Volunteer Spotlight April 2020: Hoyle Curtis
Hoyle Curtis started volunteering with Animal Friends Alliance about six and a half years ago before Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic and Animal House Rescue and Grooming merged. He lost a companion animal of almost 20 years and wasn’t sure how to move forward after that loss. Hoyle had friends who fostered for FCCRSNC and they encouraged him to give it a try. He started fostering with a litter of six kittens and foster failed immediately by adopting one of the kittens. Hoyle enjoyed fostering so much he kept taking in litters of kittens and hasn’t stopped since! Hoyle has been an amazing ambassador for the merger and Animal Friends Alliance as he fostered a 3 month old puppy in mid-February this year and provides vaccinations as a Foster Mentor to other fosters with puppies. Currently Hoyle is fostering five kittens and a mom cat.
Hoyle has participated in many roles as a volunteer. His main focus is being a Cat Foster Mentor for fosters in Southern Fort Collins and Loveland. He helps fosters with vaccinations, diet, grooming and medical advice. Hoyle says that” it’s important to provide new fosters a lot of support, comfort and assurance that they aren’t doing harm.” He said that “in one sense kittens are fragile things but after fostering so many you realize they’re quite tough as long as they have the right environment. Fostering is mainly a lot of trouble shooting and cat psychology to solve problems!”
Hoyle grew up in the northern part of Texas on a farm outside of Lubbock. His family always had animals like cattle, pigs and chickens. Being raised around animals and helping to care for them from a young age was a valuable experience that enabled him to succeed as a Foster Mentor by staying calm in order to solve problems. Fostering is so dear to him because he loves learning and taking on new challenges as they come up with various groups of kittens. Hoyle says that “cats & kittens are just as complex as people in terms of medical care and it’s always amazing to learn from Dr. Gloria and Dr. Tips as to what’s the cause of certain problems and then get to share that knowledge with mentees.”
Hoyle has fostered over 200 cats/kittens over the past six and a half years & many of those foster groups included mom cats with their babies. He has also regularly participated in mobile adoptions by bringing his adoptable kittens and helping them find the right home. He said “getting to see the kittens find their match and go home with their new family is an amazing feeling.” Hoyle has gone on Kitten Excursions to a memory care facility in town to help socialize his kittens and help seniors engage in the human animal bond. Hoyle participates in all aspects of his fosters development from initial animal care to their spay/neuter procedures, socialization, and adoption.
Hoyle moved to Colorado from Texas after college to work at Hewlett Packard as an engineer and his lived in Colorado ever since. Hoyle’s job required quite a bit of traveling and he spent two years in Mexico as a Foreign Service Employee. Traveling also extends to Hoyle’s personal hobbies. He enjoys doing underwater photography and takes one or two trips a year to hard to reach locations where the scuba diving is really good. He also turns wood and makes bowls, spears, vases and other odds and ends that he often donates to Animal Friends Alliance for our annual Gala as well as other organizations in the community. Hoyle is part of a wood turning club in Fort Collins and he likes to take classes and learn more about special techniques in in wood turning. He said “no matter what the hobby it’s enjoyable to be around people with similar interests.” Hoyle also sails and likes to take one trip a year to go sailing in different parts of the world. He’s been all over the Caribbean and Pacific doing sailing and diving.
Hoyle also has a few pets of his own that he stays busy taking care of along with his regular foster animals. He has two cats who are both foster fails. Mango is six and a half years old and is a lilac point Siamese and Blue is a Russian blue grey cat who is the most recent addition to the family. Hoyle also has a Green Wing Macaw named Lehua. She is named after a unique Hawaiian flower since that’s where she is from. He said that “Lehua likes to watch the kittens and shriek at them but doesn’t like to get too close.”
Fostering is important to Hoyle for many reasons. He said he “loves the reward of watching the animals grow and get adopted and seeing the impact you can make by playing a part in changing the direction of an animal’s life.” He also sees how many animals wouldn’t make it without the Alliance and fosters who can give extra care to animals who really need it. Hoyle said that he will keep fostering because it brings such joy to his life and allows him to continually learn and grow.
Hoyle is a wonderful volunteer who brings so much knowledge and care to our Foster Program and beyond. We are so lucky to have him as part of our Volunteer Team and the 200+ cats and kittens he’s fostered say it all in terms of the impact one person can have on a community.