I absolutely love volunteering with the animals. I started my internship at PAWS Chicago in September 2013 and I haven’t left since.
What originally drew you to PAWS Chicago? How long have you been a volunteer?
When I started school, I had a big decision to make: would I prefer to help people or animals? On a Facebook group for my school there was a post about volunteering for an animal shelter, it was a post for PAWS Chicago. I absolutely loved volunteering with the animals and my decision was made. I had to stop volunteering for a while, but a couple months later in September 2013 I started my internship at PAWS and I haven’t left since.
Do you have a primary focus when you volunteer?
My primary focus is Kitty City! Although I adore all animals, I absolutely love working with the cats.
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?
I have had many, many favorite memories! I love to listen to the stories adopters have. Helping potential adopters pick out their furry friend is an amazing experience because you really get to know the adopters. There was a woman not too long ago looking for a pair of kittens, I was there to help her choose her kittens and do her adoption counseling. She began to tell me how she had lost her previous cat and began to cry. Her story made me very emotional and we spent the first few minutes connecting and sharing stories about our cats.
How does what do you do for a career apply to what you do as a volunteer?
I am a full time student, but after I graduate in June, I want to find a job in an animal shelter or a similar setting. My current job is at a library and as much as I love to read, I cannot wait to start working full time to help out animals.
Why do you volunteer for PAWS Chicago? What do you enjoy the most about your experiences a volunteer?
I initially started volunteering to get more experience and build my resume. Now I just volunteer because I love it, and absolutely hate it when I have no time to go volunteer. I enjoy meeting new people and cuddling with the kitties.
Do you have any PAWS Chicago alumni pets - or any other pets - at home?
I have three cats, unfortunately none of them are from PAWS, but they are all adopted.
Have you participated in any PAWS Chicago special events that supports animals?
I have participated in the past few Adopt-a-Thons. I have stayed overnight and been there for the busiest hours.
What value has volunteering at PAWS Chicago brought you? Anything else you'd like to share regarding your experiences as a PAWS Chicago volunteer?
Volunteering at PAWS has definitely made me more outgoing. I used to be very shy, but now I enjoy meeting new people. And one more thing – I love my Saturday morning cleaning crew in Kitty City!