Good Egg: Katie Liutkus

This month we want to say thank you to animal care staff member Katie, who leads the Sunday morning shift. Katie is an essential member of our staff. Currently a student at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, her knowledge and assistance caring for our animals (many who have special needs) is priceless! Her passion for Heartland (and especially for cows Beau and Daisy) is obvious and has even influenced her future career path (read more about this below)! Thank you, Katie, for being such a kind and inspiring part of our team!

1. What do you do outside of your time at Heartland? I am a third year veterinary medical student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. I spend a lot of my time in the classroom and in labs. This year is my final year of didactic learning and I’ll start my clinical rotations in less than 70 days (but who’s counting?). Through school I volunteer at WisCARES, the clinic that UW has for the homeless and their pets. It is an amazing program and it has been awesome getting involved with them. Outside of school I live in downtown Madison with a bunch of animals and two other veterinary medical students. I have a 15-year-old cat named Tigger, a 9-year-old rabbit named Pikachu, and a 2-year-old Chihuahua named Winnie. It’s a zoo.

2. How long have you been involved at Heartland? I’ve been at Heartland since the summer of 2015. I started out as

Katie with Beau, Daisy and summer campers!

a volunteer on the Sunday AM shift and became the shift leader a little over a year later. This past summer I helped out with summer camp as a counselor for a couple weeks and helped Vickie with medical stuff a lot!

3. How did you find out about us? What got you interested? When I was gaining my experience to get into veterinary school, I volunteered at a little farm in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio and absolutely loved it. When I got to Madison for school, I realized that I needed animal time and looked for volunteer opportunities. I love volunteering with farm animals and wanted something similar to what I had back at home. So I started searching Google for places and stumbled upon Heartland! When I saw what it was like I knew it was perfect!

4. Can you describe a favorite/memorable moment or event that happened while you were at HFS? I have had so many memorable moments at HFS! I’m a very disorganized person and I like my shifts to be that way so I’ve had a lot of interesting interactions with the animals. I love it when Diefenbaker, Darkwing, and Gracie beg for food when I prepare it. And when Opal decides to jump on the feed tables and spill everything. And when the lady turkeys decide to fly onto the feed table. And when Winnie decides to take a tour of the barn before she goes outside. She loves to roll around in the llama stall. It’s adorable. And asking Tank to spin. The way Winnie squeals when you scratch her back. But obviously I have my most favorite memories with Daisy and Beau. Because they’re the best. This week Beau didn’t want me to wear a hat and kept taking it off my head and throwing it onto the ground. Last week he tried to eat my shoes. Daisy licks to the face are pretty fantastic. Oh I just love them all.

5. Why do you choose to volunteer at Heartland? I choose to volunteer at Heartland for a lot of reasons! It keeps me sane while going through veterinary medical school. That is a big reason but I also really love the people and animals there. It is pretty amazing what HFS does and I love being able to support it. I have enjoyed my time so much that I am hoping to shape my future career servicing farm sanctuaries and their animals. The animals at farm sanctuaries are in need of veterinary medical care too and I hope to learn more during my clinical year about how to fulfill that need!

6. What do you wish other people knew about us? I wish other people knew that no matter who you are, HFS can bring a smile to your face. It truly is a place where people help animals just as much as the animals help the people. I feel that anyone from any background can have a lasting memory from Heartland and it can bring a little positivity to their life!

7. If you could adopt only one HFS animal, who would you pick and why? Daisy or Beau. For my mom. When I was a freshman in undergrad my obsession for cows started and I sent my mom a Petfinder link to a cow I wanted. Since then, she’s been worried that one day she will drive up to the house, open the garage and a cow will be standing there. A couple years ago for Mother’s Day I got her a life-size cardboard cutout of a cow and put it in the garage. It has been there since and she loves it. But I think she needs a real cow. In all seriousness I love Daisy and Beau and would adopt them in a heartbeat. They are the goofiest creatures and I love interacting with them. I learn more and more about their behavior each time I’m at HFS and I’ve gain so much respect for them.

1 Comment for Good Egg: Katie Liutkus

Good Egg: Katie Liutkus - Heartland Farm Sanctuary | March 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm

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