2014 | PAWS Chicago

Volunteers of the Year 2014

PAWS Chicago salutes our volunteers who give their time and love to helping homeless cats and dogs

Volunteer All Stars

Andrea Bartecki
Leadership comes naturally to Andrea Bartecki.  Andrea is now putting her skills to good use in Kitty City, helping train new volunteers and working with fosters and adopters. 

Andrea joined the roster of volunteers with the opening of the Lincoln Park Adoption Center in 2007 and has since been involved in all aspects of the operation as a Level 2 Kitty City Volunteer, Adoption Counselor, Location Manager and Foster Mentor. 

“I understand the joy a pet brings into a home. They bring laughter into your life and also unconditional love,” Andrea says. “Sending a child home with their first pet or finding a pet for an elderly person looking for companionship is very rewarding.” 


Matthew Fox
Matt is a true dog lover. So PAWS was a natural place to come when, two years ago, he decided to find a place to volunteer. “I grew up with dogs and love animals,” he says. “PAWS gives me a chance to give back in many ways.”

As a Gold Star Volunteer, Matt helps train and enrich our behaviorally challenged dogs. But he has done everything from transporting sick animals to the emergency hospital to helping match dogs with adopters to volunteering at the annual Fur Ball. And in 2014, Matt brought his professional skills to the table to impact the entire future of PAWS Chicago. 

“The opportunity to help dogs, to help people find a new member of their family and to make a difference in countless lives across Chicago—volunteering has brought immeasurable value to my life,” Matt says. 

Allison Gamble
“There is nothing quite like a pile of puppies to just make the world seem right.” And puppies have brought Allison Gamble considerable joy, after originally coming to PAWS to volunteer after her 17-year-old dog Callie passed in 2012. While always motivated by the mission, volunteering with other animals helped her through the grieving process.

Since then, Allison has become a Gold Star Volunteer, New Volunteer Mentor and Adoption Counselor and participates in a weekly PAWS dog training session. She is at the Adoption Center three days a week, helping both animals and adopters.

“I love that PAWS offers so many different ways to get involved as a volunteer,” Allison says. “For me, working with the dogs is the most rewarding experience. It is humbling to see how little it takes to make a difference in these animals’ lives.” 

Laura Karas
When it comes to helping homeless animals, Laura Karas can’t do enough. For the past year and a half, she has been a dog and cat Adoption Counselor and Level 2 Dog Town Volunteer in the Lincoln Park and North Shore Adoption Centers.

But she also takes her volunteer work home with her, spending weekdays coordinating group visiting volunteer days for corporate and student groups. She helps lead these groups when they are at PAWS, giving presentations and leading animal socialization time for adults and Adoption Center tours for students. “It is a great way to share the mission with the community, and the groups really enjoy it,” she says.

In 2014, more than 75 groups brought more than 1,100 people to volunteer with PAWS Chicago. This program was managed entirely by volunteers. This type of engagement would not be possible without the work of wonderful volunteers like Laura.

Nikki LeBlanc

Since 2010, Nikki has been an integral part of the PAWS Chicago Adoption Center. But you’ll never find her in the same place!

A member of what is affectionately called the “Four-Apron Club,” referencing the different colored aprons worn for different volunteer roles, Nikki juggles her time between Gold Star Volunteer in Dog Town, Level 2 Volunteer and Location Manager in Kitty City, Adoption Counselor and fostering. She has also been a Rescue Mission Volunteer, going to Oklahoma City to help animals following the Moore tornado in 2013.

“The mission calls to me; the dedication of the amazing staff and caregivers inspires me; the tireless energy of all the volunteers keeps me motivated; and the dogs and cats give me peace. I’m proud to be a part of this organization.” 

Behn Rudo

When Behn Rudo set out in 2012 to find a volunteer opportunity at an animal shelter, he specifically looked for an organization committed to the No Kill mission. PAWS Chicago was the perfect fit.

Since then, he has played a big role in Dog Town as a Level 2 Volunteer, teaching the Level 1 training class and often serving as a lead volunteer. He contributed a remarkable 900 volunteer hours in 2014—about half of the hours of a full-time employee!

“Volunteering at PAWS Chicago gives me the opportunity to spend time with a lot of dogs. Walking the dogs is also a great way to get some exercise.” But it’s also the people that keep him coming back, from the volunteers he looks forward to seeing to the potential adopters he watches helps match with the perfect pet for their family.

