In Memory of Venita Wood

DCIN Friends: It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce our Founder, the inimitable Venita Wood, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge to join all the kitties who were waiting for her. 😿 We mourn the loss of an amazing person whose love for kitties – hers and others’ – knew no bounds.

Thousands of diabetic kitties owe their lives and renewed health to Venita, without whom DCIN would not exist. She ran this organization almost single-handedly from its founding in 2009 until the end of 2014, when we needed five new volunteers just to take over the core duties she had been performing. (We’ve added even more volunteers since then and are always willing to welcome more!)

When Venita founded DCIN in 2009, she had joined an online message board for diabetic cat caregivers after one of her precious furbabies received that terrifying Feline Diabetes diagnosis. She quickly realized that there was a need for an organization that could provide financial assistance to low-income caregivers: She saw on a daily basis people making the heart-wrenching decision to surrender their precious companions to shelters (and hoping they would make it out alive) or simply putting the kitty to sleep – all because treating Feline Diabetes is extremely expensive and people were having to choose between keeping their cat and paying rent or utilities. No one should have to make that decision! Venita founded DCIN upon that principle. To this day, DCIN holds as its mission the twin goals of providing financial support for those in need and education for our clients and the broader FD community.

Though we do not want to turn this tragedy into a fundraiser, we did want to share with you requests from the dear friend who let us know of Venita’s passing. Venita was charitable through and through, so we think she would be okay with this request to support two of her favorite organizations: “One of the charities she recently supported helped homeless people with pets: . Or just help a cat through DCIN at or another charity. Or tip your hat and give extra love to your kitties today.”

Everyone in the US and Canadian Feline Diabetes worlds owes Venita a major debt of gratitude. I haven’t mentioned the numerous other ways in which she helped us all (like performing the first test of Levemir in kitties, leading to a whole new class of insulin for us to use), but each and every one of us experiences the ripple effect of Venita’s amazing work every single day.

Please join us in sending up a massive THANK YOU to Venita Wood, who made such a difference to so many kitties and their people. Because Venita was such a private person, we have chosen to include only her FB profile picture – a cat joyously riding a bicycle – instead of a photo of her. We think this image embodies her spirit.

As Venita would say, “Thank you for caring.” ~Amy

Announcement: Leadership Team Transition

The DCIN Board of Directors would like to announce a transition in our leadership team. Jenna Watts, who has served with deep commitment as Executive Director since leading the DCIN relaunch in January 2015, will be succeeded in the ED role by Amy Sikes, who has also served on the core leadership team since the DCIN relaunch in January 2015. Dr. Sikes is joined by Jillian Rosile as Deputy Director and T Hamboyan Harrison as Director of Case Management; Sue Luhrs will remain as our Finance Director, and Lisa Sorini will remain as our Director of Diabetic Cat Rehoming.

Amy began her volunteer work with DCIN in 2015 as our Supplies Manager, adding the roles of Ground Transport Coordinator and Development Director in subsequent months. As DCIN’s needs changed and grew, she also added Acting Social Media Director and Deputy Director to her roles. Dr. Sikes holds a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management.

Jillian joined DCIN in 2016 as a Case Manager and was quickly promoted to Director of Case Management due to extensive experience with feline diabetes care. Jillian’s professional experience in organizational and people management will support DCIN’s operational needs.

T joined DCIN in 2020 as a Case Manager. They have a deep knowledge of feline medical care from their years of volunteer work overseeing feline medical at a rescue and managing complicated medical needs of their own cats at home. T is also a cat behavior consultant at A Cat’s Purrspective, LLC, with certifications through IAABC (Associate Certified Shelter Behavior – Cat) and Fear Free Pets (animal trainer certification).

The whole DCIN Team thanks Jenna for her 7.5 years of dedicated service as our ED, leading DCIN through a challenging transition period when the organization was in danger of shuttering altogether, revamping our assistance programs, and growing the number of cats helped each year from dozens to hundreds. While Jenna’s intense schedule of saving human lives and training the next generation of human life-savers makes it too challenging for her to remain in the role of ED, she will continue in a role as Board member, along with Amy, Jillian, T, Sue, and Lisa.

Thank you for your continued support of extra-sweet kitties!

Items Requested for 2018 DCIN Auction

glass cat

Hello, DCIN Friends! The DCIN Team is asking for goods and services to be donated for our 5th annual online auction.

Auction items should sell at a reasonable price: $8 to $100, including postage. We are looking for services of any kind that might have international appeal and items in good to excellent condition that are not so fragile they might break with mailing through the United States Postal Service. We especially love items with a cat theme or that are for cats (catnip toys, mats, and blankets are always big hits!). You can see the types of items donated and sold in last year’s auction album. PLEASE NOTE: This year, we will be vetting each item offered to be sure it has a good chance of selling based on previous years’ results. We appreciate all offers, but with such a small team to handle all the work, we need to make sure we spend our time creating item entries for things that are likely to sell.

Donors keep their items until there is a successful auction winner who has paid DCIN directly for their items. A DCIN Auction Team member will then contact the donors to let them know that the items are ready to mail and provide them with the name and mailing address of their item’s winner.

To list items in the auction, the Auction Team needs the following from the donors emailed to

  • A clear photo of the individual goods being donated, displayed in an appealing manner. Multiple photos of the same item are welcome, especially those that show different sides of the same item.
  • A brief but detailed description of the goods or services being donated, including condition and size.
  • The minimum bid amount for the individual goods or services being donated. If you know the regular retail value or the item, please include that.
  • Whether you also will be donating the cost of postage for the goods mailed within your country.
  • If you will not be donating the cost of postage, the approximate mailing costs.

Currently, we plan to start the auction on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at noon Eastern and end on Saturday, March 31, 2018, at 3 PM Eastern. We MUST HAVE your photos and information about your auction donations by Sunday, March 18, 2018.

Thanks so much to all who are considering donating items for this auction!

~Amy, DCIN Development Director

2018 Calendar Ordering Is Now Open!

We are now accepting orders for the 2018 8.5″ by 11″ full-color twelve-month Extra-Sweet Kitties wall calendar! The prices listed below include mailing costs. To order, please PayPal the appropriate amount for the number of calendars you wish to order and the location where they will be sent to by choosing the “pay or send money” option, then selecting “send money to friends and family.” If you fund your payment with a credit card, please also pay the credit card fee on the final PayPal screen. (If you don’t, DCIN will have to make that payment.) In the “Write a note (Optional)” section, please include your full mailing address or that of the recipient.

If you do not use PayPal, please email with your intent to pay by check and include the number of calendars you’re ordering and your/your recipient’s mailing address. Then send your full payment to

Diabetic Cats in Need
P.O. Box 21
Minot, ME  04258-0021

Pricing (includes postage):

  • US mailings —$27 per calendar
  • Canadian mailings — $32 per calendar – please pay in US$!
  • Other international mailings –– $37 per calendar – please pay in US$!

The higher costs for Canada and other international locations are because of the higher mailing costs to those places.

DCIN is accepting orders for the 2018 calendar through December 10, 2017 (HARD DEADLINE).

Thank you all so much for supporting DCIN’s 2017 Extra-Sweet Kitties Calendar!

If you have questions, please contact me at