Saturday, May 9, 2015

Purina Cat Chow honors Shelter Volunteer of the Year

Via PRNewswire - For more than 10 years, Liz Taranda has volunteered thousands of hours toward helping cats at the Clifton Animal Shelter feel comfortable while staying at the shelter and find forever homes.

In honor of her dedication, Purina Cat Chow is proud to announce that Taranda has been selected as its first-ever Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest winner.

The Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest recognized and thanked the volunteers who tirelessly care for cats as they await their forever homes and work to make their temporary shelter homes gentler, less stressful places.

Taranda's shelter, the Clifton Animal Shelter, will receive a $25,000 makeover to help improve its cat adoption areas in recognition of her dedication to the shelter cats. In addition, Purina Cat Chow will donate $5,000 to the shelter of each of the four volunteer Contest finalists.

"I'm humbled to be the winner of the Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest," said Taranda. "Every cat we care for is important, and we often tell people that by adopting one cat they're really helping two cats because there's always another cat that needs a temporary home at the shelter. We have a great group of volunteers at the Clifton Animal Shelter and everyone here works hard to make sure every cat has a calm, comfortable stay with us."

For more than a decade, Taranda has been volunteering at the Clifton Animal Shelter because she sees the difference she is making in cats' lives and the organization. Taranda interviews and matches potential adopters to cats; ensures the cats are cleaned, fed and socialized; and oversees the medical care of each cat. In addition to caring for the cats, she is also instrumental in motivating fellow volunteers and spearheading the shelter's annual fundraising efforts.

Evelyn Ackley-Raps, president of the Clifton Animal Shelter, nominated Liz Taranda on behalf of the Friends of the Shelter, a nonprofit group that manages all adoptions and daily care of animals at the Clifton Animal Shelter.

"More shelters need volunteers like Liz Taranda, a one in a million volunteer who gives from the heart every day. She's been a part of our shelter for more than 10 years, helping hundreds of cats and supporting the shelter's day-to-day and long-term needs," said Ackley-Raps.

"When Purina Cat Chow asked us to nominate our most outstanding volunteer, I immediately thought of Liz. But as she will tell you, she represents an amazing volunteer team here that is truly dedicated to helping cats find forever homes."

The Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest is part of the brand's "Building Better Lives" program, an ongoing commitment to help improve the lives of cats through rescue, nutrition and adoption support.

The brand works to support shelters and help more cats find forever homes. In three years, the Purina Cat Chow brand has donated nearly $600,000 to more than 100 local cat-focused shelters nationwide and helped improve the lives of more than 86,000 cats.

To learn more about the program or read about the winner and finalists stories visit,

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