Homeless Pet Medical Center


Cyndy Acox-Webb & Claudia Hyzny
Cyndy and Claudia have been volunteering with PAWS Chicago for over seven years. Their primary focus is helping the thousands of homeless outdoor cats who live on the streets of Chicago. They are extremely involved with our Trap-Neuter-Return program, which is responsible for preventing thousands of unsocialized homeless cats from entering traditional shelters each year. In 2014 alone, Cyndy and Clauida brought in over 600 cats to the Lurie Spay/Neuter clinic to be sterilized. These 600+ spayed/neutered cats results in the reduction of unwanted kittens being born. As you may know, one unsterilized cat can give rise to roughly 420,000 cats over seven years. This means that in 2014, Cyndy and Claudia prevented a possible 252 MILLION cats from being born, suffering cruel fates, and entering shelters. 

Daniele Roberts
Last year, Daniele took over responsibility as a volunteer coordinator of the Pet Food Bank, working with families going through financial difficulties and at risk of having to relinquish their pets to shelters. Daniele and the Pet Food Bank kept 582 pets out of shelters in 2014 by distributing more than 47,000 pounds of food and supplies to 173 families in need.

Mike Mendez
Mike went through New Volunteer Orientation at the Lincoln Park Adoption Center, but quickly turned his passion for taking care of animals and bilingual abilities into regular volunteer time with the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic. Not only did he regularly help out the Clinic staff internally, but he also took his talents to the streets, providing education and services to the residents of the Little Village neighborhood!

Alyssa Phelan
If you ever ran into a volunteer at the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic at 6:45am, it was Alyssa! In 2014, she originated a new volunteer position for us, helping to guide nearly 100 families bringing their pets in for surgery through the check-in process every Sunday. Alyssa proved to be one of the most friendly, hard-working, and reliable volunteers around!

Mia Guajardo
We are so happy Mia has joined our Medical Center crew! She is always game for any project, whether it be deep-cleaning our animal spaces, giving tours, walking dogs, or even picking up transport duties. We're excited that she will now also be helping to train our new Medical Center volunteers!

Maya Czyzynski
Maya is a regular, weekly volunteer at the Medical Center, and we have quickly come to rely on her because she is so great! She frequently is able to walk all of our dogs, along with fellow honoree Amy Snow, and even fits canine enrichment into her shifts.

Amy Snow
Amy is another regular volunteer we know we can rely on to help us take top-notch care of our dogs and assist in any project that arises! We know Sundays will run smoothly since Amy is on the schedule!

Karl Riedl
As a regular Gold Star volunteer, Karl ensures that all of our dogs can receive the best care and attention. He has also jumped in to help our Intake Team save animals from high-kill shelters, taken road trips to other states to ensure our animals could get special medical care, and even just bought a new, bigger car so he can accommodate more of our animals!

Marilou Hudacek
Marilou has been volunteering with our Medical Center for many years, far before most volunteers even know volunteer opportunities existed there! She can usually be found meticulously ensuring all of our laundry is in order! We appreciate all of Marilou's efforts!

Diana Zapata
An amazing Gold Star volunteer, you will find Diana at the Medical Center nearly every day, spending immensely important time with our Isolation animals. For animals in isolation, it may be days, weeks, or even months that they will not be allowed to leave their suites. We are so thankful to have Diana to provide them socialization, enrichment, companionship, and care. Diana is also training new Isolation volunteers and presenting New Volunteer Orientations; so we are grateful for her for multiplying our help as well!

Jean Frank
Jean is an original Shelter Medicine Support volunteer and has proven to be a very dependable volunteer that approaches every task she is given with enthusiasm and compassion. The Saturday medical staff has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Jean just as much as the animals have benefited from her gentle care. 

Adrienne Savrin
Another original Shelter Medicine Support volunteer, Adrienne has been invaluable to our Sunday medical staff. In fact, our Medical Team was so impressed by Adrienne's skills and dedication, that they have been trying to convince her to attend Vet School - and she recently told us she will be attending vet school after all! We can't imagine a better person for the job!

Tim Cross
We are so happy that Tim has stepped up to help us with our daily transports of adoptable animals. Tim is reliable, capable and we know we can trust our precious pets in his hands!

Sam Goodman
Sam has been an amazing addition to the Transport Team! Always up for a trip to the North Shore Adoption Center or a last-minute change in plans, we know we can always count on Sam to save the day!

