Kathy's Story - Karumel's Founder
Kathy Gonzalez, born Kathleen Rose O'Connor, is from New York State, where she fell in love with horses at a young age. Now, most of us may be able to say something similar, but Kathy did something about it. She scraped up every dime she could make and made her way to Belmont Park race track. Kathy worked at the track for most of her formative years, and then some.
Horses may have been where her love and care for animals began, but that love and care knows no bounds. Kathy has hosted animals from Llamas and goats, to dogs, cats, and bunnies. She saves snakes and turtles in the road, and she is one of the few who inspects those odd boxes on the side of the road; too often, she has found abandoned animals in those boxes, left for dead.
Care & Determination
Kathy is also a Registered Nurse. She's been a nurse for decades as well, and has used her income to help support Karumel Farm Animal Rescue. When requirements changed for nursing credentials, instead of feeling discouraged and deterred, Kathy went back to school and earned her Bachelor's degree at age 70. Her diploma may only be confirmation of all she already knew through her years of experience, but it is also a symbol of what kind of person Kathy is. She's the person who rolls up her sleeves and gets the degree and gets things done.
A couple of years ago, Kathy battled cancer and won. Although it slowed her down a bit for a while, it did not stop her. Since that time, Kathy has been rebuilding - a task that is not so easy on a ten acre farm on your own. There are countless things that need fixing, from boards, roofs, and doors to fences, tires, and trailer; but every penny Kathy had, has, and makes goes toward the care of the animals. Kathy has paid out of pocket for every surgery, all vet bills, food, supplies, and countless other needs these critters have. And the amount of her own money she has spent does not come close to the amount of time she spends giving tailored care to every one of the animals on the farm. Each animal has a very different trauma background and they all have so many unique needs - from what they eat, how they eat, where they eat, what blanket they like, what scares them, and what soothes them. Any creature that finds its way to Kathy, has definitely earned some good karma along its path.
When I saw how much Kathy was doing on her own, I made a commitment to myself to do all that I could to help. We hope you stick around and keep an eye on our progress over here at Karumel Farm Animal Rescue. My name is Melissa, by the way.