Volunteers of the Month single view | PAWS Chicago

Beth Ford

What originally drew you to PAWS Chicago?  

I've been a PAWS Chicago volunteer for four years now.  I live close to the Adoption Center and watched it being built. I kept meaning to come in to check it out but it was my sister (who was visiting from Minnesota) who gave me the first push through the front door. Since then, it's been like a magnetic force pulling me back in week after week.

Do you have a primary focus when you volunteer?

My main role is Dog Town level 3 volunteer, a.k.a. "Dog Wrangler" at the Adoption Center.

Is there a favorite experience that has stood out during your time as a volunteer at PAWS Chicago?

I've seen so many animals with issues that would have given them no chance for a life if PAWS hadn't taken them in. Watching them regain their health and happiness, and eventually welcomed into loving homes, is what it's all about. I always remember the ones who are petrified when they arrive and take some time to come around. When I see those babies go to their forever homes it gets me every time.

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

I'm a software developer for a large corporation, so problem solving and helping keep things orderly translates to my time in Dog Town.  I do, however, find that the dogs are more reasonable than some of the nerds I run into on a daily basis.

Why do you volunteer for PAWS Chicago?

Of all the volunteering I've been involved with, PAWS Chicago has been the most fulfilling for me because I get back as much as I give. Helping the animals is the obvious reason I volunteer, but being able to spent copious amounts of time with dogs relaxes my mind and I get lots of exercise for free!  I guess the social aspect was the unexpected reward. I've met many great humans, and we have a great time both in the Adoption Center and out. PAWS provides me with a large social network (which can be lacking when you work from home.)   

Do you have any pets at home?

Two years ago I adopted Trixie Poodlepants from PAWS Chicago.  She's a canine-meerkat-goldfish mix and she rules my life.

Have you participated in any PAWS Chicago special events that supports animals? 

I've volunteered at the Fur Ball, Angels with Tails, and other various off-site adoption events.