Campus Cats Executive Board

Kelly Bettinger, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Founder

Kelly A. Bettinger, research professional in the University of Georgia’s Department of Plant Biology, received her B.S. in Wildlife Management from Virginia Tech in 1989, and her M.S. in Wildlife Biology from Oregon State University in 1996. Her particular area of interest includes inventory and monitoring and developing protocols. She has more than 14 years of experience in avian inventory and monitoring and taught an annual workshop for fellow wildlife biologists on avian monitoring techniques and birding by ear. Over her career she has been involved in inventory and monitoring projects on both coasts targeting sea turtles, spotted owls, marbled murrelets, painted buntings, snag-nesting purple martins, bird communities in managed forests, and wild horses on a barrier island, as well as in efforts to conduct vouchered inventories of plant communities in national parks in the southeastern U.S. She was involved in publishing Breeding Bird Atlases in both Oregon and Georgia, and was a member of the team that researched and published the book, Wildlife Habitat Relationships in Oregon and Washington.  She is a strong advocate for the humane and proven technique of TNR as the best solution we currently have for reducing community cat populations and subsequently reducing conflicts with wildlife but, she believes just as strongly that there need to be standard protocols established for TNR, especially in public places.

Lisa Donovan, President

Lisa Donovan is a professor in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Georgia. By day, she conducts research investigating the ecology and evolution of stress tolerance in plants. By night, she practices feral cat management on the University of Georgia campus and in the surrounding community. Lisa feels strongly that TNR is an effective way to humanely reduce the number of feral cats, a vital part of larger community efforts needed to take care of all cats in Athens, Georgia. More responsible pet ownership, a functional and cooperative animal control unit, animal rescue groups, and TNR where appropriate is desperately needed in order to meet CZA’s goal of humanely reducing and maintaining a low feral cat population in Athens.

Lori Carson, Board Member

Lori Carson is a retired physician, gardener, sewist, animal lover and die-hard Dawg fan. She received her B.S. in Biology from what was then North Georgia College in Dahlonega and her M.D. from Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. She grew up nearby in Royston, Georgia and remembers the many feral cats that were always present on her grandparents’ farm. Most were “dropped off” in bags or pillow cases during the night by people who probably knew that her grandmother would feed them. Over the years she has shared life with 12 cats and 5 dogs, and fostered dozens more. She believes community cats deserve to have the best life possible and supports TNR as an effective and humane way to care for these creatures she finds so fascinating.

Lisa Kaufman, Board Member (2014-2018)

Lisa rescued her first feral cat in 1991 and hasn’t stopped since. Growing up in Colorado, Lisa always considered herself a “dog person.” She worked for a number of years as a certified dog trainer. But now, with every new cat she helps, she has come to realize that yes, in fact, she is just another “crazy cat lady!” She is now up to seven cats total – six ferals and one friendly – and one very tolerant German shepherd (also a rescue of course!) Lisa began as a volunteer with Campus Cats and became a board member in August 2014.

Clodagh Phair-Miller, Board Member

Clodagh (Graduate Program, College of Engineering) spent many years overseas were she observed the inhumane treatment of cats and dogs. As an adult she and her significant other have rescued four cats and two dogs. In fact, in her next life she plans to return as one of her pets. Clodagh has always been an animal lover however; she became more aware of the feral plight because her mother, (a doting cat lady) was feeding a growing colony at the bottom of her garden at her home in Northern Ireland. A concerned niece/granddaughter contacted the Cat Protection League who came in and TNR’ed the lot. Many were saved and adopted out. Back in 2007 Clodagh contacted Kelly about a black and white kitten she saw near a campus parking deck. And that was all she wrote. She has been a feeder at that spot ever since and helps out with a little paperwork for Campus Cats, which she is very happy to do.

Dee Palmer, Board Member

Former crazy dog lady (still have 4) now turned crazy (not old) cat lady owned by more than two dozen cats at present and a firm believer in TNR to reduce feral cat populations not only on campus but all over. Spay/neuter and education are the keys to reducing the number of unwanted cats and dogs in this country. From many years ago just feeding stray cats on campus and unaware of the plight of feral cats to practically having TNR tatooed on my forehead to tell the world how I feel about ferals and cats in general. Spend days at UGA helping kids of all ages learn to read and nights looking after the furries and feathereds in my life and being the Neuteress of the Night in training. 🙂

Lisa Lowe, Board Member and C0-Founder

Lisa received her B.S. Degree in Psychology from Michigan State University and her M.A. Degree in Psychology from the University of West Georgia. She has had a lifelong interest in animal behavior and the natural environment. It was when she and her husband were living in an Athens apartment complex that she discovered a hungry little white feral kitten pawing at a ketchup packet in the parking lot. This event would put her on a journey of learning about feral kittens, feral cats, and eventually the successful strategies for caring for, preventing, and reducing the numbers of homeless felines in an effective and morally responsible way. She originally started a “Feral Cat Caregivers Club” and listserv to connect with others who were also trying to help feral kittens and cats in the Athens area, and especially those on the UGA Campus. When she met Kelly Bettinger, she knew a successful nonprofit organization could be created, with a focus on reducing the campus cat population using the TNR method. She convinced Kelly Bettinger (CZA’s Primary Founder) to create the nonprofit with the help of several others. Lisa also created the basic initial structure and content of the original CZA website. And that hungry little white kitten? He and his twin brother and gray sister are big well-fed semi-feral indoor cats now who continue to teach Lisa and her husband about themselves and cats on a daily basis.