The Frances M. Wells Award - Anna Stetler

“People have a misconception about feral cats; they think that they’re mean and aggressive,” said Anna Stetler.  “It’s just because they haven’t had human contact.  They’re beautiful cats who have to survive outside.”

Anna received the Frances M. Wells Award in recognition of her work helping feral cats through Dakin’s all-volunteer Kitten Street Team (KST). The award is given to individuals recognized for significant contributions to the health and welfare of animals and is named after one of Dakin’s most notable early benefactors.

Anna was one of the first two people to join the KST in the summer of 2020 and is extremely active in fulfilling its mission to help cats. The KST responds to calls from the public that identify where colonies of feral (wild) cats are living.  The Team visits these sites, humanely traps the cats and kittens, and brings them to Dakin for spay/neuter surgery and vaccinations. Adults are returned to their colonies, and young kittens are adopted and socialized to become domestic pets.

Her lifesaving work is impressive. From July through December 2020, Anna helped 57 cats either single-handedly or with the help of another KST member.  As of October 2021, that number is 154, which adds up to 211 total.

One of the nominations she received stated that she “looks at those elusive cats as a challenge which she is eager to meet, and she figures out ways to be sure the needs of these cats are met - the main need is that they get spay/neuter surgery.  Anna's tireless efforts have helped so many cats and she is also helping the community understand these cats and why TNR is the best option for them.”

Anna is flattered to receive a Humane Award.  She has been a Dakin volunteer for nine years, having walked dogs and fostered animals, among other tasks.  “Helping animals gives me the greatest satisfaction and my heart is so into this.”  This exceptional cat advocate shares her home with Molly, a Shih Tzu she adopted from Dakin.