This month, we’re thrilled to welcome Emily Sprong, Seattle Area Feline Rescue’s first ever Executive Director!
For most non-profit organizations, the Executive Director is the first staff position to be filled. Our grass-roots organization evolved along a different path, adding staff positions one-by-one and waiting until now to create and fill the role of Executive Director.
The addition of this important position was made possible through a generous grant from the ASPCA Northern Tier Shelter Initiative. This grant will make it possible for SAFe Rescue to build on its current work and help more homeless felines for years to come.
As Emily joins the rescue community to create this leadership position, she brings inspiration, experience, and a lifelong love of cats. Here is her message to you:
“As a life-long cat lover who has spent over 20 years working in the nonprofit world, I am honored to take on the role of SAFe Rescue’s first Executive Director! At age fifteen, I spent a summer volunteering with a feral cat rescue. That led to my first job, as a kennel cleaner for a veterinarian, and multiple veterinary assistant positions in the following years. During that first volunteer job, I was adopted by one of the cats (Shelly), who remained my trusted companion through nine homes in four states over 18 years. She hooked me on rescue, and all my pets since have been rescues. Those early experiences gave me a life-long respect and appreciation for rescue and the impact it can have on both animals and people.
For most of my childhood, I planned to become a veterinarian, but after college, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in wildlife biology (based on experience helping with wildlife rehab at my veterinary assistant position). From there I worked and volunteered for environmental nonprofits – serving in a variety of roles, including as a Program Director, Membership Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Fundraising Chair, Board President, and most recently as an Executive Director.
I am thrilled that, through the generosity of a grant from the ASPCA Northern Tier Shelter Initiative, I have the opportunity to return to my roots and bring these experiences to SAFe Rescue. I live nearby in NE Seattle with my husband, Dan, our daughters Triona and Kalina, our rescue dog Zarby and our rescue cat Tiger Lily.
I have enjoyed meeting many of the wonderful cats and people who make SAFe such a special place, and I look forward to getting to know many more of you in the near future.”