What originally drew you to PAWS Chicago? How long have you been a volunteer?
I was drawn to PAWS Chicago because it took more animals from Chicago Animal Care and Control than anyone else, and that has always been my first concern. I would love to have a No Kill city, state and for that matter, world, but I have felt we should start at home first. I have been volunteering at PAWS Chicago for over three years.
Do you have a primary focus when you volunteer?
My primary focus lately has been Dog Town, but I have also volunteered in Kitty City. I also foster cats on occasion, which I love! Since I'm not home very often, cats are easier for me to foster than dogs. I don't at the moment have any animals of my own, having lost my 4 cats and 2 dogs to old age and various illnesses. My animals were all rescues, and they were all amazing! It was a rough few years going through it, but I get my animal fix at PAWS, and by fostering, until I find some one who steals my heart! There have been a few of those, but so far they have all gotten adopted too quickly!
Is there one favorite experience or fondest memory/animal story that has stood out or touched your heart during your time as a volunteer at PAWS Chicago?
As far as my favorite experience at PAWS goes, as much as I love the animals, and have had some wonderful experiences with them, I have had some of the best experiences with my fellow animal lovers. I do a lot of mentoring, during which I have met some of the most wonderful people, many of whom, have become friends!
How does what do you do for a career apply to what you do as a volunteer?
During my working career, I was always a manager, having run my own business. My husband would say it is because I'm "bossy", but I like to train people, fix problems, and take responsibility. I feel mentoring is very important because we depend on a constant flow of volunteers to keep the shelter running! A lot of volunteers are younger, but I think it’s important to highlight how rewarding it is to volunteer once you transition from your career. You find yourself with extra time and devoting it to animals is a very fulfilling way to use that time.
Why do you volunteer for PAWS Chicago? What do you enjoy the most about your experiences a volunteer?
I volunteer at PAWS, because animals are my passion, and I love the people there who are so dedicated to them, both staff and volunteers!
Have you participated in any PAWS Chicago special events that supports animals?