The CLAWS Team
CLAWS is an all volunteer run organization. No member of the board or staff is compensated for their time or efforts.
Executive Director - Kindra Mammone
Kindra was nominated and made Animal Planet's 20 national semi-finalists for Hero of the Year in both 2007 and 2008! She has also received many local awards, such as Home Town Heroes, for the work she does with CLAWS. Kindra has spent a lifetime working with wild and exotic species as well as horses and other domestic animals. Thanks mostly to her father and grandfather, she spent the majority of her life living with raccoons, skunks and other native species as pets. She has over 20 years of experience rehabilitating wildlife and has worked with several exotic animal rescues and sanctuaries, working in fundraising and direct animal care. Prior to moving to North Carolina, she specialized in rabies vector species and bear rehabilitation. She has also had the opportunity to teach several classes on rehabilitation of these species and has collaborated on a document for the USDA on keeping raccoons safely and happily in captivity. She still collaborates with rehabilitators across the country on the safe rehabilitation of these species. Once coming to North Carolina and realizing that it is not legal to rehabilitate these species here, she set out to volunteer at other organizations, working with young tigers and "smaller cats", such as servals, caracals and ocelots as well as other lesser known species of carnivores. She now rehabilitates small mammals, all species of birds and is one of very few individuals in North Carolina licensed to rehabilitate fawn. Kindra has also helped to facilitate rescues of several bears over the last few years.
Dr. Mike Grafinger is a board certified veterinary surgeon at Triangle Veterinary Referral Hospital (hotlink: www.trianglevrh.com) in Durham, NC. He utilizes his lifelong fascination and experience for exotic animals by donating his time and expertise to the CLAWS, Inc. Dr Grafinger graduated from Mississippi State University in 1999 and completed a one year internship at Animal Medical Center in New York City which has an annual case load of 50,000 patients and over 90 veterinarians. He practiced general medicine in NYC for one year before joining a North Carolina emergency and referral practice as an emergency clinician. He completed a surgical residency at NC State Veterinary School and is one of the few board certified surgeons affiliated with an emergency clinic in the Durham area.
Our Board of Directors consists of the following people:
President - Amy Sindermann
Amy volunteered at the New England Aquarium in Boston for 5+ years, working with the Harbor Seal rescue and rehab program, as well as providing other general marine mammal care. While working towards her biology degree at UMAss Boston, she worked with local research teams studying whales and gathering and processing data. She currently shares her home with 3 cats, 3 dogs and 2 chinchillas, 2 children and a husband. The dogs and cats are all rescue animals.
Vice President - Tim Badstein
Tim has worked in veterinary medicine since 1998 and for several years worked as the CLAWS main vet tech for many years. He studied animal science at NC State University and has been on the board of directors of CLAWS since 2007. He's excited to work with any species we have here, which makes him a wonderful addition to our team! When it came time to vote at elections, all of the animals voted yes! Tim will hopefully be starting vet school soon and we all believe he will make a fantastic veterinarian!
Secretary - Lori Widener
Lori is CLAWS’s neo-natal and large predator specialist. She has 14 years experience in the animal conservation non-profit world. This experience covers all aspects of running such an organization: from animal care (including critical and supportive care for the sick or injured) and volunteer coordination, to office administration and fundraising, and everything in between! She had the great privilege of working with and being trained by one of North Carolina’s leading tiger/big cat experts until his untimely death (from cancer, not a tiger). She was also the onsite “night watchman” for the preserve. Lori has extensive experience raising babies (who are required to have four legs, a tail, and must be covered in fur!). Her “children” include one white tiger; a snow leopard; 27 binturongs; numerous caracals, servals, and ocelots; and several domestic puppies and kittens.
Treasurer - Vincent Mammone
Vinny has been working with animals since 1991. He volunteered at a sanctuary for 7 years working with species from kinkajous to binturongs to large cats. He helped with cage construction, neonatal care, feeding and whatever else was asked of him. He is a licensed small mammal and deer rehabilitator and has been helping Kindra rehabilitate many different species for several years. He lives with and cares for all of the animals here at CLAWS, Inc. He also builds all of our enclosures, habitats and fencing. You may also see Vinny at our programs from time to time.
Jr. Volunteer Coordinator - Kasha Mammone
Kasha has spent her entire life living with and helping raise exotic and wild animals. She is sub-permitted to rehabilitate fawn, rehabilitates most of our opossums and is our Jr. Volunteer Coordinator. Kasha is hoping one day to be a veterinarian.