Volunteer of the Year – 2012 Award Recipients

PAWS Chicago’s 2012 Volunteers of the Year Award Recipients

PAWS Chicago would like to thank each of the volunteers who dedicate their time to saving the lives of homeless pets. It is through their support that PAWS Chicago will create a No Kill community. Congratulations to this year’s award recipients for their outstanding dedication to PAWS Chicago and our life-saving efforts. Click here to watch “2012 – A Year in Photos,” to see some of the life-saving work our volunteers are a part of throughout the year.

Volunteer All-Stars
We would like to acknowledge six very special volunteers as All Stars for their tireless support of PAWS Chicago this year across many varied and important roles. 

  • Morgan Hill
  • Mark Lukas
  • Michele McIntire
  • Steve Olsen
  • Laura Slivka
  • Diana Zapata

Community Outreach

Community Outreach
Community Outreach volunteers educate the public by providing tours of PAWS Chicago’s Adoption Center, offering information about how to help the community cats in Chicago, assisting with PAWS Chicago’s Pet Food Bank, and providing information about the importance of spay/neuter while promoting the services of the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic and GusMobile Spay/Neuter van. Their support is, in many ways, the backbone of PAWS Chicago and directly reduces the number of unwanted animals born.

  • Cyndy Acox Webb
  • Tom Hay Bauer
  • Karen Van Meter

Pet Food Bank

  • Teresa Martinez

Rescue & Recovery Center Animal Care

Animal Care
Rescue & Recovery Center volunteers focus on providing animals with daily care to keep them happy and healthy during their stay. Volunteers walk and socialize dogs, help to keep the Center and animal suites clean and maintaining an organized space.

  • Chris Bowen
  • Nancy Jensen
  • Rachel McCool

Foster Program
Foster program volunteers work with foster families as they bring their animal(s) in for surgery or medical checks, train new fosters families, gather information on an animal’s behavior and disposition during their foster period, assist with the new animals going into foster and follow-up with new fosters to see how animals are doing and provide support.

  • Caroline Burgess
  • Elizabeth Gonzales
  • Tom & Amanda Heldmann
  • Joyce Lieberman
  • Matthew O’Brien
  • Sharon Schramm
  • Sarah Shepard
  • Gary Tick

Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic
Volunteers at the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic are helping Chicago become a No Kill city. For volunteers who work at the Rescue & Recovery Center – where life-saving initiatives take place each day – no day is the same. Volunteers are involved in many aspects of the Clinic including prepping animal supplies, assisting recovery technicians with dogs and cats after surgery and confirming appointments for the next day. These roles play a significant role in the life-saving efforts of PAWS Chicago. 

  • Inna Makarenko
  • Deng Pan
  • Donna Shelby

Adoption Center

Dog Town Level 1
The Dog Town Level 1 Volunteers, who wear Khaki Aprons, are the tremendous army of volunteers who enable the Adoption Center team to care for an average of 40-50 dogs each day. And, even more importantly, the Dog Town Level 1 volunteers get to know our Level 1 dogs and introduce them to potential adopters — helping to discover the best matches that create forever homes. 

  • Mike Monahan
  • Behn Rudo
  • John Vietor
  • Becky Zimmerman

Dog Town Level 2
The Dog Town Level 2 Volunteers, who wear Green Aprons, serve as the first team of “senior” volunteers who help train and coach the Level 1 Volunteers. Each Dog Town Level 2 volunteer has completed six sessions of additional training conducted by our training partner, during which they discuss canine “body language” and handling, and has committed to a minimum of two shifts per month at the Adoption Center.

  • Jamie Baron
  • Sherri Janowski
  • Jack Pickleman
  • Kelly Todd

Dog Town Level 3
The Dog Town Level 3 program, our most senior volunteer program in Dog Town, has been a vital and successful addition to our volunteer program since its launch a year ago in the fall of 2009. The DTL3 volunteers, who wear Brown Aprons, have all completed more specialized training to help the PAWS Chicago team conduct dog-to-dog introductions (both for PAWS Chicago dogs becoming roommates, as well as guest dogs who are meeting potential new family members) as well as handling techniques to manage our most challenging dogs. The Dog Town Level 3 Volunteers get to know each of our Level 3 dogs and their special handling needs, and then provide the patience and love each need. That way, these volunteers serve as another set of eyes and ears to help us identify adoptive families with the willingness to provide the structure, training and attention these wonderful dogs require.

  • Nikki LaBlanc
  • Andy Lane
  • Kevin Rudy
  • Jeff Shanken
  • Alya Woods

Kitty City Level 1
The Kitty City Level 1 Volunteers, who wear Khaki Aprons, are the tremendous corps of volunteers who enable the Adoption Center team to care for an average of 60-90 cats each day by helping clean suites, feed and socialize our cats and kittens! And, even more importantly, Kitty City Level 1 volunteers get to know our cats’ personalities and help match them to the needs and desires of our potential adopters.

