Guardian Whiskers’ Beginnings

For almost two decades, Dr. Katarina Luther, DVM has provided veterinary care to thousands of dogs, cats, and even occasional exotic animals. The incredible bond of people with their pets has been an inspiring part of her life every day. While she now owns and manages Cat Care Clinic and City Dog Vet in Madison, Wisconsin, a driving passion for Katarina is giving back to the community, near and far.

In 2017, after many years of providing care and building bridges in the community and veterinary world, Katarina chose to use her experience and resources to create the non-profit organization, Guardian Whiskers, Inc. Through Guardian Whiskers’ programs and events, Katarina aspires to allow those not fortunate to have pets, particularly children, to benefit from the many gifts they bring.

A large inspiration for Katarina’s programs are her own three children, now teenagers. Her children were fortunate to grow up surrounded with pets and hobby farm animals. Like most kids, they turned to critters for joy, peace, laughter, and non-judgemental companionship when they needed a friend. Katarina believes every child should have the opportunity to cuddle with, read to, or just enjoy the magical presence of a pet.


Michelle Livanos, Executive Director

Michelle had big hopes for her first pet, a parakeet. She named her Musetta, after a main character in the opera, La Boheme. Although Musetta turned out to be not one for singing, she was true to her namesake by being an incredible muse. Every day after school, Michelle would open the cage door to give Musetta the freedom of flight. Every day, Musetta perched on top of a bookcase. She vigilantly observed the busy activities below. Michelle was always engaged in reading, writing, and drawing. Under Musetta’s companionship, Michelle found inspiration and support. This encouraged her to pursue her dreams.

Michelle wishes every child could feel supported and inspired, as Musetta had made her feel. Michelle is passionate about bringing the benefits of Guardian Whiskers’ literacy programs to help people. The programs involve the companionship of therapy animals and the inspiration of animals.

Michelle lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband. Her current muse is her dog, Rosie Mae, who was adopted from the local humane society.


Guardian Whiskers is always looking for their next program or project and welcomes collaboration from even the most far-fetched willing participants.

Reach out to Kat on LinkedIn to collaborate.


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