Volunteers of the Month single view | PAWS Chicago

Andy Lane

What originally drew you to PAWS Chicago?  

While the Adoption Center was under construction in 2007, I passed by the many times and always wondered what went on there and what PAWS Chicago did. When I retired and was looking for things to do, one of my neighbors suggested it would be a great place to volunteer. So, two and-a-half years ago, I began donating my time as a Level 1 Dog Town volunteer. Now, I am a Level 3 Dog Handler and volunteer each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.


Is there a favorite experience or fondest memory/animal story that has stood out or touched your heart during your time as a volunteer at PAWS Chicago?

I enjoy working with all the Level 3 dogs and find playing with them up on the roof very gratifying. Many of these dogs take longer to find the right home but when they do, I know a family is getting a great dog!


How does what you do for a living apply to what you do as a volunteer?

I retired four years ago after 30 plus years in the pharmaceutical industry as a sales manager. Working with dogs is a big change from calling on doctors and hospitals with my sales reps. However, people skills can translate into animal skills. I actually find the dogs easier and more fun to work with!


Why do you volunteer for PAWS Chicago?  What do you enjoy the most about your experiences a volunteer?

I started volunteering to be of service to an outstanding organization and to help the dogs become ready for adoption. But now, I find I get as much out of volunteering as I give. I’ve met great people that I enjoy working with and Dog Town keeps me active and fit.  I go home after each volunteer shift feeling tired but good, knowing I have helped. I’m always telling my friends what a great “job” I have and that they should volunteer too.

Do you have any PAWS Chicago alumni pets - or any other pets - at home?

I don’t have any pets at this time. We had cats for years but they passed away at the ages of 18 and 19 about a year and a half ago. Maybe a dog will come home with me soon!

Have you participated (attended or volunteered) in any PAWS Chicago special events that supports benefits animals (i.e. marathons, Fur Ball, etc.)

I participated in the 2010 Adopt-a-Thon and helped show dogs to potential adopters.


What value has volunteering at PAWS Chicago brought you?

There are many opportunities and a great need for people to volunteer, donate and just get involved in some type of non-profit organization. It can be working with kids as a mentor, food banks, helping the homeless or PAWS Chicago. Everyone can find some time to help those less fortunate and they will find that their efforts will bring satisfaction and enjoyment. I look forward to volunteering at PAWS Chicago for many more years.