Dan Hutt
Dan was a newcomer to the Transport crew in August of 2014; however in the five remaining months of the year he logged 300 hours transporting our dogs and cats! Not only does he always have a smile on his face, but he is always willing to jump in for any transport needs. We would be lost without Dan, and we are so grateful he found us!

Cindy and Jessica Altman 
It’s been such a pleasure for us to watch the Altman's grow into our foster program. This compassionate, flexible and attentive mother-daughter duo have fostered dozens of foster animals and have challenged themselves with each new foster project. Any animal in their care is considered to be one of the lucky ones!

Alison Lindholm
Alison Lindholm has fostered numerous cats over the past several years, taking on many of the Adoption Center's more challenging cases. With her vast knowledge of cat behavior, Alison has proven to be an integral part of the Foster Program and can be trusted to provide excellent care for any cat that she brings into her home! She is currently fostering a cat named Turbo, and nobody brings out the best in Turbo like Alison!

Lora Martyn
Lora has gone above and beyond for the foster team and, more importantly, the homeless animals of Chicago! Whether it’s doing laundry during her vet visits, taking on the challenge of a nursing mom and puppies or a nursing queen and kittens or even opening her home to elderly hospice felines – Lora has proven to be an incredibly patient, flexible and loving foster parent whose best interests are clear in the care of her animals. She’s hosted sick animals, healthy animals, event animals, families and orphans.

Rob Shannon
Rob Shannon has been a consistent and fantastic foster parent for some of our most severe feline cases. For years, Rob took in some of our feral and semi-feral cats who tested FeLV positive and while this is a daunting challenge for anyone, Rob welcomed these older, sick cats into his home without hesitation. Though not the friendliest of animals to host, his calm demeanor and committed environment offered these cats a new lease on life and lived happily for years, when they would have otherwise been euthanized in any other shelter. Rob was with each of his fosters when their time came to cross the Rainbow Bridge and could not have been more supportive.

John Nixon
John Nixon is an incredible asset the foster program. He is always willing to play a role, whether that means counseling foster parents or taking home a foster of his own. His knowledge and willingness to help always provides support to this program.

Sara Stind 
As the newest member of the Kitty City Foster Team, Sara has been an integral part of the program’s growth over the past year. In addition to working with potential fosters, Sara helps to promote cats after their return from foster care by writing detailed biographies for use on the website and in the Adoption Center. Her dedication to the cats of PAWS along with her excellent communication skills and enthusiasm have proven to be invaluable and have resulted in many cats finding their forever homes.

Sarah Zinsmeister
Sarah has been a member of the Kitty City Foster team for several years and has become an extremely valuable asset to the program. Her broad knowledge of cat behavior and care, positive attitude, and cheerful disposition make her a favorite among foster parents. Sarah also puts her creative writing skills to use by composing humorous and heartwarming biographies to help market cats to potential adopters.

Adoption Centers

Georgia Ashford
Georgia is the first person our clients see when they walk in the door on Tuesday afternoons and makes everyone feel welcome and at ease with her calming demeanor. She always has a smile on her face and a positive attitude and knows how to really listen and connect with people. 

Maggie Chesler
Maggie always comes to volunteer with a great attitude ready for any task given to her. She has a natural rapport with people and does a wonderful job connecting with our guests. In addition to her wonderful customer service skills, Maggie also has a technical background and we often rely on her for special projects.

Lynne Styles
Lynne Styles strives to provide excellent customer service and go the extra mile for our guests. She is always willing to help out and we know we can rely on her for anything we need. We love her enthusiasm and passion when it comes to PAWS. Lynne is also a dedicated member of our Development Board!

These dedicated ladies come every Sunday afternoon and can be found right by the front door, welcoming our guests, educating the public about who we are and what we do, guiding potential adopters through the basics of the adoption process, answering questions, and troubleshooting any issues coming in.  They are also all members of our Development Board!

Bonnie Spurlock

Nancy Sterling

Judy Tullman

Don Allerton
Don has been a Dog Adoption Counselor since February 2014 and facilitated 147 adoptions that year.  His thorough knowledge of dog behavior combined with his calm and patient counseling style has allowed Don to be an amazing asset to the Volunteer and Adoption Programs of PAWS Chicago.  Don’s positive attitude, dedication and willingness to jump in to help with whatever is needed are extremely appreciated by the staff, animals, and adopters of PAWS Chicago!

