Volunteer of the Month: Liz Schmitz

Julia D Volunteer of the Month

Liz is very committed to helping out the cats of Last Hope. Here is her story:

Liz’s LHAR Adopted Nellie

“I became an LHAR volunteer and foster in the fall of 2021.  I had trapped a gorgeous boy in my yard and asked LHAR to take him in for adoption.  The answer was they could, but only if I fostered him because the fosters were full.  I was more than willing to do this.

Fostering for George soon led to other foster kitties entering my home.  I have loved each and every one of them as my own, as all of our fosters do.  It is so rewarding to know you are saving these babies from true hardships.  There have been so many who have come through my door, mainly kittens, but a few cats as well.   I have learned how to bottle-feed young kittens and give them flea baths.  I have learned about testing and microchipping.  I have been an advocate for Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) in my neighborhood.  Through fostering, I know the true power of the TNR program and the good it does for the community cats.

I enjoy the comradery I share with my fellow fosters in the area.  These ladies are a wealth of knowledge and I certainly draw on it.  I have made true friends for life and a sisterly bond like no other.  We share each other’s adoptions, victories, and losses; personal or cat related.   Life’s losses are eased knowing your foster sisters are by your side.

My story would not be complete without mentioning Ben.  This beautiful panther was returned to LHAR from his adopter.  I volunteered to take him.  He acclimated to my home and routine quickly.  He was a lap fixture.  He


loved to give head butts as they would be returned with pets and kisses.  He’d let you know when he wanted to be picked up for hugs.  In December, you could tell he’d dropped weight and a vet visit was needed.  Through multiple visits and undetermined results, he was taken to the Adoption Center to get more care and a possible diagnosis.  Things continued to go downhill for Benny.  He was taken to Blue Pearl for exploratory surgery and was back trying to recuperate, but again took a backward turn.


It was determined his little body couldn’t take much more and he needed to rest.  He will forever be remembered and loved. His ashes will have a permanent place under my butterfly bushes.  I am forever grateful for the love and support from the Adoption Center in Cedar Rapids.  They loved him when I couldn’t be there.

Aside from my love of my personal cats and foster kitties, I enjoy my flower gardens and watching the fish in my little koi pond.  I enjoy my daily workout routine, something I never dreamed I would ever say.  I grew up on a farm where I learned my love of animals, domestic and wild.”

Both Last Hope and the kitties are lucky to have Liz!