After six years at the Animal Care League, the feline foster care coordinator, Jill Lebovitz, 49, is leaving the non-profit to explore other job options. Whatever those new endeavors will be, they will involve animals — her "true passion."
"I started as a volunteer coordinator [at the ACL], then office management, and when our feline foster program [grew] they offered me a full-time position," said Lebovitz.
She does not work exclusively with cats though. She also works with rabbits and guinea pigs. Lebovitz seems to be a natural nurturer.
Before beginning her work at ACL, she worked as a health professional for 15 years, caring for individuals with mental illness, the elderly and those in hospice.
In pursuit of her passion, Lebovitz found the ACL — a worthwhile drive, she says, from her Glen Ellyn residence.
"It's been an emotional journey, but it's been rewarding," said Lebovitz.
The most rewarding part of her ACL work has been finding, through a process of applications and interviews, the right match between cats and their foster families. There are, however, foster fails. A phrase reserved for employees who end up taking cats home who were originally up for foster care or adoption.
"Sometimes you do fall in love," said Lebovitz. "I've personally had 140 kittens over the past 10 years. In some cases because they were at risk or getting ready for adoption."
Her farewell thank-you is to her volunteers. Lebovitz credits their passion and dedication for the success of the feline foster care program.
"I have the best volunteers around. If it weren't for the volunteers, this wouldn't be a program."
Lebovitz's last day at ACL is Saturday, March 29.