Dr. Julie Levy
Dr. Julie Levy is Professor of Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Her research and clinical interests center on the health and welfare of animals in shelters, feline infectious diseases, humane alternatives for cat population control, and contraceptive vaccines for cats. She is the founder of Operation Catnip, which has sterilized more than 45,000 cats since 1998. Dr. Levy has published more than one hundred journal articles and textbook chapters. She is the recipient of the Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award, Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year, the European Society of Feline Medicine Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Feline Medicine, and the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine 2015 College Distinguished Alumni Award.
President and Interim Treasurer
Amanda Burks was born in the beautiful city of Gainesville, Florida and never left! Having completed her bachelor and graduate degrees in business at the University of Florida, Amanda spent the first years of her career working with medical start-ups and running a family-owned retail store. Feeling there was something missing in her work life, Amanda decided to join the non-profit world of animal welfare in 2012 when she was hired as Executive Director of Alachua County Humane Society (ACHS). During her tenure at ACHS, she partnered with Operation Catnip and fell in love with the organization’s mission to help Alachua County’s community cats. Amanda recently joined the Operation Catnip Board of Directors and is excited to help the organization reach new heights of life-saving!
Karen Scott, PhD, has always been a ‘cat person’ and enjoyed doing detail work and background work. When Dr Julie Levy joined the UF Vet School, she asked Karen, “Do you like cats?” and that started an ongoing collaboration to get Operation Catnip going and growing. Karen has remained with Operation Catnip throughout its existence, and hopes to continue for a long time. She enjoys managing the cat database which tracks each and every cat that has come through the clinic over the years. Karen is also a long time researcher studying the energy needs of dogs doing various types of exercise such as treadmill and swimming.
Sylvia has a deep love for animals and their welfare. After graduating from Cornell University with a BS in Animal Science, she worked on a thoroughbred horse farm in Ocala and two busy Ocala small animal hospitals before joining the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida to study diseases of white-tailed deer, tortoises, iguanas, sea turtles, Mediterranean turtles, alligators, boas, pythons, and even rattlesnakes. Her commitment to serving animals includes a term as treasurer of No More Homeless Pets of Alachua County and applying her veterinary technician skills during deployments to three large-scale feline hoarding interventions, a dog-fighting confiscation, and turtles confiscated from the illegal meat trade. She has fostered kittens for several rescue groups in Gainesville and bottle-fed many neonatal kittens. Currently a Biological Scientist with the Shelter Medicine Program at UF, Sylvia performs disease testing for animal shelters, works closely with veterinary student and graduate student researchers to solve problems affecting animal health and welfare, and was honored with a Staff Appreciation Award from Student Chapter of the AVMA. Sylvia volunteered at the very first Operation Catnip spay/neuter clinic and more than a hundred that followed. Co-existence with several cats, a dog, a parrot, and a tortoise rounds out the life of this committed animal lover.