Brian Lee
Brian did an amazing job of facilitating 379 dog and cat adoptions in 2014. Besides helping with adoption counseling, he helped recruit and train multiple new volunteer adoption counselors who have gone on to become integral members of the Adoption Counseling Team. Throughout the year, Brian has always been willing to help with anything and everything – from cleaning rooms in Dog Town, to filing adoption paperwork, building adoption folders, walking dogs…the list goes on and on.  Brian’s dedication and boundless energy and his willingness to be there in a pinch has been a true inspiration and has made him a well-respected member of the Volunteer and Adoption Counseling Teams.

Chuck Wutke
Chuck Wutke became both a Dog and Cat Adoption Counselor in June 2014 and facilitated 85 adoptions in 2014. Chuck can be found each week helping new adopters prepare for taking their newest furry family member home. He is dedicated to providing excellent customer service throughout the adoption process and when following up to ensure the cat or dog is doing well in their new home. We thank Chuck for his love of the animals of PAWS Chicago and commitment to helping each adopter with such enthusiasm.

Leslie Agnello-Dean
Leslie has been an amazing asset to the Adoption Program. Leslie is now playing a key role in updating the Adoption Counselor Training Program, mentoring new Adoption Counselor trainees, and also coming in weekly to help with Adoption Counseling. In 2014, she facilitated 72 dog and cat adoptions.  Her passion, commitment, and dedication to the mission of PAWS Chicago is remarkable and very much appreciated.

Rita Edidin
Rita Eddin provides invaluable behind the scenes support to the Adoption Program. She tirelessly works on our Adoption Folders year round to ensure that our adopters have material to help achieve a successful adoption. She is always well organized and ensures our Adoption Packets look their best. 

Bonnie White
Bonnie White  volunteered nearly 400 hours in 2014 at the Welcome Center. It is always a pleasure to work with Bonnie. She is very knowledgeable about PAWS and is always willing to go above and beyond to help. She is also one of our dedicated long-term fosters and is currently fostering Confetti who she has had for the past six months.

Tom Hehir
Tom is always willing to fill in whether it be a lead shift, as a mentor or Level 2 volunteer. He routinely covers our Thursday night lead shift and both the staff and volunteers really enjoy working with him. Tom is a great manager and we are thrilled to have him as one of our regular Leads.

Monika Shibicky
Monika Shibicky routinely covers our Monday night Lead shift and volunteered for over 335 hours last year in Dog Town. She always arrives early for her shift and in addition to ensuring that all of the closing tasks are completed, she makes certain that each volunteer has a great time on their shift. She and the other members of the Monday night crew have really built their own volunteer base!

Anastassiya Suslik
Anastassiya is also a part of the Monday night Level 2 volunteer crew. She is always so happy to be here and is willing to pitch in wherever she is needed. Anastassiya is great at taking new volunteers under her wing and ensuring that they have a great experience during their shift in Dog Town.

Jamie Baron
Jamie has been a mentor in Dog Town before there was an official program. You would often see him with a line of volunteers trailing behind him as he explained the walking cards and how to do laundry. He always made time to introduce new volunteers to everyone on the shift creating a team environment. Last year, Jamie volunteered for over 480 hours at PAWS!

Colleen Fry
Colleen is a dedicated Dog Town Level 2 volunteer, Adoption Counselor and Dog Town Mentor. Colleen focuses on the importance of working with potential adopters and explaining to new volunteers the entire adoption process. She mentors new volunteers weekly and ensures that new volunteers have a great first shift!

Erica Kazimir
Erica mentors new volunteers for us every Saturday morning! Last year she could often be seen with at least two new volunteers walking behind her learning how to properly handle our pups. Erica focuses on ensuring new volunteers are using proper handling techniques when walking the dogs and makes sure that new volunteers understand all of our safety policies and procedures.

Courtney Cairns
Courtney volunteered for almost 250 hours last year in Dog Town. She generally volunteers twice a week on the evening shift and pitches in wherever we need help. She also recently became a Dog Town Level 2 volunteer and often helps out as both a mentor and Dog Town lead.

Lynn Nguyen
Lynn started volunteering with us in 2013 and completed 145 hours of service with us last year. She volunteers regularly on Monday nights and often responded to emergency volunteer pleas. We are so thrilled she recently became a Dog Town Level 2 volunteer and are so grateful for all of her hard work in Dog Town!

