Whiskers TNR focuses on improving the quality of life for cats.


Mission Statement Whiskers TNR aims to improve the quality of life for cats in Warren County by working directly with the caregiver of the cat to coordinate spay/neuter and vaccinations.

Vision Statement Striving towards a future in Warren County where the plight of homeless cats is eradicated, Whiskers TNR envisions a community where every cat has a loving home, achieved through proactive spaying/neutering initiatives, humane education, and compassionate care.

About Us


Whiskers TNR of Warren County is a corporation in the state of Iowa and is ruled by a board of directors. Whiskers is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. This means that your donation is deductible on your annual income taxes.

Whiskers TNR became organized and tax-exempt in June of 2016.

How We Began


In the Fall of 2015 Corissa and her family noticed an adult cat spending time at the school in their neighboring town. That adult cat was soon followed by three younger kitties. After asking a few people in the community if they had any information as to where the cats lived, they were directed to a nearby home. There they met an elderly gentleman who had been feeding the stray cats for years, as he felt he was doing the right thing for them.

He welcomed help with the cats, as he had noticed the increasing size of the daily visitors he had to his home. Over the course of the next three months, his nine cat colony were all caught, spayed/neutered and vaccinated. The efforts of this family project did not go unnoticed, and more inquiries for help were brought to Corissa and her family. She and her husband knew that the time, money and effort into helping homeless cats were more than their family could take on alone. That is when the vision for Whiskers was born.

The Whiskers TNR Team

Corissa Arndt


When Corissa Arndt noticed an increasing number of cats roaming around her sons’ school, she knew she had to do something to help. Little did she know that her crash course in TNR (trap-neuter-return) would lead her to found Whiskers TNR! “It allows me to make a difference in my community and support a cause that I care about,” she said. Corissa enjoys a busy career as a registered nurse and certified case manager for Optum but also makes time for her main duties at Whiskers: the daily care of the cats in the Whiskers building, overseeing fosters, volunteers, maintaining legal/licensing agreements, and serving on the board of directors. She and her husband, Jeremy, live on a small acreage near Martensdale, which has been home to many well- loved creatures over the years: a mule, miniature donkeys, chickens, ducks, miniature goats, dogs and, of course, cats.

Jeremy Arndt


Jeremy Arndt is known as the “jack of all trades” here at Whiskers, whether we need help setting up awnings at the annual garage sale or giving medicine to a spicy foster kitten. He’s always ready to lend a hand – even if it needs bandages afterward! “Whiskers is a huge part of our lives here in the Arndt household,” he said, “so it is important to me to serve in a foundational role.” After all, Jeremy’s wife, Corissa, founded Whiskers TNR and together they serve on the board of directors and tend to the day-to-day needs of the felines in the Whiskers building. Otherwise, Jeremy keeps busy as an Iowa DNR air quality operating permit lead worker or pursuing his favorite hobbies: golf, backyard BBQ and caring for the other animals on the Arndts’ small acreage near Martensdale.

Anne Burnett


Anne Burnett of Norwalk doesn’t just have a way with cats as one of our most reliable fosters and a member of our board of directors. She’s also the talented photographer who gets them to say cheese (or is it “catnip”?) for many of the oh-so-adorable photos on our website. “Animals have a profound place in my heart for their intelligence, personality and ability to sense our emotions and provide comfort,” she said. “We are privileged to have them in our lives and I do everything I can to protect them.” Anne works for the Iowa Utility Association and as a photographer with her husband, Brandon. A true Renaissance woman, her other interests include languages, calligraphy, world travel and loving animals of all species. If you run into Anne, ask her about living in Arctic Norway or Siberia, Russia, or her childhood pets. They included a bison, raccoon, elk and crow!

Dr. Loni Ellsworth

Whiskers TNR - Dr. Loni Ellsworth

Dr. Loni Ellsworth may have moved from Norwalk to Fairfax to practice veterinary medicine, but luckily for us, she still makes regular “house calls” to Whiskers! Loni serves on our board, leads special projects like our first-ever calendar contest and even earned Whiskers a big win from the Petco Love with her submission about Bumble, the legendary clinic cat. “What makes Whiskers special to me is that they promote knowledge about TNR, which is the best long-term solution to homeless cats in my opinion,” she said. “If we could TNR all the cats in Iowa, we could one day see zero cats being euthanized in shelters due to overpopulation.” Loni originally hails from Alaska and enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, hanging out with her “bonus kiddos” and spoiling her personal pets: a pair of orange tabbies named Todd and Biggie Smalls, and Rocco, a Newfoundland/Pyrenees mix prone to lovably slobbering on guests.


