Stacy LeBaron, host of The Community Cats Podcast

Stacy

Stacy LeBaron—a veteran animal welfare advocate (felines, in particular) who hosts The Community Cats Podcast—recalls her first memory of a cat…who happened to be named Duncan! CatPodcast2Still, she allows that her powerful passion for cats was cultivated cumulatively; over the course of several kitties she’s known and loved. LeBaron explains what it is she finds so appealing about cats, what traits speak to her so strongly. She describes joining the then-nascent Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (MRFRS) in Newburyport Massachusetts, then ultimately leading the organization as the longtime president. She recounts some of the key accomplishments MRFRS reached under her tenure, including a feral cat colony near the waterfront that went from 300-plus residents winnowed down through their efforts over several years to the end of that colony. She points to other programs and innovations MRFRS implemented under her watch, including a mentoring-consulting operation, by which leaders of shelters and other advocates could seek LeBaron’s counsel on their own strategies and solutions for community cats, trap/neuter/return (TNR) programs, adoption promotions, and more. Owing to a confluence of factors—an elephantine waiting list for her mentoring services, nearly 20 years at MRFRS and Stacy2time for a new challenge, LeBaron and her family relocating to Vermont—she left MRFRS and launched The Community Cats Podcast, exactly a year ago as of the day of our interview. During the first five or six months, LeBaron remembers, she produced five programs per week. She’s now settled into a thrice-weekly production schedule, but the fundamental premise is the same: She interviews an array of experts regarding the topics of cat overpopulation issue and various aspects of cat welfare—holding conversations not unlike what her mentoring consultations were like. Under The Community Cats Podcast umbrella, LeBaron also provides grants to organizations for free-roaming cat or spay/neuter programs of their own, periodically offers webinars featuring key cat experts. (www.communitycatspodcast.com)

 

pawscolor-300dpi-with-webALSO: I spoke briefly with Gina Kaiser, the Tampa area representative for Paws With A Cause, the Michigan-based organization that provides assistance dogs across 30 states, customizing the canines’ training for the individual needs of a given client. Kaiser outlines the Paws With A Cause services, her duties as a local rep, and the benefit for the organization scheduled for June 30 at Palm Harbor Dance Studio in Palm Harbor, FL (www.pawswithacause.org, http://palmharbordancestudio.com)

COMEDY CORNER: Marc Maron’s “Masturbating Among The Animals ” (www.wtfpod.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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