Tricia Helfer has always loved cats. When she is away from home, her husband, Jonathan Marshall, sends her updates and photos of each one of their cats. “He knows how important they are to me,” she says. “And in my line of work, it’s nice to know that while I’m away, they are in excellent hands.”
Jonathan, who works as an attorney, “is a big animal supporter” she says. “When we met, he quickly fell in love with my two cats.”
Their family has since grown; there are a few tabbies, a couple of Maine Coons, and a few fosters from Kitten Rescue Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter in Los Angeles. The Sanctuary has a full-time staff as well as numerous volunteers who provide care, love, and socialization for the cats housed there. Since its inception in 1997, Kitten Rescue has grown to become one of the largest animal welfare groups in Los Angeles. Kitten Rescue places approximately 1,000 cats and kittens into new homes every year.
Adopting from Kitten Rescue
Tricia, who played Number 6 in Battlestar Galactica, found out about Kitten Rescue three years ago while shopping at a local pet store. “One of the employees asked all of the customers to make donations to Kitten Rescue,” she says.
“When I handed her a check, she hugged me, and when I was ready to adopt another cat, I adopted from Kitten Rescue. I was so impressed with the Kitten Rescue that I became a volunteer there.”
While Tricia loves all animals, she has an affinity to cats. “I love their independence,” she says, “and each one has their own special personality.”
Tricia grew up on a farm in Alberta, Canada, with barn cats. “Outdoor cats are different from indoor ones,” she explains. “At home, I have an enclosed shelter in my backyard so the cats can go in and out, and while they are out, they are safe.”
Bringing in a new foster can be rough at times. “Cats are territorial, so there is an adjustment period,” she says. “And then I have to tell myself that these fosters are going to good homes. I can’t get too attached.”
How Kitten Rescue Operates
The majority of Kitten Rescue’s animals live in volunteer foster homes until they are FIV, vaccinated, dewormed, treated for fleas, and microchipped.
Kitten Rescue also offers education and assistance to the public regarding all aspects of responsible pet ownership, care of kittens and cats, the importance of spaying and neutering, and the proper maintenance and care of feral cat colonies. During kitten season, volunteers teach bottle feeding classes to people who want to care for unweaned kittens. Kitten Rescue also distributes City of Los Angeles spay/neuter coupons to members of the public.
Tricia Goes Into the Trenches
“Tricia has really been a blessing for Kitten Rescue,” says Ben Lehrer of Kitten Rescue. “Not only has she been incredibly generous in both her personal contributions and in helping with our fundraising efforts, but she has been more than willing to delve into the trenches of street rescue and take on litters of abandoned kittens herself.” Her selflessness and enthusiasm are remarkable and we are very fortunate to have her as a member of our team.”
TV and Movies
Since her stint on the popular sci-fi series, Battlestar Galactica came to an end, Tricia has appeared on the TV series Warehouse 13, Two and a Half Man, and the premiere of the new Fox series Human Target. On the big screen she can be seen in A Beginner’s Guide to Endings and Phase One, which is about human testing. “It had some animals in it,” she says. “And the producer wound up keeping one of the cats in the film.”