Colleen Krogman


Colleen Krogman doesn’t know how to sit still, she says – and we’re fortunate she channels so much of her energy into Whiskers! She serves on the board of directors, assists with transportation and helped plan our five-year anniversary extravaganza. “I appreciate all Whiskers has done and is doing in our community. I personally have benefited from Whiskers and want to see them succeed and help others.” Colleen worked for Wells Fargo for more than 20 years but now focuses on caring for her family, who live in Colleen’s childhood home in St. Marys. She also enjoys volunteering at church and doting on her two indoor and four outdoor cats. Colleen found one of them, Mercy, abandoned in a cemetery in Norwalk. “She was tiny, dehydrated and had a respiratory infection. She is now very large and on a diet. She's the sweetest!”

Scott Burkhart


Scott Burkhart of Indianola volunteers as the treasurer for Whiskers. He’s a sharp numbers guy, but he’s got a soft spot for cats that goes way back. “When I was very young, we adopted a litter of kittens from the side of the road whose mama got hit,” he recalls. “I grew up with them – the oldest one lived to be 21!" By day, Scott works as an administrator for Oracle’s Hyperion Financial reporting software, maintaining the system that accounting/finance teams use. He enjoys cooking, paintball, craft brew sampling, almost anything outdoors, and his family’s cats and chickens. (Never mind that he’s technically allergic to his whiskered friends! “The allergist says we ‘get used to our own cats,’” he explained.) Scott wanted to help Whiskers because “I can see an actionable impact.”

Jenny Fee

Winston and I (3)

Jenny Fee’s two passions in life are writing and animals. Volunteering as the publicity coordinator for Whiskers has been the purr-fect mashup! You’ll find her wordsmithing in our cat bios, e-newsletters and in the “adoptable of the month” column that she writes for the Indianola Independent Advocate, where she works as a reporter. Jenny lives on a historic acreage near Indianola with a menagerie of adored critters: show pigs, fainting goats, an indoor cat and a TNR colony that has been her heart for the past decade. “I’ll be a lifelong advocate for TNR after seeing the difference it’s made for those cats,” Jenny said. “They’re so healthy and content.” On the rare occasion that Jenny isn’t writing or socializing with her pets, she enjoys getting lost in a good book, roaming a state park or setting off on a quirky road trip with her hubby.

Erica McKasson


Erica McKasson of Indianola knows how to work a crowd. That goes for the cycling classes that she teaches at the Indianola Wellness Campus, and the eye-catching, heart-tugging social media posts that she creates for Whiskers! But then, Erica is as much a cat person as a people person. “I have made lifelong friends with others who possess the same desire to improve lives of the cats and kittens in Warren County,” she said of her volunteer work with us. Erica works as a senior user experience designer for Casey’s but still manages to wear even more hats for Whiskers: event planning, graphic design, fostering, video editing and photography. In her free time, she enjoys cycling outdoors, sailing on Disney cruises with her family, video games and snuggling with her personal pets: Jax, a 15-year-old pooch adopted from the Animal Rescue League, and three “forever foster” kitties from Whiskers who make a mean “bed burrito” with Erica on a nightly basis.

Nicole Rhodes


Nicole Rhodes might be an introvert by nature, but people (and felines) flock to her at Whiskers. She’s our volunteer coordinator and foster extraordinaire, and she organizes many of our community events, from Caturdays at Norwalk Easter Public Library to the Meow Mixer that made its swanky debut in 2023. “Helping a grassroots organization who truly cares about the welfare of animals sparked my interest from the very beginning,” she said. “Through cats I have been able to connect with my community and show them that there is compassion to be had for all, furry or human.” Nicole has worked for Wells Fargo for more than 20 years in the credit card division, and she’s an avid reader, perpetual learner and fierce game night competitor. She lives in Norwalk with her family, three cats (two of whom are “forever fosters” from Whiskers), and Dani the black lab, who ever-so-sweetly allows foster kittens use her back as a furry bed.