Kris has spent 20 years in the nonprofit sector. She is new to the Triangle but not new to North Carolina. She was born locally and attended Duke for both her undergraduate and graduate education. She describes Carolina Tiger as her “dream job”. She came to Carolina Tiger through a tour she took soon after moving here. From that tour Kris knew she wanted to be part of the Carolina Tiger mission. Kris has volunteered in animal rescue, for over 30 years and currently competes with her dogs in a variety of sports including agility and herding. She also enjoys travel, painting and endurance sports.
Kathryn has been with Carolina Tiger since 1999, and before that served as an animal care intern. Kathryn worked her way up to Assistant Director and now manages the animal care and education programs. Over the years Kathryn has seen much change as Carolina Tiger continues to grow. While working with the animals brought her here, the people make it a place she calls “home”. Our furry and two-legged family has made an invaluable and lasting impact on who Kathryn is today. In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys making jewelry and running. Her jewelry can be found in the Savanna Station gift shop.
Lauren graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Wildlife Science and Animal and Poultry Science. She completed several internships in the animal field, including working with cheetahs at Wildlife Safari and native Australian species in Cairns. She joined the Carolina Tiger Rescue team in January 2008. The best part of her job entails working with the animals through positive reinforcement. Lauren also loves music, movies, and bad jokes.
Alyssa joined the staff at Carolina Tiger Rescue in April 2023 following a year and a half as an animal care volunteer. She is originally from Maryland and studied Marine Science and Psychology at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. For over 10 years Alyssa worked as a marine mammal trainer and marine scientist working primarily with dolphins, sea lions and sea turtles. Her move to North Carolina brought her to a volunteer position at CTR so she could continue working with large mammals. From the first day of volunteering Alyssa knew she wanted to be part of the team. Alyssa loves scuba diving, hiking, and spending time with family, friends and her dog Millie.
Cara joined the staff at Carolina Tiger Rescue in September 2016, having volunteered in animal care since August 2012. Cara moved from New Jersey to North Carolina when she was awarded a full scholarship to play Division I softball at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she pursued a degree in Communications. She worked in marketing and brand development. The Carolina Tiger family is an inspiration to her and it’s an organization she has wanted to be a part of since she started volunteering. Cara loves, music, movies, road trips, her Golden Retriever, Callie, and spending time with her friends and family.
Dr. Lassiter started at Carolina Tiger Rescue in 2001 as a veterinary assistant, which led her to pursue her DVM from Ross University (2007). She returned to Carolina Tiger Rescue in August of 2008 and is the senior veterinarian on staff. Dr. Lassiter also works as an after-hours emergency veterinarian in Raleigh. Her favorite things about her job at Carolina Tiger are the people and the animals that she gets to work with and being able to make a difference in the world. She enjoys playing, hiking, traveling and gardening with her family.
Katie graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Special Education. After coming out on a tour at Carolina Tiger Rescue, beginning to volunteer here, and working with the summer camp, she decided to make a career change. Katie began as the Education Director at Carolina Tiger Rescue in February of 2015 and has loved every minute of it. The best part of her job is going out and giving presentations on the amazing residents of Carolina Tiger Rescue. Katie also loves completing triathlons, scary movies, and ice cream.
Louise is the newest staff member at Carolina Tiger Rescue. She graduated from Clemson University’s Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management master’s program in December of 2019. As a graduate student, she researched the intersection of strategic communication strategy and tiger conservation in the United States. Louise is enthusiastic about continuing her graduate research focus as Communications Director at Carolina Tiger Rescue. She’s passionate about caring for and protecting wildlife, and inspiring others to do the same. The best part of her job so far is her daily walk around the sanctuary to collect photos and videos of the animals. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing with her dogs Bear and Birdie, and spending time in the mountains of North Carolina.
Maryssa came to Carolina Tiger from her hometown of Tampa, Florida, in the fall of 2014. She worked as an environmental educator and volunteer coordinator for nearly 10 years before deciding to move to North Carolina, and while her Florida background is mostly in aquatic life, she considers herself an equal-opportunity nature enthusiast and is knowledgeable in many species. While she’s still a Florida girl at heart, when she saw that Carolina Tiger Rescue was looking for a new team member, she knew that was supposed to be the next step for her. When she’s not at work, Maryssa enjoys nature photography, a good book, scuba diving, and spending time with her family and friends.
Susan King Cope
Susan King Cope joined Carolina Tiger Rescue in 2014 as the Development Director. She worked in the health and human services sector of nonprofits for over 20 years in the areas of program development, advocacy, fundraising, and special events. While working to raise money and awareness for a variety of health organizations has been extremely rewarding for her, it is wonderful to work with so many dedicated people who love animals and conservation efforts just as much! Susan finally found home at the rescue. In her spare time, Susan enjoys spending time with friends and family, practicing yoga and gardening.
Donor Engagement Director
Heidi first came to Carolina Tiger Rescue as a visitor and quickly joined as a member. Having spent several years working in the nonprofit fundraising sector for environmental and educational organizations, she was thrilled to find a job that combined advocacy and education. She loves making an impact on larger social and environmental issues that impact wild animals and especially the cats at Carolina Tiger Rescue. Her favorite part of her job is seeing the impact that a small group of staff, volunteers, and supporters can have on the lives of the animals that have been rescued. Heidi loves to read mysteries.
Gift Shop Manager
Beverly is a native North Carolinian who grew up in Burlington, NC. Despite growing up locally, she didn’t find Carolina Tiger Rescue until 2011 when she attended her first Black Tie and Tails Ball (the rescue’s big annual fundraiser). From that point she became a dedicated supporter/donor until finally becoming an official member of the staff in May 2023. As a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady”, she loves cats big and small, including her 3 current kitties: 1yr old twins Sid and Fancy; and 4yr old Phoenix (Nixy for short). She is enjoying her new career adventure as Gift Shop manager at her “happy place” AKA Carolina Tiger Rescue. Beverly loves music, reading and attending sci-fi/comic book conventions.
Manager of Finance and Administration
After Kyra’s acting career took her from place to place for years, she found her way to North Carolina. Ready for a career change, the thought of working for the welfare of animals appealed to her. She discovered Carolina Tiger Rescue and became the Office Manager in 2006. Kyra loves that she is helping to make a difference in animals’ lives. In her spare time she loves to garden, write, and work on her house.
Data Services Assistant
Nicola graduated with a MSCI degree in mathematics from Lancaster University in the UK. She previously worked as a medical records merging project supervisor at a local hospital in the UK. When she moved to the United States, she applied to be an animal care volunteer with the rescue because it was within walking distance of where she lived. She had a couple of volunteer positions before joining the staff in January 2007 as a donation data entry professional. Nicola enjoys solving problems and coming up with ways to manipulate data to get the information her team members need to make the database work better for everyone! Nicola has a toddler, so when she does get time to herself, she enjoys reading.