Kelly Stock
Kelly volunteered with us for over 215 hours last year. She is often here during our busy Saturday adoption days and has received compliments from adopters on her fantastic customer service. She recently became a Dog Town Level 2 and also a Dog Town Mentor. She assists with our ACC Pals events and dogs, volunteers, adopters and staff all love working with her!

Travis Morrissey
Travis volunteered with us last year every Thursday night as a dog town Level 2 volunteer. He also participated regularly in our weekly Fun Runs and is also a dedicated Team PAWS member. He is a wonderful dog handler and was a member of the most recent Dog Town Level 3 class. Travis volunteered for 188 hours with us last year. 

Catherine Stanish
Catherine is here every Saturday for us as a Dog Town Level 2 volunteer- and sometimes on Fridays too! She is always so flexible and willing to pitch in wherever and whenever we need the help. She mentors new volunteers, helps as an adoption counselor and also at our offsite adoption events. Catherine volunteered for over 210 hours last year.

Mallory Thornberry
Mallory filled in regularly on Wednesdays for us as a Dog Town Level 2.  We have never seen her without a smile on her face and our staff just loves her enthusiasm.  Last year, she volunteered as both a dog town and Kitty City Level 2 volunteer, a Dog Town mentor and often hosted tours of children’s groups for us. In total last year she volunteered for over 208 hours.

For these three volunteers, we have seen great progress and ability in their individual handling skills, allowing them to handle virtually any dog that comes to PAWS Chicago. These acquired and learned skill sets allow the dog to learn faster, communicate better, and overall create a happier more fulfilled dog with a higher chance of adoption due to better behavior. Our Training and Behavior Staff has been fortunate to be able to develop their toolbox of skills needed to train dogs of all ages and abilities.  We look forward to many more training sessions with them and learning with each of them with every new dog that comes through our doors. Not only are these volunteers amazing with our dogs, we also appreciate their all-around greatness as a stand-up human beings. They are always striving to be the best volunteer/leader/person that they can be and inspire us all to be better.

Joan Marie Dauber

Carol Glassroth

Jane Higgins

Sarah Leong
Sarah is a regular participant in our weekly fun runs and comes in regularly for additional runs with our pups. Last year she volunteered for over 310 hours in Dog Town as a Level 2 volunteer, lead and runner. She is a wonderful dog handler and committed to getting our high energy pups the extra exercise that they need and help them find their forever home.

James Pszanka
James spent over 200 hours last year coming in to run our high energy pups! He helped us get our Fun Run program started and comes in several days a week at times, spending hours running a number of our pups for miles!

Morgan Van Ness
Morgan is a regular participant in our weekly Fun Runs and also volunteered last year as a Dog Town Level 2 and lead volunteer. He is great with our high energy dogs and was a part of our most recent Level 3 class. Morgan also regularly volunteered on Tuesday nights in Dog Town.

Beth Ford
Beth volunteered for over 200 hours last year and became a Gold Star volunteer in 2012. She volunteers as both a Gold Star volunteer and Location Manager. The animal care team just loves working with Beth - especially when she bakes and brings the staff and volunteers cookies!

Wayne Gailis
Wayne volunteered for over 375 hours last year. In addition to his time as a Level 3 volunteer, Wayne also assists in special events and dog training. He is wonderful at working with potential adopters and helping them to find the right match and finding our pups their forever home.

Marie Kukielka
Marie volunteered for over 600 hours in Dog Town last year. She volunteers as a Gold Star, Adoption Counselor and helps with offsite adoption events. Marie takes the time to really get to know the dogs personalities and loves spending time training them and managing play groups.

Michele McIntire
Michele is a Dog Town all star! She volunteered for over 530 hours last year as a dog town Gold Star, New Volunteer Orientation and Dog Town Trainer, Special Events Volunteer, Adoption Counselor and Media Volunteer. She became part of our ACC Pals volunteer crew in addition to her regular Tuesday and Sunday shifts.

Jack Pickleman
Dr. Jack volunteered for over 420 hours last year- and that is just with him being in Chicago May through December. He is always such a pleasure to work with and we cant wait for him to be back next month!

Madi Holland
You can tell Madi really loves cats as she can always be seen smiling when she is in Kitty City! Madi has grown tremendously over the last year as a Level 2 volunteer and lead- she volunteered for over 400 hours last year in kitty city. Madi knows the personality of all of our cats like they are her own.

