Pet Topics

Homeless Animal Rescue Team enters 30th year with new board, new sun room

Special to The CambrianFebruary 5, 2013 

It could be argued that it goes against nature for one group or individual to willingly relinquish power to another. An advantage to living in a long-established democracy is that a tradition of the non-violent passing on of power exists. So, no claws showed, and a minimum amount of hissing was heard when leadership changed at the January board meeting of the Homeless Animal Rescue Team.

New president and longtime volunteer Mike Zarowitz succeeded retiring President Susan Barghini, who, as president emeritus, will continue as liason to the board and as committee head for the retail and supplies Committee.

Untold numbers of talented folks have worked for the betterment of HART over the decades.

We celebrated this tremendous volunteer contribution and our 2012 accomplishments with many of them at a luncheon held at Robin’s in late January. It was a wonderful year for the shelter with the move to our very own, customized facility and several successful events, including the official grand opening in July, our prize-winning Pinedorado Parade float and participation in the Scarecrow Festival and the Christmas Market at Cambria Pines Lodge.

Sadly, last year also marked the passing of Mary Ann Zirretta. She was actively involved with the shelter from 1987 — when cat and dog adoptions were held on empty west end lots — through the 2012 Festival of Trees. Mary Ann was always contributing as cleaner, cook, organizer, artist and all-round great gal; she loved HART and we all loved her. She will be missed.

By publication time, we expect the new sunroom addition to be done. Our guess is that most people will think it has been there forever — it is such a nice match to the existing building.  This will double the space for juvenile and adult cats to “roam their pampas grassland” and take in the expansive outside vistas from the increased windows, perches and climbers — entirely proper for the “Lion Kings” they are. Do come by and see it.

We would like to again invite you to become more involved with HART by serving on one of our committees: buildings maintenance, gardening, guardian angel, and retail and supplies.

Member requirements include an occasional meeting and a little independent time completing assigned tasks. If you have an interest and/or skills in these areas, we would love to hear from you. Also, if you have ideas on how HART can better serve the community, please let us know.

Not only time is needed. Private donations from local communities still provide HART with the majority of its funds. So please consider making a financial contribution. If you can, drop that donation off in person when you come in to purchase supplies, toys, gifts, etc. in our retail shop, or to visit with the animals or sign up to volunteer — in short, we’d love for you to get to know us as we begin our 30th year in service to the community.

For more on the Homeless Animal Rescue Team, call the shelter at 927-7377 or go to

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