Volunteers of the Month single view | PAWS Chicago

Monika Shibicky

I have been volunteering with animals for years, and I always feel good if I've improved one animal's life today, even if it's only in a small way!

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?

I have attended the Fur Ball, and the Beach Party, and have enjoyed the Volunteer Appreciation get togethers. 
What value has volunteering at PAWS Chicago brought you?  Anything else you'd like to share regarding your experiences as a PAWS Chicago volunteer?
I have been volunteering with animals for years, and I always feel good if I've improved one animal's life today, even if it's only in a small way!  I often times feel that they have given me much more than I gave them, both at the shelter and in my life!