By Erin Murphy/ECHO (Photo courtesy of Carly DeCesare) Carly DeCesare has loved animals since her parents brought her home from the ho...

Faces of ECHO: Carly DeCesare

By Erin Murphy/ECHO

(Photo courtesy of Carly DeCesare)
Carly DeCesare has loved animals since her parents brought her home from the hospital. Specifically, DeCesare started a friendship with her mother’s cat, China Cat Sunflower.

He ended up guarding my crib and playing tag with me around the house. That relationship really set the tone for my life,” DeCesare said, “I've found that animals tend to trust me and I love taking care of them. I've never felt bored or bothered when it comes to taking care of animals.”

DeCesare is now a Wildlife and Fisheries Biology major and Anthropology minor at the University of Vermont.

“When I started college I was convinced that I was going to spend my life on a boat studying sharks,” she said. After a couple of years she realized animal care was the way to go. An advisor recommended volunteering at ECHO and she jumped at the chance.

She has now been with ECHO for three years. In that time, she’s become a valuable member of the Animal Care team and has gotten to know animal friends beyond China Cat Sunflower.

“My favorite task is probably feeding the sturgeons in the Lake Tank, I love seeing the personalities of all of the fish in that tank. There is always one bass that stares at me the whole time I'm doing the feeding, and Curly the sturgeon (as it is affectionately called by staffers) is so food motivated that even after she's had all of her food she keeps coming up to the top and begging for it.”

DeCesare’s current tasks include cleaning and feeding fish, but in the past she has gone to great lengths for animals in her care. While living in New Jersey, DeCesare worked at a farm store where two litters of kittens were placed in her care.

“The kittens needed to get medicine twice a day and I found myself driving over there in the middle of Hurricane Sandy to make sure the kittens got their medication and were comfortable,” she said.

When she’s not busy saving kittens, volunteering at ECHO, or doing homework, DeCesare enjoys hiking, belly dancing, cooking, and doing crafts. She also looks forward to graduating from UVM and using her Animal Care skills in the real world: DeCesare is in her last semester of school, and is in the process of applying for internships and jobs at zoos and aquariums all over the country.

(Photo courtesy of Carly DeCesare)

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