Loren Olson
Loren was a regular Kitty City Lead last year and is also always willing to fill in last minute when needed. Loren is extremely reliable and always makes sure the job gets done! Loren also helps foster our more shy/fearful cats and was able to get Dolly adopted out of his home this year because of his efforts. He always highlights our cats in the condos and offices to potential adopters and is a huge help in getting them adopted. Last year Loren volunteered for over 410 hours in Kitty City.

Andy Zmuda
Also known as the "Mayor of Kitty City," Andy has covered the Friday night Lead shift for years! From cleaning protocols to cat behavior, he is one of our most knowledgeable volunteers. Andy volunteered for over 500 hours last year. He is one of the nicest people we have ever met- he even brings the staff and volunteers treats on his own birthday!  The staff, volunteers and the cats love him!

Cathy Sweeney
Cathy is one of our Saturday afternoon regular Kitty City Level 2 volunteers, always staying until the closing tasks are done. Cathy volunteered for 270 hours last year- and spent many of those hours as a mentor. She focuses on ensuring our new volunteers are both comfortable working with potential adopters and understand the importance of our cleaning protocols.

Diane Telgen
Diane volunteered for 360 hours in Kitty City last year. She trains new volunteers as one of our Kitty City Level 1 teachers and also through our Mentoring Program. She is a truly fantastic mentor and support system for our new volunteers!

Diane Williams
Diane volunteered for over 225 hours last year.  She is always willing to come in for extra shifts or take on an additional volunteer to help them get trained. She is always very thorough, ensuring that all new volunteers are comfortable working with cats and potential adopters and understand our cleaning protocols.

Rosio Juarez
We would be lost without Rosio on Saturdays! She is here volunteering in Kitty City all day and last year she volunteered for over 385 hours. She helps with ensuring Kitty City is ready to open, mentoring, transport, assisting potential adopters and most recently adoption counseling. Rosio is a true example of what a Kitty City Level 2 should be. She is the right hand woman for all of the staff every Saturday.

Michal Percival
Michal is part of our Friday morning cleaning crew. She volunteers with us every week, ensuring that all of the kitty suites are cleaned in time for opening. She regularly mentors our new Kitty City volunteers and has created a great team environment on Friday mornings! She has a wonderful attitude and her positivity is infectious.

Tim Roerig
Tim became a Kitty City level 2 volunteer and has gotten involved in a variety of areas. He regularly volunteers with us on weekends, helping our wonderful cats find their forever homes and always fills in each month as one of our Kitty City Leads. He also has taken part in our barn cat program, helping us find homes for cats that would otherwise not be suitable for adoption!

John Ballo
John volunteers with us in Dog Town, Kitty City and also at our Rescue and Recovery Center. Last year he volunteered for a total of 254 hours - a majority of which was in Kitty City. John always responds to our emergency volunteer pleas for help and is always flexible willing to pitch in wherever the need is the greatest.

Andrew Beckerman
Andrew is incredibly knowledgeable about the Level 1 cats and has incredible attention to detail. He carefully observes the cats and always relays the important information to staff, other volunteers and potential adopters. 

Allison Stinson
Allison volunteers with us every Saturday in Kitty City as part of our cleaning crew. She recently became a level 2 in Dog Town and Kitty City and is mentoring in both programs as well. Allison volunteered for over 130 hours last year and is a joy to work with!

David Baumgartner
David started with PAWS Chicago as a Kitty City volunteer and joined our administrative team over two years ago. He now is one of our corporate group hosts as well. David volunteers with us every Thursday and will stay for hours catching us up on emails, volunteer applications and processing our training's.

Jane Fouser
Jane has volunteered with PAWS Chicago for many years and in many capacities. For several years she has been an integral part of our Administrative Team, tracking PAWS Alumni training certifications, answering countless e-mails, and auditing our Volunteer database, among many other projects! In 2014, Jane spent over 225 hours volunteering with us, the vast majority of which she spent keeping our systems and information in order! 

Grace Nowogrocki
Grace has been one of our administrative volunteers for over two years. She has created countless training guides for us in our volunteer database, providing a reference for our interns each semester.  She is enthusiastic, dedicated and detail oriented- we just love working with her!

