Meet the Team

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Hannah Shaw

Founder and Board President

Hannah Shaw is a professional kitten rescuer and humane educator known for her advocacy work as Kitten Lady. She is the author of Tiny But Mighty: Kitten Lady’s Guide to Saving the Most Vulnerable Felines and the children’s book Kitten Lady’s Big Book of Little Kittens. When she isn’t traveling the country to teach classes about kitten care, she’s volunteering her time rescuing kittens and providing them with lifesaving care.

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Sonja Lueschen

Program Director

Sonja Lueschen is an animal welfare professional with a background in kitten care and community programs. Her work in a kitten nursery ignited her passion for saving tiny lives and working to reduce the number of orphan kittens through TNR. Sonja also served as a Humane Law Officer and is dedicated to fighting for the little guys and giving every kitten a chance to thrive.

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Andrew Marttila

Secretary and Nursery Coordinator

Andrew Marttila is an animal photographer known for his captivating images of felines. His work as The Cat Photographer depicts the lives of celebrity cats, shelter cats, and house cats with intimate detail. Andrew is the creator of two beautiful photography books, Shop Cats of New York and Cats on Catnip.

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Michelle Kucerak

Board Vice President

Michelle is a powerful advocate for all animals, and is a founding board member of the Orphan Kitten Club. She is the Senior Vice President of Programs and Development for the national animal advocacy organization The Humane League, and a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Dr. Rachel Wallach

Board Member and Veterinarian

Dr. Rachel Wallach is a veterinarian with a passion for animal rescue. She obtained her veterinary degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and is the owner of Oaks Veterinary Urgent Care in Agoura Hills, CA. She has a special interest in the health of neonatal animals, and brings pediatric medical expertise to her role with Orphan Kitten Club.

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Lee Domaszowec

Board Member & Strategic Advisor

Lee is a nonprofit management expert, cat advocate, and the founder of PhoenixFire Strategic Consulting. Drawing from his background in animal welfare, grantmaking, and operations, he helps Orphan Kitten Club create innovative solutions and effective practices that produce measurable results.

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Christy Burchette 

Donor Gratitude Coordinator

Christy is an enthusiastic cat lover and has been volunteering with Orphan Kitten Club since its humble beginnings. She has assisted with everything from administrative assistance to scooping poop! Christy is the adopter of OKC graduate Orphan Annie, and is dedicated to letting our donors know how much their support means to the kittens we serve.

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Yige Zhao 

Satellite Nursery Coordinator

Yige is a lifelong animal lover who has volunteered for animal shelters and sanctuaries in varying capacities. She became fascinated by all the aspects of neonatal care a few years ago when she learned about the plight of young kittens in the shelter system. With a background in healthcare, Yige especially enjoys nursing the smallest and sickest babies to healthy and strong mini-panthers.

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Justin Yabumoto

Satellite Nursery Coordinator

Justin has always loved working with animals so after moving to San Diego (where kitten season never ends), he and his wife, Yige, built a nursery in their home to care for neonatal kittens. Over the last couple of years they have fostered numerous kittens (and even puppies) through their local shelter. Justin particularly likes to help socialize shy/spicy kittens so that they can be adopted into loving homes.

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Lora Lakanal

Program Assistant 

Lora’s love for kittens stems back as far as she can remember after growing up in a home that always had rescued cats. Later on in life, while living in Philadelphia, she was made aware of community cats in her neighborhood and felt it was her call to action to get involved with TNR! Upon moving to San Diego, Lora quickly began to work with local rescue groups and currently  serves as a volunteer for East County Animal Rescue. Lora is the Executive Director of Namastray, a nonprofit whose long term vision is to create a mindful approach to cat adoption.