Sydney Klocke 'fur' presidentKlocke takes the reigns at FUR of WNC
WAYNESVILLE — Feline Urgent Rescue of Western North Carolina (FUR of WNC) has reorganized itself to better meet the needs of cats in Haywood County and has passed the reins to new president Sydney Klocke
“We’ve got some new enthusiasm, some new inspired people,” said Klocke.
One of the reasons for revamping was to help out Rachel West, FUR co-founder and most recent past president.
Klocke said West was running the sanctuary; setting up medical appointments; arranging for spay/neuter and transport; answering all phone calls; and handling all the intakes — all in addition to her full-time job.
“One person can’t do all that,” said Klocke. “Hence, it was finally agreed upon that we needed to expand.”
In March 2016, FUR reorganized and created a board to help handle the day-to-day operations and so that everyone was on the same page.
The board has nine members — Sydney Klocke, president; Marion Dieme, vice president; new member Megan Houser, secretary; Jennie Kirby, treasurer; Scott Maclay; Dr. Paul Kern, with Balsam Animal Hospital; Rachel West; and new members Eva Bishop and Ellen Sither.
“I wanted to be on the board, but [the board] felt that because it was new and we were going through some huge changes, they felt that my previous skills would be helpful in getting the organization up and running,” said Klocke.
Klocke has an extensive background in education. Over her 38-year career in Illinois, she started out as a math teacher and worked her way up to high school principal.
“[The board] thought the organizational skills that I have, the decision making ... I can delegate things,” said Klocke. “The skills that one [uses] in a big organization like that can help a smaller organization and structure.”
“And my passion for cats as well,” she added. “I don’t have the expertise that Rachel (West) has regarding the medical issues of animals and stuff, but as far as running an organization, that’s a strength that I have.”
Since Klocke started as president when the board was re-established in March, she was asked to continue serving in that capacity for the next full term.
Now it’s full steam ahead for the new board, and one of the first orders of business is to recruit new volunteers.
“First and foremost, we’ve to find a way to get more volunteers,” said Klocke. “We have a huge need for quality volunteers … People who don’t’ mind getting their hands dirty.”
Volunteering at the center can be hard word, said Klocke, and volunteers are needed for everything from cleaning, scooping and taking care of the cats’ daily needs, to fundraising events and social media.
“We’d like to ultimately put an addition on our building so we can have an area where we can take care of sick cats that aren’t mixed with the regular healthy cats,” said Klocke. “We’d like to find a way to put a safe enclosure area around the building so the dogs and raccoons can’t get in and the cats stay safe within our area.”
FUR is 100 percent volunteer run and relies entirely on donations. For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation, visit www.furofwnc.org. The sanctuary is located at 38 Safe Haven, Waynesville, right off of Rabbit Skin Road.