Leah and Aaron Berlowe
Leah is our little energizer bunny and Aaron definitely wins the award for father of the year. They are extremely dedicated and reliable and we are so thankful they are a part of our family service program!

Leslie Bubel
Leslie became a Family Service host in 2013 and hosts families at least once a month in addition to her regular dog town shifts. She is willing to pitch in wherever we need the help or stay late and host new greeter families if needed. Last year she volunteered for over 220 hours of service as a host and in Dog Town.

Stephanie Miller
As the Family Service Program Coordinator, Stephanie oversees our Family Service Program and has been so great to work with. She manages our family service hosts, ensuring we always have a host available for our families and trains new volunteers interested in the program. She is always a step ahead of any issue and is committed to ensuring the program is a success!

Yolanda Toni
Yolanda volunteers at least once a month as a Family Service Host and is always willing to help train our new hosts and interns! Yolanda became a Family Service Host in 2014 and during the past year she has become incredibly dedicated to the program and the families all love working with her on Saturday mornings!

Tom Bauer
Tom is always willing to go above and beyond at our adoption events. Even if an event gets cancelled or rescheduled, Tom volunteers to sit at the location to help redirect potential adopters and answer any questions anyone has about PAWS Chicago. Tom helps in various duties at these events including transport, Adoption Counselor, dog handler or kitten monitor.

Sherri Janousky
We can always count on Sherri as the Location Manager at adoption events to represent PAWS Chicago in a positive way, help manage the volunteers, conduct dog-to-dog introductions, and make the best call on matching our animals with the perfect adopters.

Mike Lin
Mike is always enthusiastic about helping out at regular off-site adoption events. He helps as a transport driver, Location Manager, Gold Star dog handler, and sometimes an Adoption Counselor at events around the city. We can always count on Mike to and make sure the events run flawlessly.

Manu Puri
Manu has helped for several years at our off-site adoption events whether the events are inside of Petco stores or at all of our Angels With Tails events. He is always willing to jump in last-minute for any Sunday events as the Location Manager and even help with transporting the animals in his own vehicle.

Kathy Dunn
Kathy started volunteering at PAWS North Shore at our weekend Petco events and has become a very involved part of the team. She worked regular shifts during our soft opening and was one of the first folks to embrace the early morning Dog Town cleaning shifts! Kathy is positive, energetic and can always be counted on to do whatever it takes to make our animals happy at PAWS North Shore.

Nancy Putnam
Nancy began volunteering for PAWS North Shore as an Adoption Counselor and dog volunteer when we first started our weekend events in fall of 2013. She was also very involved during our soft opening. Nancy dropped everything many times to answer an urgent call for volunteer help and was a key player in helping us open the Adoption Center in December!

Sue Talman
Sue is one of the "original" PAWS North Shore volunteers. In her role as an Adoption Counselor, she helped adopt many animals during those weekend events and was so very dedicated during our soft opening this summer. Sue assists in training our new adoption counselors and is great mentor to everyone! She is a very active foster and has helped countless numbers of cats and kittens on their journey to find their forever homes.


Barbara Cooke
Sue is a woman to admire for more reasons than we can count! Not only is she a cancer survivor, but also is a multi-marathoner, and has been TEAM PAWS' Top Dog. Having raised two beautiful children and dedicated most of her life to saving homeless pets, she has helped create TEAM PAWS’ mentor program we call “Shepherds.” She spends hours each week crafting thoughtful training and nutritional tips for our 500 team members to guide them through a healthy year of racing and lifesaving. Thank you Barb for being such a ray of sunshine and support for our team!

Ken Gasper
Ken and his sidekick and PAWS Alumn, Lyla G, have been an instrumental part of the team. Both are staples at all of our expos, races, dog-friendly bar nights and races. Ken is also the first to offer to help someone new to the team and make them feel welcome. He truly is an extension to staff and has made managing the team a pure delight. 

Dan Jungles 
Dan has been a stand out volunteer for many reasons. He’s always ready and willing to pitch in and help when no one else wants to. His support at the Chicago Marathon tent for the past two years has been lifesaving, both literally and figuratively. Thank you, Dan for always going so far beyond the call of duty. 

Kristina Jurgensen
Kristina has been one of the most reliable and helpful team members. She is the first to volunteer and last to leave an event, because she’s helping clean up or give someone a ride home. Her hard work and long hours of volunteering have made expanding the team possible.

