About Cat Haven and our Governance

“Rescuing Cats from the Perils of the Streets” was the original aim of the Cat Welfare Society when it was established in 1961.  Thanks to the efforts of dedicated staff and volunteers over many years we have grown to become Western Australia’s premier cat welfare organisation, trading under the name of Cat Haven. 

Our vision is that every WA cat should be a well cared for cat and we work towards achieving this by:

  • providing a facility to care for lost, stray or unwanted cats
  • rehoming as many cats as possible through an effective adoption service
  • provide cost-effective sterilisation and microchip services
  • promoting community awareness of cat welfare and responsible cat ownership
  • providing quality boarding facilities

Cat Haven is an ‘open admission’ shelter which means we never turn away any cat no matter how old, sick or feral.  As a charity, with very little government funding, we rely heavily on donations from the public and businesses to keep cats fed, safe and healthy until they find a home.

Over 6000 cats are surrendered to Cat Haven every year and we strive to find loving homes for as many of these cats as possible. Cats and kittens may be surrendered by owners who are no longer able to care for them or by people who find stray, abandoned or feral cats.  We also act as a ‘pound’ facility for many Local Government Authorities.

Cat Haven is part of the national ‘Getting to Zero’ program that aims to minimise euthanasia of healthy, treatable and re-homable animals.  Our euthanasia rate has dropped dramatically from around 75% a decade ago to just 12.5% in 2016 and is still dropping! This has been achieved by operating programs such as our Foster Care Program, Ringworm Cats Program, Animal Support Program, Barn Buddies Program and Companion Cats Program that are saving thousands of cats’ lives.

Cat Haven also provides information and education about responsible cat ownership and the importance of sterilising and microchipping cats to assist with the broader issue of stray, feral and unwanted cats in WA.

We work proactively with key stakeholders and collaborate with other animal welfare groups and Local Government Authorities to advance the welfare of cats in Western Australia.  

Cat Haven is run by both paid staff and volunteers and we greatly value their contribution, along with the incredible generosity of our patrons, supporters, donors, foster carers, corporate sponsors and the media. See our kind sponsors here.

Our Values

Cat Haven’s core values underpin our actions and guide our behaviour as individuals and as an organisation.  They are fundamental to the way we work to achieve our mission and aspirations.


We behave ethically and honestly. We are professional, trustworthy and dedicated to our work. 


We embrace diversity and listen to different points of view.  We consider the feelings, wishes and rights of others.


We are approachable, helpful, considerate and compassionate.  We care about the welfare of people and animals.

Ongoing improvement

We are motivated, industrious and committed to achieving optimal outcomes.  We value learning and welcome new ideas and ways to improve as individuals and as an organisation.

Collaboration and Teamwork

We fulfil our responsibilities and support others to fulfil theirs.  We are reliable, cooperative and generous in sharing our skills and knowledge.  


The Cat Welfare Society Inc is an Incorporated Association that is overseen by a Board of Management elected from and by the Society’s members.  Currently Board members include professionals from a broad range of industries. 

Cat Haven Board Members

Liddell Williams

Liddell was elected to the Board in 2007 and has particular interest in senior cats, marketing, social media, customer service and governance standards. Liddell’s achievements as a Board member include research, submissions and stakeholder liaison that was integral to the achievement of the passing of the Cat Act 2011. She is also responsible for identifying the need for, and launching, Cat Haven’s inaugural strategic plan.Away from Cat Haven, Liddell has held a variety of roles in WA Government, spanning audit, procurement, finance, election management, and research. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science and is Mum to Boo, adopted as a senior from Cat Haven in 2004. Photo of Liddell

Samantha Bolton

Sam joined the board in 2015 and is a Program Coordinator in the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases at the Telethon Kids Institute. She holds a Master’s of Business Administration and a PhD from the University of Western Australia, and she is a professional member of the Australian Institute of Management WA (AIMM), currently serving on the Women in Business Network. Sam has over 20 years’ experience working in a range of organisations and industries as a state branch manager of a heritage consultancy, project manager and consultant. Prior to joining the Board, Sam volunteered at Cat Haven and is passionate about using her wide range of skills and knowledge to help others achieve their best. She is the proud owner of one rescue cat who refuses to let her get any more. Photo of Sam

Jenny Ough

Jenny is a Chartered Accountant who has worked for KPMG in Melbourne and Perth, and she has also worked in temporary accounting roles in London. She has served as a Chief Finance Officer in State Government in WA for well over a decade and now runs her own accounting and bookkeeping practice. Jenny has amassed over 30 years’ experience in the accounting industry and was invited to join the Board in 2011 to fill the (then vacant) Treasurer’s role, and was elected to that position at the AGM in 2012. Jenny is an active volunteer at Cat Haven, and adopted her first cat from them back in 1996. She now has two newer Cat Haven ex-pats, both adopted April 2014. Photo of Jenny

Charlotte Fehr

Charlotte joined the Cat Haven board in 2016. She has been volunteering at Cat Haven on an as needed basis in maintenance and fundraising events. Her career took her from a master's degree in psychology to IT, humanitarian aid, business owner to registered builder. Now she is an almost full time volunteer for various organisations. Charlotte is the proud owner of Lili, a Cat Haven rescue and mum to always changing foster cats. Photo of Charlotte

Jennie Vartan

Jennie is a life member of Cat Haven and joined the board in 2017.  Jennie is a Chartered Surveyor and a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, with some 35 years’ experience across a wide range of for-profit and not-for-profit businesses at executive and non-executive levels.  She is currently Contract Manager for Spotless, managing their WA Schools Public Private Partnership contract.  She has two Cat Haven Adoptees, Clint and Minx, around whom the whole household revolves. Photo of Jennie

Sophie Winfield

Sophie holds a Diploma of Business Administration and has worked in administrative support roles for twenty years.  She is currently employed by the not for profit organisation Brightwater Care Group, assisting in the areas of Marketing, Communications, Partnerships and Volunteering.  Sophie joined the Board in October 2017 and has been involved with a number of volunteer activities since 2014. Sophie and her husband Daniel share their home with three feline fur babies Lily, Bryn and Dash who were all Cat Haven adoptees. Photo of Sophie

Del Zimmermann

Del joined the Board in October 2017. She has volunteered at Cat Haven since 2004 and was awarded a life membership in 2013. Del has attended three Getting to Zero conferences and spoken at the local Cat Alliance symposium. In her youth Del worked in the outback and as a taxi driver in Brisbane. Her long term career has been as a lawyer, initially in QLD but since 1988 with Legal Aid WA. Del has previously served on the Committee / Board for SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support) in QLD and Pilbara Community Legal Service in W.A. Photo of Del.

Hugh Torpy

Hugh brings strategic and business management skills, having worked as a funeral director since 1994. Hugh has been a member and volunteer since 2010 and lives with Cat Haven cats Maddie and Monty. Photo of Hugh.


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