Kari Winters dedicated her life to helping people and pets, and in particular cats. Kari is the posthumous recipient of the 2009 Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award.
Kari wrote feline health stories for anyone she could, including The Pet Press. Kari had a particular interest in promoting Winn’s Ricky Fund (supporting research for a common heart disease in cats) and Bria Find (supporting research for feline infectious peritonitis, a fatal disease mostly affecting kittens). “The moment we established the Ricky Fund, Kari asked, ‘How can I help?” recalls Winn board member Steve Dale. “Kari walked the walk, personally rescuing many dogs and cats.” She was the California Siamese Cat Rescue Coordinator, and authored “Princess Fiona: My Purrsonal Story” dedicating the proceeds to help re-home abandoned cats. She also wrote “Wuffy: The Cat Rescuing Dog.”
Winters was the recipient of many awards, but was particularly proud when Dr. James Richards of the Cornell Feline Health Center presented her a special honor for a story she wrote about feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). “We organized a symposium on FIP at the Western States Veterinary Conference, and instantly Kari asked, ‘How can I cover this?” recalls Dale. “It turned out she won that award for her coverage, and deservedly so. Since Dr. Richards was ‘the King’ of advocacy for cat health, she later told me that receiving this particular award, and from him, was one of the great thrills of her life.”
Sadly, Richards passed away in 2007, and Kari was particularly vocal cheering his work, though she rarely cheered her own work. “Kari never sought credit or fame, she was truly modest about her own work,” says her colleague and good friend, Darlene Arden. When Kari passed away this May, one of the charities she stipulated to receive donations was Winn’s Ricky Fund. “Kari was magical, rescuing and rehabilitating so many animals, having the power to save lives,” adds Arden. “Her writing was powerful. She truly made a difference for pets, even in Albuquerque where she only lived for three years.”
Past recipients of Winn’s Media Award include Pam Johnson-Bennett, Amy Shojai, and Kim Thornton.
About Winn Feline Foundation
The Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1968 by the Cat Fanciers Assoc. Inc. that supports studies for medical problems affecting all cats. Projects funded by Winn have provided information used every day in all aspects of feline medicine. For more information, visit winnfelinehealth.org