Volunteers of the Month single view | PAWS Chicago

Janet MacNaughton

What originally drew you to PAWS Chicago?  

Last summer, I began to look at volunteer opportunities in the city and I had, of course, heard of PAWS Chicago. Fortunately, I was able to attend an orientation session and saw there were opportunities in the Welcome Center. I thought this would allow me to combine my experience in the business world with my love for animals.


Do you have a primary focus when you volunteer?

My focus in 2013 was on volunteering in the Welcome Center. I learned so much from Jaime and the other staff members and they really made me feel like I was making a valuable contribution.  Recently, I attended Adoption Counselor training and have completed several successful Dog Town adoptions.


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

One evening, a beautiful Great Pyrenees dog was returned to the Adoption Center as the adopters could no longer handle his size. I often visited him as his eyes told a story of confusion and some sadness. Soon after he arrived, I was overjoyed on a Saturday morning to see a wonderful family come in to the Adoption Center who had seen him on the website and wanted to adopt him.  Their best critieria???...a BIG yard for him to play.  So happy to see him find his forever home!


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

I was certainly able to leverage my experience as an IT Project Manager in volunteering at the Welcome Center.  It’s a fast-paced, multi-tasking environment that requires attention to detail and commitment to provide an excellent customer service experience for all guests.


Why do you volunteer for PAWS Chicago? 

Volunteering at PAWS Chicago is a dream job.  I love the interaction with clients, watching the animals go to their forever homes, and witnessing the support of the community. It’s an honor to volunteer at PAWS Chicago.

Do you have any pets at home?

I have a beautiful Black Lab named Riley who is 12 years young! I am also lucky to have a gorgeous Grand-Doodle puppy named Bennett and a cuddly Grand-kitty named Rudy. No PAWS animals yet but I definitely see one in my future!


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

I volunteered for 20 of the 36-hours during the Adopt-A-Thon! It was an epic experience!  I also helped finalize several adoptions the morning after the Fur Ball. That was really fun to see!  


What value has volunteering at PAWS Chicago brought you? 

Volunteering at PAWS Chicago has been such a rich experience. I’m happy every day when I am there. Watching the animals find their forever homes and observing and learning under the direction of the superb staff has been a wonderful journey. I have been a resident of the North Shore for 30 years and am especially excited to watch PAWS Chicago’s North Shore Adoption Center come to fruition in mid-2014. I will always be grateful for my time at PAWS Chicago and can’t wait to see what the future brings!