2015 | PAWS Chicago

Volunteers of the Year 2015

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

Volunteer All Stars


As a level 3 volunteer,  Leslie’s positive impact on PAWS can be seen in many ways—from dog training to running playgroups and helping with everyday chores. But we are particularly thankful to Leslie for sharing her professional expertise in training and curriculum design and spearheading a complete overhaul of our adoption counselor training.



Running into Barb will brighten any-one’s day and it’s easy to run into her at PAWS. Working at our two adoption centers, she has conducted 176 adoptions in the past year. She’s also always on the go with TEAM PAWS Chicago, having participated in the Chicago Marathon five times as a team member.



Laurie is the heart and soul of Angels with Tails, our annual signature adoption event series that takes place in various neighborhoods and suburbs across Chicagoland, orchestrating virtually every detail. Because of this Development Board member’s skillful work, countless dogs and cats have found homes.



One of the leaders of the Professional Board, Liz has been instrumental in connecting her peers on the Board to the PAWS mission. Under her leadership, the Professional Board continues to exceed its community development goals. She also has helped organize  volunteer days for Professional Board members at our Medical Center, is an avid TEAM PAWS Chicago member, a Dog Town mentor and a dedicated foster.



It’s nearly impossible to sum up everything that Brian has done for PAWS in his 12 years as a volun-teer. You might see him cleaning dog suites to ensure we can open the Adoption Center on time, fixing equip-ment, driving volunteers to the Medical Center or gener-ally pitching in wherever and whenever we might need a hand. And as an adoption counselor, he facilitated 325 pet adoptions over the last twelve months. There is no job too big or small for Brian, and he can always be counted on to innovate new solutions for any situation that arises.



Mike can be found at PAWS just about ev-ery weekend—exercising and caring for our dogs. He leads New Volunteer Orientation and is a steadfast  volunteer at all of our offsite events. From animal transport and location management to working with  potential adopters—Mike’s hard work ensures that  dozens of dogs and cats find their new homes.



Alison’s smiling face can be seen every week when she serves as a dedicated adoption counselor, committed to finding the best matches for ev-ery family she works with. She is a go-to Lead Volunteer in Kitty City, engaging other volunteers and ensuring that operations run smoothly. And she regularly volun-teers for special cat enrichment activities.  Alison is a friend and leader for fellow volunteers and cats, both in the Adoption Center and as a foster parent.



Mark helps wake up Chicagoland several times a month by bringing homeless pets to  FOX 32’s “Good Day Chicago” to raise awareness about  our events and programs.  He is a skilled spokesper-son who represents  PAWS Chicago’s mission across all media platforms and has helped foster countless cat  and dog adoptions.



A true volunteer leader, Michele can be counted on to do anything and everything to ben-efit PAWS dogs. From leading playgroups to exercising and running dogs, Michele’s countless volunteer hours provide  enrichment for some of the dogs that really need it most. A TEAM PAWS Chicago runner, a Dog Town  Level 1 trainer, and a regular face in the Adoption Center— Michele is a constant advocate for homeless pets. 



When stopping by the Medical Center, there’s a good chance you’ll run into Sashi Sekhar. You might see her helping with playgroups for sick dogs or giving extra love and care to our animals in isolation. Or you might see her hosting one of our many corporate or school groups—a critical role that introduces hundreds of new volunteers to PAWS each year. 



Daniel is an unstoppable force for homeless pets, working in Englewood and Back of the Yards with our PAWS For Life outreach team. In addition to his great community outreach work, Daniel is a regular event volunteer and a familiar face in Kitty City. He’s an inspiration for the next generation of animal enthusiasts, serving as a guide for family service volunteers, our pro-gram that enables youth and their parents to give back to the community.