It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Patty Smith – a dedicated volunteer, animal advocate and friend. She had been a volunteer since the opening of the adoption center, in 2007 and, in addition to volunteering, Patty and her husband, Marshall, adopted two cats from PAWS Chicago. We honor Patty for her dedication to homeless animals and PAWS Chicago.
Patty Smith didn’t let her building’s “No Dogs Allowed” policy stop her from spending time with her four-legged friends. Although her two senior Birman cats, Ulee and Holly, remained the loves of her life, Patty couldn’t stop wishing for a dog of her own.
Her wish was granted when PAWS Chicago opened the doors to its new Adoption and Humane Center in 2007. The cageless, No Kill shelter depends on volunteers and Smith seized the opportunity to use her sunny disposition to help homeless animals. Little did she know when she walked through the doors of the Adoption Center that the time and love she dedicated to PAWS Chicago would be returned three-fold by the animals she helped and the people she met.
“I’d hoped that being at PAWS Chicago on a regular basis would help this fixation (with having her own dog). Well, it works!” Smith, who lived in the Chicagoland area for over 44 years, began her volunteer work at the Adoption Center as a dog walker. But her can-do attitude and charisma made her a prime candidate to be a Greeter. She also served as an Adoption Counselor on weekends and lent her time and expertise at PAWS Chicago’s off-site adoption events.
Smith was an active volunteer and her list of rewards for the work seems a mile long. Her favorite aspects about volunteering at the Adoption Center were seeing happiness on the faces of families who adopted an animal as well as the positive attitudes and quality of people she met through her volunteer work. Smith also loved the chance to spread the word about PAWS Chicago’s No Kill mission. While Smith admitted still feeling the sting of not being able to rescue a dog herself, the time she spent around the animals at the shelter gave her much-needed time with her furry friends.