  • Kathy Finken
  • Sandra Fuggiti
  • Audrey Valentine

Kitty City Level 2
The Kitty City Level 2 Volunteer Program, our most senior volunteer level in Kitty City, has become an invaluable asset for the Adoption Center as well. This group of volunteers, who wear Green Aprons, serve as trainers and mentors on the adoption floor, train some of our special needs cats and conduct some of our formal Level 1 training classes each week. Each Kitty City Level 2 volunteer has completed additional training and agreed to a minimum of two shifts/month.

  • Kristy Davis
  • Tristan Harter
  • Heather Oakes

Adoption Counselors
The volunteers who have gone through the extensive certification process to become Adoption Counselors are a tremendous group of people. Adoption Counselors, who wear Black Aprons, all have very strong skills in several areas, and this expertise helps ensure that each and every adopter is as prepared as possible when bringing their new pet home. 

  • David Helfand
  • Marie Kukielka
  • Alison Lindholm
  • Mary Lisa Weimers
  • Maggie Zalewski

Location Managers
The volunteers who serve as Location Managers play a critically important role for the success of the Adoption Center on Saturdays and Sundays. These volunteers essentially manage all the volunteers in Dog Town and Kitty City on the weekends. They are tasked with ensuring that great customer service is provided to potential adopters and that the vast number of volunteers who work at the Center over the weekend are utilized to their fullest potential.

  • Sonia Lindsay
  • Jay Rosene

Dog Town Lead Managers

  • Jenn Myzia

Kitty City Lead Managers

  • Allen Shechtman
  • Andy Zmuda

Adoption Program Support
These individuals serve as the backbone to PAWS Chicago’s Adoption Program. They volunteer their time to provide behind-the-scenes support that helps keep the program up and running so that more animals find forever homes.

  • Andrea Bartecki
  • Carol Bogosian
  • Peggy Brennan
  • Jane Fauser
  • Meredith Gonzalez

Welcome Center
Welcome Desk and Center volunteers provide an excellent customer experience for potential adopters, welcome guests into the Adoption Center, provide initial information to get them started and are the ambassadors of PAWS Chicago.

Welcome Center

  • Brian Lee

Welcome Center 

  • Bonnie Spurlock
  • Nancy Sterling
  • Judy Tullman

Adoption Events
Adoption Event volunteers serve as leaders and a point-of-contact for a portion of the volunteer base at special events and directly communicate opportunities and/or concerns with staff members. They also serve in a variety of roles, including dog and cat handlers, greeters, silent auction/raffle ticket sales, dog spa, etc., depending on the event.

  • Wayne Gailis
  • Laurie Gentle
  • Manu Puri

Volunteer Program


  • Regina Dreyer
  • Kasey Miller
  • Johanna Moya

Family Service Program
The Family Service program provides opportunities each Saturday and Sunday, comprised of kids from 12-18 years old and a parent, to volunteer at the Adoption Center. We have recruited special Family Service hosts to train the families and manage them while they’re at the Center. 

  • Christi Dineff
  • Steve Lotho

Family Service Families

  • Rhys Blackshaw and Edna Ho
  • Becca Rose and Stuart Rose

Development Board
PAWS Chicago Development Board members serve as ambassadors in the community and support the organization’s effort to make Chicago a No Kill city. Board members organize three annual fundraising events: the Beach Party, Run for Their Lives and the Fur Ball, and also play an active role in Angels with Tails adoption events and volunteering time as a Weekend Greeter at the Adoption & Humane Center.

  • Chris Ksoll
  • Amy Mick
  • Pat Spratt

Professional Board
PAWS Chicago Professional Board members raises funds through a variety of fundraising events which help support PAWS Chicago’s programs and have a direct impact on saving the lives of thousands of homeless cats and dogs in Chicago.

  • Courtney Weiler
  • Justin Wenzelman

These TEAM PAWS runners have been very active members for multiple seasons. They are very passionate about PAWS Chicago’s No Kill mission, volunteer their time at the Adoption Center and participate on the Professional Board and/or the TEAM PAWS committee. 

  • Mindy Bohmer
  • Jeff Fine
  • Margaret Leung

Marketing and media volunteers provide PAWS Chicago with marketing support in the form of photographs and videos that can be used to share the organization’s mission, educate the community on the importance of adoption, spay/neuter and other vital programs.

  • Sabrina Nizzi
  • Sebastian Sparenga

Special thanks to Sabrina Nizzi for dog and cat videography.

Additional thanks to Sebastian Sparenga Photography, Caitlin Lisa, Heather Haseley, Dan Kasberger, Jennifer Girard, Malia Rae Photography, Richard Chen, Oscar Mendez, and Von Buzard for event and animal photography used on this Web site.

PAWS Chicago, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been awarded a Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator, the country's premier independent charity evaluator. Contributions to PAWS Chicago are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. PAWS Chicago is only able to help homeless animals because of your donations. We receive no city, state or federal funding.

PAWS Chicago's Forms 990 are viewable at guidestar.org

Meet Your Match® and it's logos/colors is a program of the ASPCA®.

©2012 PAWS Chicago.   View our Privacy Policy