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Natalie's Everyday Heroes: Pam Purdy, kitten foster mom

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- There are thousands of people doing good things across the Milwaukee area, and CBS 58 wants to shine a spotlight on them. We are launching a new, weekly segment called, "Natalie's Everyday Heroes."

We're starting this week with a Fox Point woman named Pam Purdy. Purdy has volunteered for the Wisconsin Humane Society for the last 16 years. But she's also opened her heart and her home to foster cats and kittens.

Purdy started fostering kittens when her own cats passed away.

“I tend to like the feisty ones,” Purdy said with a laugh. “I like the ones I consider a little naughty.”

That definitely describes her one and a half pound foster kitten, Cassidy. She’s named after the character Hop-Along Cassidy, for the silly way she pounces. Purdy will care for the six-week-old kitten for about three weeks.

“It's kind of hard to give them up. Not kind of, it is hard to give them up,” she said. “Because you get attached in, I don't know, about 10 seconds.”

But Purdy has learned how to give them up. She has fostered more than 300 cats and kittens over the years.

“She's touched the lives of just hundreds of animals, literally,” said Angela Speed, Vice President of Communications for the Wisconsin Humane Society.

Speed sees Purdy’s impact at the shelter. She said Purdy doesn’t just touch lives, she saves them.

“She is absolutely invaluable to the work that we do here,” Speed said. She has been here longer than most of our employees. And in that time, she's actually clocked more than 1500 hours. So, that commitment and that dedication is incredible.”

Before cats are able to be adopted at the Humane Society, many need to be fostered. Some need socialization or to get healthy. Others, like Cassidy, just need to get big enough to be adopted,

Recently, the Wisconsin Humane Society had 902 cats in its care system-wide. So Purdy always makes room at her home.

“I take them back to back, especially in the summer when we're so busy with kittens,” she said.

She also volunteers at the Humane Society three days a week. She helps new foster parents get acclimated and answers questions they may have.

“She is wonderful at working with new foster parents, with staff and with other volunteers,” Speed said.

It’s work Purdy loves to do, and she says it’s a perfect fit. Something she’d recommend to any families out there, thinking about fostering animals.

“I would say try it. if you have the room and you love animals, give it a try,” Purdy recommends.

If you have a person to recommend for “Natalie’s Everyday Heroes,” send her an email at NShepherd@cbs58.com, or find her on Facebook, here.


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