Susan Whittred, DVM
Executive Director of Veterinary Medicine
Prior to embarking on a career in veterinary medicine, Susan spent the better part of the 80's working in the music industry at Chrysalis and Imago Records with such artists as The DiVinyls, Rory Gallagher, Billy Idol, Pat Benatar, John Waite, Jethro Tull, Blondie, Henry Rollins and Huey Lewis and The News, among others. However, Susan always had a special interest in four legged furry, "kids" so in the beginning of the 90's decided to switch career paths and pursue veterinary medicine. Through Elliot L. Hoffman, Esq., Susan met Pat Ladew in 1994, and they grew to be close friends. Prior to her passing, Pat asked Susan to look after the Foundation for her. In 1999, Susan graduated with special honors from Hunter College. In 2003 she graduated from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and the same year was presented with an award for outstanding interest and ability in feline medicine and surgery from the Association of Feline Practitioners. Susan currently lives in Long Beach with a parcel of furry "kids," and practices veterinary medicine at Animal Hospital of the Rockaways. Dr. Whittred is the also co-director of the Paw Project-NY, a non-profit organization formed of veterinarians whose goal is to educate the public about the realities of declawing cats. She is a member of the Cornell Feline Health Center, The Association of Feline Practitioners, The Association of Shelter Veterinarians, The Long Island Veterinary Medical Association, The New York State Veterinary Medical Society, The American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and an adjunct member of the Animal Law Committee of the New York Bar Association.
Tim Frazer-Talan, Licensed Veterinary Technician
Tim Frazer-Talan has been working in the veterinary field for over 35 years and a licensed technician for 30 years. Tim has worked at the Animal Medical Center in the city where he worked the overnight shift, took care of critically ill patients, and helped trained the new interns during emergency rotations. He is presently also working at The Cat Doctor and Mineola Animal Hospital. Tim has a special rapport with cats and enjoys working with all animals. He has many pets of his own including some exotics including 2 turtles that he has for over 35 years. He also does grooming especially pets with medical conditions.
Lynn Manno, Manager and Photographer
Lynn first heard about the Patricia H. Ladew Foundation almost 10 years ago from a friend at work. That's when she started dropping off donations. Every year for Christmas Lynn would buy her cats new beds and then donate their old ones to the "Cat House" as it was called back then. She loved to peek in the window and see all the adorable faces staring back at her. Then, in 2009, she had a new cat that didn't get along with her other cat. After months of trying to make it work, she made the difficult decision to give him up. Lynn paid the fee for sanctuary services and brought her cat to the Foundation where she knew he would have a good life. At that time Lynn began to volunteer for the Foundation. She is an avid photographer and learned all the cats names by taking their photos. After Lynn's older cat passed away in February 2010, the Foundation was her only outlet to spend time with cats as Lynn's dad, whom she lived with at the time, did not want any more cats. Later that year, there was some restructuring at the Foundation and Lynn was offered the position of Manager, which included living in the apartment upstairs from the sanctuary. Lynn has since adopted several cats from the Foundation and says her life is filled with love and she couldn't be happier!
Jo Ann Studley, Caretaker
Jo Ann was born and bred on the South Shore of Long Island in Massapequa and claims she's old enough not to want to reveal her age (56). After living what she refers to as a topsy-turvy life in the last few years, she is back residing in Massapequa. Jo Ann says she was a domestic goddess for quite a few years, raising her 18-year-old daughter, who is her reason for being . . . but all children grow up and leave the nest, which brought her back into the workforce 5 years ago. After working a summer seasonal job in 2010, she was in the market for a job and was fortunate enough to see a listing for the position as caretaker for the Foundation. She applied and went to the interview not knowing exactly what to expect. Jo Ann instantly fell in love with the place! She sat down and was surrounded by all the kitties who reside on the main floor and knew that this was the place for her. After having grown up with a multitude of different species (dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles and horses), Jo Ann found that she truly had a love for cats. Jo Ann currently lives with three of her own, so taking care of the feeding, cleaning, playing and loving sounded more like heaven to her. Jo Ann has been with the Foundation since February 2010 and cherishes the unconditional love she receives every day from these beautiful creatures. Jo Ann looks forward to many years at the sanctuary helping these lovely felines in need.
Elise Klingensmith, Creative Editor
It was a very sad day in March 2011 when Elise and her husband Richard had to bring their eldest cat, Georgie, for his last visit to Animal Hospital of the Rockaways. Elise recalled, "our cat, Georgie, the eldest of ten, who had been battling cancer for some time, lost the fight and had to be put to sleep. Dr. Whittred made the experience private and peaceful. We all cried together that morning."
Elise wanted to do something meaningful in Georgie's memory. Having followed the work of Dr. Whittred at the Ladew Cat Sanctuary via its website, she noticed that it did not have a printed newsletter and thought that volunteering her communications services to the shelter would be a fitting tribute to Georgie. So, she made Dr. Whittred an offer she couldn't refuse. The shelter's newsletter, The Ladew Mews, began in April 2011. Elise is not only responsible for the creative design of the newsletter, she also helps with advertising, posters, brochures and cards. All in the memory of a sweet cat named Georgie. I'm sure Georgie is purring somewhere knowing that he continues to make a difference.
Joe Berni, Volunteer
Joe Berni, a painter and commercial artist, has been volunteering with the Foundation since 2013. Joe discovered the sanctuary when trying to place a feral cat that he rescued, named Kimba. Joe helps out whenever he can and gets to see Kimba, who is loving life!
Beatta and Jerzy Boruta, Volunteers
Beatta and her husband, Jerzy, were clients of Dr. Whittred's at Animal Hospital of the Rockaways. When they moved to Oyster Bay, they offered to volunteer and both have been a integral part of the sanctuary ever since. It's hard to put into one paragraph how much these two do for us -- everything from emergencies to transportation to adoption events to caring for our cats at PetValu!
Robin Fishman (left) and Jane Totura (right), Volunteers
Robin and Jane are no strangers to animal welfare. Robin (left) and Jane were awarded a Citation from Nassau County Executive, Ed Mangano, for their work at the temporary shelter in Nassau County that housed homeless animals following hurricane Sandy. When the shelter closed, Jane (a client of Dr. Whittred's when she worked at New Hyde Park Animal Hospital) needed to place three cats and called the sanctuary. Robin fell in love with the place and the two have been stalwart volunteers ever since. Not only do they tend to our cats, but they are responsible for the beautiful gardens.
Sarah Jordan, Volunteer
Sarah is indispensable when we do events such as Adoptapalooza, which is located in NYC. Since Sarah lives in the city, she handles getting our booth ready for our arrival from Oyster Bay.
Toby and Sidney Weiss, Volunteers in Training
Toby and Sidney Weiss, nephew and niece of manager Lynn Manno, live in Albany, NY. Whenever they are in town they are eager to visit the shelter and help with feeding and cleaning. They spend time interacting with the cats, holding and brushing them so that they look their best for adoption. Toby and Sydney each have a favorite cat that they look forward to visiting. They love to play with the cats, especially with the laser light (which they are very careful not to shine in anyone's eyes!). It is important that the cats get used to having children around them, as they may be adopted into a family with kids. Toby and Sidney are a great brother and sister team and we look forward to watching them grow up as part of our Ladew cat family.