I really didn’t expect to fall so in love with [PAWS Chicago]! Now I can’t wait for my shifts to begin!
How long have you been volunteering with PAWS Chicago? What originally drew you to the organization?
About a year and a half. I’ve always owned and loved animals, so when I stopped working full time, I wanted to be involved in taking care of rescues. PAWS Chicago has a great reputation (and in all honesty, the North Shore Adoption Center is somewhat close to where I live), and I wanted to try it out. I really didn’t expect to fall so in love with it! Now I can’t wait for my shifts to begin!
Which PAWS Chicago programs/areas do you volunteer in and why?
I’m trained as both a Level 1 cat and dog volunteer at the PAWS Chicago North Shore Adoption Center, but I’m with the cats about 99 percent of the time! I own two Jack Russell Terriers and I love dogs, but cats hold a special place in my heart! My husband is allergic, therefore I get my kitty fix at PAWS Chicago! I’m also an ambassador for the North Shore Adoption Center in which several other wonderful volunteers and I try to get more exposure in this part of Chicagoland. Many people, even those in Highland Park, still don’t know about our North Shore location. I will train to become an adoption counselor next.
Do you have a favorite experience or memory from your time as a volunteer?
Every time I go in is a favorite experience! But I suppose my most memorable experience so far is getting a very scared and shy cat named Babe to finally come out of the kitty condo after staying in there for 11 days. She was eventually adopted (after some time), but because of my close bond with her, I’ll always have a special feeling for that particular feline!
What motivates you to continue volunteering with PAWS Chicago?
Everything about the organization - from rescuing needy pets to socializing cats and kittens to showing the kitties to potential adopters. It’s just been such a positive, happy time for me. I’m a semi-retired school psychologist, and working with cats and dogs has been (am I allowed to say) a more pleasant experience overall!
Do you have any advice for someone who is considering becoming a volunteer?
Just do it! The animals are great, the staff has been great, and the volunteers are great! I love it!
Connie pictured here with her favorite PAWS kitty, Babe