Westchester Realtor’s Pet Project Is Rescuing Animals
Helen Katz started caring for animals as a youngster on her family’s farm in upstate Connecticut. A lot of years have passed since then, but the successful Westchester County Realtor still has a passion for pets.
“As I grew older, I saw so many animals that were in need,’’ said Katz, an agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Armonk. “There are places out there that are murdering these animals. My goal is to save them.”
That’s why Katz donates 20 percent of her real estate proceeds to animal rescue funds and organizations which fight against animal cruelty. She also wants to start a non-profit organization in the future that would provide funds for animals that require health care. Katz is hoping to establish her non-profit through The Giving House, a group of real estate professionals that incorporates philanthropy into its daily business. Kerry Fedigan-Cid, also a Realtor with Douglas Elliman, co-founded The Giving House with her husband, Steve.
Katz doesn’t just have ideas about how to help though. She is active in rescuing animals, and recently adopted two Chihuahuas that were in a Los Angeles kill shelter. They were pulled out of the kill shelter with the efforts of volunteers and then fostered by Mutt Scouts. Helen took both of them because they were mother and daughter. Her husband, Robert, was working on a construction job in Puerto Rico when a puppy started to follow him. After taking the puppy to a veterinarian there , Katz asked her husband to bring the dog home so they could take care of her.
“As a young kid, I had animals surrounding me all the time,’’ Katz said. “We had over 30 cats on the farm. I always felt like I had to help them. Before I did anything in the morning, before I went to school, my first thing was to take care of the animals.”
She is responsible for 10 dogs now, and says she trusts the judgment and expertise of Dr. Rick Germano and his team at the Armonk Veterinary Clinic to help her care for her pets. Katz feels many people don’t fully appreciate the behavior of animals.
“There was a German Shepard that pulled a baby out of water because the dog recognized the danger,’’ Katz said. “The birds were warning us about the tsunami. They’re like infants. It’s our responsibility to help these animals out. When I look into their eyes, I have this huge passion for them. Everybody has their own thing. This is my love, my passion.”