Volunteers of the Month single view | PAWS Chicago

Julia Arozena

"As long as there are homeless animals, I will be motivated to keep helping them."

How long have you been volunteering with PAWS Chicago? What originally drew you to the organization?

I've been volunteering for 7 years. When I moved to Chicago from Argentina I wanted to find some organization I felt identified with and PAWS was perfect for me. I signed up for an orientation and started volunteering right away. I'm always grateful I found PAWS.

Which PAWS Chicago programs/areas do you volunteer in and why? 

I've done a little of everything through all this time. I started as a Dog Town volunteer, and I still do it because it's one of the things I enjoy the most. When I got pregnant I started doing presentations for group volunteering and some administrative work. I also volunteer at special events like the Fur Ball or Angel with Tails every time I have the chance. Another thing I love to do is help the Intake team at the Medical Center with Owner Relinquishment calls, Intake transports and other tasks they have. At the Medical Center I also did some shifts walking dogs and cleaning. 

As a photographer, I started taking photos of PAWS animals for the website, at PAWS events, tagging along with the TNR team and for special events.

Do you have a favorite experience or memory from your time volunteering?

A few months after I started volunteering I showed a little white dog to a woman. They found each other and they left. After a week I saw them walking on the street. I recognized them and it made me so happy! The dog was walking so proudly and the woman seemed so happy!

What motivates you to continue volunteering with PAWS Chicago?

As long as there are homeless animals, I will be motivated to keep helping them. I think PAWS is the best place to do it.

Do you have any advice for someone who is considering becoming a volunteer?

Don't wait any longer! You will find a great group of people, always awesome animals to work with and a lot of possibilities to volunteer.