Volunteers of the Month single view | PAWS Chicago

Terri Rice

What originally drew you to PAWS Chicago?  

I knew PAWS Chicago was a wonderful place for animals in need of homes. I visited the Adoption Center and was instantly impressed with the care and love the staff and volunteers have for the animals. I started volunteering a year ago and my passion for helping the strays was fulfilled. I have been rescuing kittens and cats along the way and would find homes for most of them.  For those I couldn’t find homes from, I brought to PAWS and would hang out with them at the Center once a week until they were adopted!


Is there a favorite experience that has stood out during your time as a volunteer?

I have a passion for feral kittens who I rehabilitate, newborn kittens who I love to bottle feed, and the senior cats who need hospice care – which drew me to Coonie, my recent foster who I just officially adopted. I knew Coonie had had a rough time in the last few years and had developed kidney disease. I knew this cat needed me. I took him home and he is a wonderful cat. I was really surprised and impressed when I went back to the Adoption Center and told them who I was fostering –I felt like a celebrity! The positive overwhelming response was amazing. I realized that so many people love this cat and it felt so good to be able to help him!

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

I am a Veterinary Assistant at Pet Vets Animal Hospital in Oak Park and my skill with veterinary medicine helps me to care for the sick and injured animals.

Why do you volunteer for PAWS Chicago?

I have always had an extreme passion for stray cats all of my life. I think PAWS Chicago is the best place to be and I feel like everyone I have met along the way has become my friend.  It feels good to know that so many people share that same love and dedication that I have. I love hanging out with all the cats and kittens in Kitty City and just relaxing with them.


Do you have any pets at home?

Yes, I have five cats of my own. One is a special needs cat who has cerebellum hypoplasia (a neurologic condition) who I rescued four years ago as a four-week-old kitten. My best friend and I also rescued six kittens off the street who all developed pan leuk.  I nursed them all with the help of my very compassionate vet and kept the whole litter because we couldn’t part with them. She kept three and I kept one who was also a little neorologic. I also have two very patient dogs, a Papillon and a Maltese who love to help socialize my baby kittens!!

What value has volunteering at PAWS Chicago brought you?

I enjoy being a part of the PAWS Chicago Team as a volunteer and I will continue to help in every way possible.