Our media volunteers play an important role in spreading our No Kill mission, both locally and nationally!  Through TV segments, radio interviews, print an web articles, they help promote adoption and signature events, help raise life-saving funds, and are a wonderful way to showcase our homeless animals, which results in many adoptions.  These volunteers are willing to get up at the crack of dawn, foster animals overnight in preparation for segments, and be a voice for our dogs and cats in need.

Mark Lukas
Mark is unbelievably skilled in communicating our messaging to the Chicagoland media.  He is an excellent spokesperson and advocate, and his passion shines through when sharing the amazing stories about our homeless pets, providing helpful pet care tips, and educating the community about our latest efforts. In addition, Mark has helped many animals find homes through social media.

Sebastian Sparenga
In 2014, Sebastian photographed all of our signature events as well as several specialty shoots, and is skilled in capturing beautiful images of our homeless pets, many of which can be found on the website.  

Mary Lisa Weimers
Mary Lisa is one of our dedicated CBS “Pet of the Week” volunteers!  She fosters the featured dog overnight and brings him or her to the studio by 6am.  We appreciate her getting up so early to find our pets homes! Unfortunately Mary Lisa couldn’t be here tonight. 

Anne Fisher
Anne has developed into one of the most valuable board members. As a top fundraiser to Run for Their Lives and proud mom to her PAWS dog, Vinny, she is an instrumental asset to the success of our Run for Their Lives event. She has creatively utilized her professional connections to help make our event better each year. Thank you, Anne, for all of your support and wonderful ideas.

Jena Gambaccini
Jena is someone who will give you the clothes off of her back-literally. She has raised thousands of dollars for PAWS Chicago by donating items from her closet as well as sponsoring our Animal Magnetism event, planning a ride for charity spin class fundraiser and adopting PAWS alum, Lennox, after fostering.

Elly Greenspahn
Elly has been a tremendous foster parent on our board as well as completes every requirement asked of board members and has raised thousands of dollars each year. She far exceeds our expectations and does so without need for recognition. Her heart is as big as they come and we are happy to have her!

Will Shaw
Will is not only the male voice of our Run for Their Lives (RFTL) committee, but also someone we can always count on to show up for everything. He attends every board and committee meeting, suffers through dozens of paper cuts while assisting with the stuffing of 5,000 RFTL packets, and he and his PAWS alum, Stella, have supported RFTL and Animal Magnetism events and are wonderful ambassadors for our organization.

Matt Wesche
Matt has been a jack of all trades on the board. His professional demeanor and ability to take the lead at meetings, on committees and at events has proven that he’s unstoppable. When there’s a project or new idea for a fundraiser, we know that Matt is our go-to guy and that he can make anything happen. We are looking forward to the great things Matt has planned this year with our Hops for Homeless Pets and Canine Cruise fundraisers. 

PAWS Chicago Development Board members are impassioned animal lovers who are accomplished professionals, engaged in the issue of pet homelessness and committed to helping PAWS Chicago obtain the resources it needs to continue to grow lifesaving programs and ultimately build a No Kill community.

The Development Board leads two signature fundraising events: the Beach Party in July and the Fur Ball in November.

They also oversee the annual Desktop Calendar, and contribute and raise funds to support the PAWS Chicago Adoption Centers, the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic and outreach and education programs.

Julie Conway
As the co-chair of the Ambassador Committee for the Development Board, Julie is an outstanding advocate and representative for PAWS’ No Kill mission and the Development Board. She mentors new Development Board members, and engages community members at PAWS events throughout the year. 

Laurie Gentle
Laurie Gentle is instrumental in the planning of all of our Angels With Tails adoption events! Her countless hours are so appreciated and result in hundreds of adoptions every year. 

Stephanie Henry & Anne Marie Peretz
Stephanie Henry and Anne Marie Peretz were the Co-Chairs of PAWS Chicago’s annual Fur Ball gala for the past two years. This event is PAWS Chicago’s largest annual fundraiser and their hard work with sponsorships and auction solicitations helped us achieve record-breaking success two years in row.

Andrew Tobin
After serving as a dedicated Gold Star volunteer, Andrew Tobin joined the Development Board last year to help PAWS Chicago in its fundraising efforts. He worked incredibly hard as a Beach Party Committee member and his sponsorship solicitation has an incredible impact on our overall event revenue last year. He is also the co-chair of this year’s Beach Party event taking place in July.