Working with People | PAWS Chicago

Working with People

Help further our mission by working with families, adults, teens and kids.

Help People Help Animals

Connecting with people, whether it’s through adoption counseling, community outreach or education, is critical to the work we do saving the lives of homeless pets. There is a range of volunteer opportunities that involve working with people. Find the one that’s right for you.


Volunteer Opportunities

Overview

The Welcome Center at PAWS Chicago is the first and main point of contact for visitors at our Adoption Centers. 

As a Welcome Desk Volunteer, you will play an integral role in promoting our organization and helping our animals find their forever homes.

Duties include:

  • Ensuring an overall outstanding customer service experience for our guests 
  • Processing payments and donations
  • Answering phone calls and in-person inquiries
  • Entering information regarding completed adoptions
  • Checking and returning voicemails

Helpful Skills

Our Welcome Desk can be a fast-paced environment, so it is required that volunteers have:

  • Strong customer service skills 
  • Basic phone, computer (PC) and Internet skills

Helpful Skills include:

  • Previous administrative experience 
  • A willingness to learn new software programs

Location and Hours

Volunteers are needed everyday, with the exception of major holidays..

Lincoln Park Adoption Center
1997 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Weekdays: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Weekends: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

North Shore Adoption Center
1616 Deerfield Road
Highland Park, IL 60035
Weekdays: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Weekends: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Training

  • New Volunteer Orientation

Advanced Opportunities

  • Adoption Counselor

Overview

Every homeless pet that walks out our doors with a new family is indebted to our Adoption Counselors.

As an Adoption Counselor, you are part of a family milestone that has a huge positive impact on an animal.

By developing an understanding of an adopter’s experience with pets, home environment and family structure, you will ensure that the new family has the information and home environment that will lead to long-term success with the pet they have selected. You will meet with the adopters, review their Adoption Survey, give important counsel on the transition to make for a successful long-term adoption success, answer any and all questions and guide the adopters through the adoption process. 

Helpful Skills

  • Great people skills
  • Customer service experience
  • Good listening & communication skills
  • Objectivity
  • Knowledge of animal behavior 

Location and Hours

Volunteers are needed 365 days a year. 

Lincoln Park Adoption Center
1997 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Weekdays: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Weekends: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

North Shore Adoption Center
1616 Deerfield Road
Highland Park, IL 60035
Weekdays: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturdays: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sundays: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Off-Site Adoption Events
Various locations and times

Training

  • New Volunteer Orientation 
  • Kitty City Level 1 or Dog Town Level 1 Training 
  • Adoption Counseling Training and Shadowing

Advanced Volunteer Opportunities

  • Kitty City or Dog Town Level 2 Volunteer 
  • Pack Leader or Pride Leader
  • Adoption Counseling Mentor

Overview

Our Community Outreach volunteers are the backbone of PAWS for Life. Without the positive engagement they foster, we would not be able to reach as many families with information on available resources they may need to better care for their pets, spay/neuter them and keep them for life.

As a Community Outreach Volunteer, you will join our team in going door-to-door in underserved neighborhoods, developing relationships with pet owners who have limited access to pet resources. You will provide important information to community members and help them with services for their pets in a nonjudgmental way. 

You will also make instant connections with community members over a common love of pets.

Helpful Skills

  • Empathy toward people and communities in need
  • Effective communication skills (active listening)
  • Basic knowledge of pet wellness

Location and Hours

Meet at the Medical Center (3516 W. 26th St., Chicago IL 60623) and travel to the Englewood neighborhood, or meet in Englewood.

Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (10:30 a.m. start time for new volunteers)

Training

  • New Volunteer Orientation
  • PAWS for Life Program Orientation

 

 

 

Advanced Volunteer Opportunities

  • PAWS For Life Team Leader

Overview

Animal Care & Control (ACC) is the city pound. It’s required to accept any animal brought into its facility. In many cases, these are animals being relinquished by their owners. 

The PAWS for Life—Animal Care & Control Front Desk Outreach Program is stationed at the ACC front desk. Its goal is to help lower the number of cats and dogs being surrendered at ACC. You can help owners keep their pets by offering resources such as food/supplies, free spay/neuter, and other services on a case-by-case basis. 

