From a very young age, Cheryl has been a vocal advocate for animals that have no other. In her youth there was more than one difference of opinion with her parents about which animal should be allowed to join their family.
Halfway through public school, Cheryl was very blessed to have a “Big Sister” take her under wing and help keep her on the straight and narrow by allowing her to come and help do chores at the horse barn every day after school. It was during this time, that Cheryl learned how to ride a horse and really learned about responsibility and long term commitment. Chores and barn time were traded for ride time. In 1994 Cheryl moved to Penticton from Southwestern Ontario and started volunteering at Critteraid as a cleaner and fundraising helper. She joined their board of directors a few years later and overall spent 17 years with the organization. Cheryl was also one of the first group in the Okanagan to take the Animal Rescue in Disaster training offered by Terri Crisp from California. Who would have known everything we learned and more would be put to the ultimate test when the fire storms hit the Okanagan in 2003?
Like Marielle and December, Cheryl felt there was a need for someone to take a more active approach to reduce the number of street cats in the Okanagan Valley and over a couple glasses of wine, AlleyCats Alliance was born.
Whether it’s trapping a feral colony in -15 c, dragging boxes to fill pickup trucks for one of AA’s yard sales, sitting on a rock hidden from sight waiting for baby kittens to pop out from under a huge slab of rock or reassuring a captive cat in a trap that it really is going to be okay, Cheryl takes a hands on approach to pretty much everything in life.
She shares her life with her husband Del who is never sure if there will be any feline additions to the household that were not there when he left. His patience, love and support make it possible to offer refuge on a moment’s notice.
Cheryl is past Vice President and currently holds the board position of Secretary.