://www.animalrescueprofessionals.org/myth-vs-fact/animal-rescue-female-industry/. Chris Roy