As a volunteer at ACC, you will:

  • Engage with clients surrendering their pets
  • Gather important information 
  • Provide support to the owner by offering resources and education to try to prevent the current pet from entering the shelter
  • Provide information on pet overpopulation to prevent the owner from turning future pets into shelters

Helpful Skills

  • Knowledge of pet-related resources and wellness
  • Empathy toward the clients giving up their pets
  • Effective communication skills
  • Problem-solving mindset

Location and Hours

Chicago Animal Care and Control
2741 S. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608

Training

  • New Volunteer Orientation 
  • PAWS for Life Program Orientation

Advanced Volunteer Opportunities

  • Veterinary Support Volunteer

Overview

Team Leaders are invaluable members of PAWS for Life, providing leadership to other volunteers and helping with door-to-door outreach; community outreach events, transportation and operational support

As a PAWS for Life Team Leader, you may: 

  • Present the PAWS for Life Program Orientation to new volunteers
  • Lead volunteers during group outreach
  • Serve as a point person at community outreach events

Helpful Skills

  • Leadership skills 
  • Understanding or desire to understand underserved communities 
  • Positivity

Location and Hours

Varies depending on what area of program is the focus.

Two primary locations:

  • Medical Center (3516 W. 26th St.)
  • The Englewood community

Training

  • New Volunteer Orientation 
  • PAWS for Life Program Orientation 

Overview

The PAWS Chicago Humane Education Program aims to reach and educate children, particularly in the neighborhoods where stray animals are a large problem. This will help create the next generation of animal advocates.

Our dedicated volunteers are vital to the success of this program. They are at the forefront of teaching students, shaping attitudes and forming the difference-makers of tomorrow.

As a Humane Education Volunteer, you will be present PAWS Chicago’s education programs to targeted groups. Currently, we have programs for middle school students (6th to 8th grade) and high school students. We also give presentations to community groups.

Helpful Skills

Our Humane Education Volunteers must have:

  • An understanding of our mission and operations (training available)
  • A desire to help animals, people and the community
  • Comfort speaking in front of groups
  • The ability to communicate clearly and effectively
  • Access to reliable transportation
  • A record for punctuality and reliability
  • An appreciation of the power and fun of education

Helpful Skills include:

  • A background in education (particularly humane education), childhood development, and/or public speaking 
  • Experience speaking to groups, particularly children
  • Ability to speak Spanish
  • Familiarity with computers, particularly Microsoft Word and PowerPoint

Location and Hours

Our education programs are in many locations and occur at all times of day, so we can work with your availability!

Typical hours of school humane education presentations:
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Typical hours of community group humane education presentations:
Weekend or early evening availability is a plus.

Training

  • New Volunteer Orientation

Advanced Volunteer Opportunities

As volunteers become more proficient in Humane Education, there are opportunities to help: 

  • Develop new programs
  • Train new Humane Education Volunteers
  • Build relationships with schools and community groups

Overview

PAWS Chicago's Youth Volunteer Program enables children ages 12 to 17 to volunteer with a parent or legal guardian to help homeless pets together.

As a Family Service Host, you can inspire these teenagers to get involved with PAWS Chicago. Duties include: 

  • Training new Family Service Volunteers (both teens and their guardians)
  • Integrating them into the Adoption Center or Medical Center
  • Mentoring them on how they can do their part to eliminate pet homelessness
  • Managing families and helping to assign tasks throughout their shift

Helpful Skills

  • Enjoy working with families and teaching teens
  • Enjoy teaching
  • Ability to multitask
  • Have a knowledge of PAWS Chicago’s procedures and protocols

Location and Hours

Lincoln Park Adoption Center
1997 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Weekends: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Medical Center
3615 W. 26th Street
Chicago, IL 60623
Weekends: 8 a.m. – 12 noon

Training

  • New Volunteer Orientation
  • Dog Town Level 1 Training or Kitty City Level 1 Training (preferably both)
  • On-the-job training

Volunteer Training & Mentorship