Our Founding Story
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 Livanos understands the powerful bond that people and pets share. Her first pet was a parakeet whom she named Musetta, after a character in the opera, La Boheme. While Musetta was not one for singing, she was true to her namesake by proving to be an incredible muse. Every day when Michelle returned from elementary school, she opened the cage door to give Musetta freedom to fly in her room. Every day, Musetta flew to perch on top of Michelle’s bookcase to view the world below, especially Michelle’s busy activities, including reading books, writing articles for the newspaper she created, or building things with Legos. Under Musetta’s observant eye and constant companionship, Michelle found inspiration and support.
Ever since Musetta, pets have always been Michelle’s muses and continue to be so today. Fortunate to have experienced these beneficial bonds with her pets, Michelle is excited to support Guardian Whiskers’ mission of bringing healing, loving support, and inspiration to people through this unique bond. Michelle currently lives in Madison, with her husband and her three current muses, Wally and Rosie Mae, two rescue dogs, and Lenny, a Guinea Pig, also a rescue.
Guardian Whiskers is always looking for their next program or project and welcomes collaboration from even the most far-fetched willing participants.