Out of 40K Applicants to Run Cat Sanctuary, a Winner

The 'Washington Post' takes a look at the process, and the new manager
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2018 2:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – When Joan and Richard Bowell decided it was time to leave the Greek island of Syros, they first needed to find someone to manage the cat sanctuary they'd established there. God's Little People Cat Rescue, which started with one stray mama cat and her two kittens, expanded to more than 60 cats roaming the Bowells' property as they continued to take in strays. They posted a Facebook ad for a modestly paid job managing the sanctuary—and 40,000 people responded. The ad went viral, spawning headlines about the "dream job" or "purrrfect job," leading the Bowells to explain to would-be caretakers that it would, in fact, often be a difficult job—not only would poop have to be scooped and the like, but "heartbreaking decisions" would need to be made about sick cats. Months later, as the Washington Post reports, the sanctuary's caretaker has been chosen.

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Jeffyne Telson's husband sent her the ad soon after it was posted in August, the 62-year-old recalls. Telson runs her own cat rescue in Santa Barbara, Calif., only taking in strays; she's adopted out 3,000 cats and kittens over the past 21 years and has kept those who can't be placed at her own small sanctuary. Her application stood out, and the Bowells traveled to California to visit the couple in September. Joan and Jeffyne clicked immediately, and the Bowells offered Telson the job. She'll run the Syros sanctuary for some months, while volunteers run her Santa Barbara rescue, and other finalists for the Syros job will likely then take their own turns managing God's Little People. Meanwhile, the Bowells are looking into expanding the sanctuary, possibly even using it as an international training center for similarly-minded volunteers. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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