Audrey Garrison brings over two decades of animal welfare experience to Operation Catnip. As the President of Gulf Shore Animal League in Manatee County, Florida, Audrey successfully led county-wide initiatives to dramatically reduce cat overpopulation and euthanasia. She developed programs and partnerships that transferred cats and kittens at high risk for euthanasia resulting in a 79% reduction and implemented targeted, aggressive TNR programs which lead to in a 45% drop in cat intake at Manatee County Animal Services over five years.
Audrey remains passionate in her efforts to educate the public, change government policy, and advocate for reform in an effort to end the killing of companion animals to control the population. She is delighted to be working with the dedicated animal welfare community in Alachua County, her new hometown.
The move to Gainesville included her wonderfully supportive husband Jim, six family cats, one large dog, and five foster kitties in need of a change of venue.
After moving to Gainesville in 2005, Melissa began her work in animal welfare as a volunteer for the rescue group Puppy Hill Farm. Volunteering at adoption events evolved into fostering for the organization, and since 2012, Melissa has socialized and fostered hundreds of cats and kittens in preparation for finding their forever homes.
After graduation from the University of Florida in 2011 with bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology, she incorporated her passion for animals into a career. She spent six years with PetSmart, first as a dog trainer, then as a manager, where she was in charge of leading the team that cared for all of the in-store animals.
She broadened her horizons further by spending 1 year as a veterinary technician before joining the Operation Catnip Team. She considers this her dream job, a place where she can truly combine work and passion, and do, as her husband says, “what you’d be doing on your day off anyway.” She shares her home with her very supportive husband, Jared, three black cats, and an ever-changing number of foster cats.
Caitlin is a graduate of the University of Florida who continued to work in Gainesville after graduating. She comes to us from an event planning background. She planned corporate and private events for restaurants all up the east coast. Now she uses her event planning skills to schedule and plan our clinics and every day volunteers. A modest writer, she isn’t the best at self-bios.
Caitlin shares her home with one cat and two dogs.
Caitlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return-to-Field and Intake Diversion Coordinator
Luke Smith is a Florida native that grew up with a passion for nature and a love for wildlife. He is currently working to complete a degree from the University of Florida in Anthropology with a minor in Latin American Studies. In his spare time Luke enjoys going on hikes as an amatuer birder and an avid field herper (finding reptiles and amphibians).
Luke moved to Gainesville in 2011 and has volunteered for local rescue groups ever since. He is excited to work with Operation Catnip and the people of Alachua County to help free-roaming community cats and humanely reduce their numbers through targeted spay-neuter!
Luke can be reached at RTF@ocgainesville.org.