Volunteers of the Month single view | PAWS Chicago

Rebecca Madrigal

What originally drew you to PAWS Chicago?  

I have four Dachshunds- Mathilda, Maxius, Lola and Marico. I found PAWS Chicago when I was looking for a place to get their vaccinations and for them to be spayed/neutered. This is my first year as a volunteer with PAWS Chicago. I began in April 2011.

Do you have a primary focus when you volunteer?

I volunteer at the Rescue & Recovery Center. I help by cleaning out cages, giving reminder calls for appointments, and helping to care for the animals after surgery. It was there when I heard about the GusMobile Spay/Neuter Van. It was fantastic to know that PAWS Chicago would be close to home and be a place where I was able to help out my community.

Is there one favorite experience or fondest memory that has stood out during your time as a volunteer?

Yes, it was the first day I volunteered for the GusMobile. I was so happy to see so many people from the community come out. I was asked to walk a client and her pet to the van. I met a young lady who I went to church with who felt a little uncomfortable about the procedure. I let her know about the wonderful PAWS vets and techs and shared how PAWS took such good care of my pets. She gave me a big hug and thanked me. I didn’t realize how many people felt the same way, and that’s why I love what I do as a volunteer with PAWS Chicago.  

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

I work as a doctor tech for For Eyes Optical where I help patients find the perfect pair of glasses to meet their needs. It feels good to see a smile on people’s faces when I help a patient or, when at PAWS, help someone with their pets.

Why do you volunteer for PAWS Chicago? 

I volunteer for PAWS Chicago because of the No Kill cause. PAWS Chicago has done so much for the community by opening the door to those who are not able to afford to spay or neuter their animals. PAWS helps animals find great homes with people who love them – as much as I love my own pets – and will provide a safe place to live. It feels good at the end of the day to know I was able to help PAWS Chicago as a volunteer.

Do you have any pets at home?

Our home is filled with animals! We have four Dachshunds, a chicken and rooster named Boyfriend and Girlfriend, a duck named Ducky, Herman our turtle, and a tank full of gold fish – those are my husband’s friends. I also help my mother and sister with their cats. When the kids in our neighborhood find a kitten or a puppy, they ask my family how to take care of them. We try our best to help the out by sharing how we take care of our animals through PAWS Chicago. 

What value has volunteering at PAWS Chicago brought you?


I am grateful to be a part of PAWS Chicago as a volunteer. Going out into my community to educate people on what PAWS Chicago has to offer to keep our animals healthy. The value of saving the lives of animals and finding them a home makes me feel good.