Kathy Zastrow (Winner) – Northwest Region

Kathy Zastrow has dedicated nearly 30 years of her life to the mission of Canine Companions, devoting countless hours as a puppy raiser, breeder caretaker, founding chapter member, fundraiser, event organizer, presenter and regional board member. In the late 1980s, Kathy read a newspaper article in her local Sacramento paper and thought volunteering at Canine Companions was something her family could do together. She wanted to teach her children the value of volunteering and doing something positive for others, and she certainly succeeded. Kathy and her family volunteered to raise their first Canine Companions puppy, Aiden, in 1993, and they haven’t stopped since.

Kathy’s involvement goes far beyond puppy raising. Kathy was present for the very first meeting of her local Gold Rush Volunteer Chapter in 1996, and to this day, she remains an integral part of the Sacramento volunteer community. She has spearheaded and helped with countless fundraising and outreach efforts over the decades, which have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars to support our mission. Kathy is also instrumental in building relationships and awareness with local businesses and government organizations.

If that wasn’t enough, Kathy has a deep commitment to our clients. For more than 10 years, she has served as the graduate liaison to local chapters, connecting new graduates to their volunteer chapters across the entire region. She ensures that each graduate has the opportunity to be part of the Canine Companions family and has access to the local resources they need to be confident and successful. Locally, Kathy regularly dog sits for area graduates and puppy raisers who need help, which further exhibits her dedication and leadership to the organization as a Northwest Regional board member.

Kathy is currently serving her 16th year on the Northwest Region board, raising her 28th puppy and caring for her third breeder dog. We are humbled by Kathy’s continuous contributions and thank her for her steadfast support of our mission.

Portrait of Kathy Zastrow sitting between two dogs with yellow Canine Companions vests