Having been involved in animal rescue since she was 13, Michelle Duca has a long history of caring for animals, especially cats. She is Founder and Executive Director of the Feline Community Network in Hobart, a feline rescue and rehabilitation center dedicated to promoting the cat-human bond while sustaining relationships with animal control agencies, humane societies, and other rescue organizations in the area.
“I created this organization so that I could leave a lasting footprint on the community,” Duca said. “My love for working from rescue stemmed from the simple fact that I love animals. There was a time when I stepped away from rescue because it was emotionally draining, but later on I realized it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
Duca explained that her primary motivation in life is the animals themselves. She explained that her love for animals comes from their wholeness and mystery. She likes cats because they are independent, andshe feels they are underserved in the community as a whole.
“In spite of all the work I have done in my life, I know there are still so many cats out there that need my help,” Duca said. “When I get up every day, I’m doing something that means a lot to me and has a tremendous positive impact on the community.”
Duca stated that in all her years of service, she has learned that she can do incredible things when she has trusted people working with her. She has also learned to be open and honest with others, which allows them to gain trust in her and her mission. It is that sense of community that her organization strives for.
“Over the years, I’ve trained myself to be a persistent person who gets the job done,” Duca said. “Like the cats I work with, I’ve become an independent thinker and worker with a strong determination, but I’m also willing to work with others to get the job done.”
Duca then explained the importance of community service in her life and how it plays a fundamental role in the Feline Community Network.
“Community service means giving back to the area you live in and working with others to work towards common goals,” Duca said. “The name Feline Community Network suggests a powerful bond between the individuals and the larger community, so that’s why that name was chosen for the organization. Volunteering and paying it forward to the people around me is one of the foundations of my life as a whole.”
Duca concluded by stating that her work is far from over, and that she will continue working to educate others about what cats need in the area and support them when needed.
For more information on the Feline Community Network and how to find ways to help the cats of the community, please visit www.felinecommunitynetwork.org. Duca explained that all proceeds from their cat-themed gift shop go to sustaining the organization’s mission. To take part in their fundraiser for the Cat Calendar photo contest, please visit https://www.gogophotocontest.com/felinecommunitynetwork.
Duca also mentioned that the organization is active on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok and is currently looking for volunteers to help with web design and social media.