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SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT (Sunday, October 14, 2018): each week, we feature a Paws for Life volunteer who has dedicated time, energy and compassion to saving lives. This Sunday, the spotlight is on Anne, our dog behavior coordinator and certified trainer!

Blair

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY: 

“I have a tight-knit family. I am the youngest of four siblings. I have two older sisters, an older brother and the greatest parents. I also have a wonderful brother-in-law and a future sister-in-law, who we can’t wait to add to the family! Luca (dog) is really the shining star of the family, though. He is a gentleman and a scholar. I have an amazing fiance Joe, who is always supportive of my rescue endeavors. He has welcomed some of the most difficult fosters into our home with open arms and treated them all with compassion and kindness. He also happens to be the reason I joined Paws for Life in the first place, as his cousin is a longtime volunteer. Our dog Ginny started as a foster dog, but for an array of reasons, she is not adoptable, but that’s fine with us. She is the best part of our day and the most perfect puppy to complete our family. Our lives revolve around our Ginny Grace and we wouldn’t have it any other way!”

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WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING?

“I am full-time professional dog trainer for K9 Turbo Training. When I’m not working or volunteering, I like to train and spend time with my personal dogs and my foster dogs, go for hikes, and spend time with my human friends and family.”

Gwen..._

HOW WOULD SOMEONE DESCRIBE YOU? 

“I didn’t want to answer this myself, so I asked a few friends. My favorites are: ‘passionate, head strong, compassionate, loyal, reliable, intelligent.’”

Found a Cat

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A VOLUNTEER AT PAWS FOR LIFE?

“Incredibly rewarding. We have a small, exceptional team of passionate and hard-working volunteers. The animals always come first at Paws for Life and everyone comes together to support a common goal. Even though our primary mission is to save lives, we find time to have fun, too!”

Sampson

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER FOR PAWS FOR LIFE? 

“I applied to volunteer at several organizations. I chose Paws for Life because of the kindness of the people and the unmatched treatment of animals and volunteers. PFL has the lowest adoption fees, in addition to the most inclusive adoption package of any certified rescue in the state. PFL provides full medical care and behavior help to all animals. We are one of only three five-star certified rescues in the entire state and for good reason. PFL never falters when it comes to ethics and the animals are always put first. I’ve always enjoyed placing dogs into great homes, marketing dogs for well-suited homes, writing biographies and supporting local shelters – this made Paws for Life a perfect match for me. We also have an incredible director who supports fair treatment of all living things – humans included. As a volunteer, we are always supported in our lifesaving efforts, and always have our PFL family to lean on when times are tough, as they often are in rescue.”

Farm Saving Efforts

WHAT’S YOUR PROUDEST OR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT VOLUNTEERING FOR PAWS FOR LIFE?

“There are too many to name! I’d say one of the best for me was when my foster dog Ginny let me pet her for the first time. Ginny acted feral when she came to Paws for Life from a local shelter; neophobic, she could not be touched or even looked at. She couldn’t wear a collar, leash, be crated and was too scared to even go outside. Knowing she came from a horrific abuse situation in which people used her as an ashtray, and she has the permanent cigar burns as physical scars to show for it, I knew she deserved a chance at a happy life and to feel loved, probably for the first time. After several months of building trust and going at her pace, Ginny accepted touch. She now loves to be petted, can put on her own collar, and if I say, “leash,” she happily trots over to put her leash on. She loves to play outside now, and if you didn’t know any better, you’d never know she started out as unsocialized, untouchable and terrified of everything. Our journey with Ginny would have been impossible without the support of Paws for Life. They supported in-home vet care with full sedation, consultations with veterinary behaviorists and emotional support the many times it’s been needed for our sweet girl. Ginny is not only alive, but happy and healthy – all thanks to Paws for Life.”

Mila Mopolis

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS CONSIDERING BECOMING A VOLUNTEER? 

“Please don’t hesitate. The animals need you now and we are happy to have you come aboard. We will find you a spot in the rescue to support lifesaving efforts in whichever ways best suit you! Whether it is working with cats, dogs, running adoptions, helping fund-raise, transporting animals to adoption events, fostering or dog walking, we have you covered. One thing I struggled with at first was finding balance – I dove in face-first and quickly devoted my entire life to rescue, which I’d never change, even if I could go back in time. It was so rewarding that I sometimes forgot to take care of myself, too, but luckily, our director and fellow volunteers in the rescue supported me and helped me to avoid something we call ‘burn out.’ They helped me establish a better balance. My biggest piece of advice to a new volunteer is to make sure to find your balance early on. PFL is wonderful at taking care of its volunteers and making sure we are able to stay volunteers for as long as possible.”

Aaron

Thank you, Anne, for all you do to help save lives, improve lives and give back to those who depend on us for a second chance at life! You make the Paws for Life Animal Rescue team even stronger and we couldn’t do it without you!


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SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT (October 8, 2018): every Sunday, we feature a Paws for Life volunteer who dedicates time, energy and compassion to saving lives. This Sunday, the spotlight is on Karen, a Dog Team volunteer who coordinates medical care and foster care needs, as well as helps with adoptions, fundraising, events, animal transport and vendors!


TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY: 
“It is me, Libby kitty and Sally dog (the foster fail).”

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WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING? 
“Sleep? Actually, Sally is the rest of my time.”


HOW WOULD SOMEONE DESCRIBE YOU? 
“White hair, green shirt, orange shoes? (hahahaha)

I guess, I am a peacemaker, trying to see everyone’s side and making things run smoothly. Defuse with humor and keep going. And if I can help, I will. And never forget.”

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WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A VOLUNTEER AT PAWS FOR LIFE?
“It’s what I do that is worth something. There is no way of knowing what lives are touched by any one of these animals, so it is a way for me to have a tiny bit of a legacy.”

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WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER FOR PAWS FOR LIFE? 
“I have been volunteering for a number of years, but was having trouble finding a group that was not too large to function and had politics that I could agree with, or better yet, none. I had just lost the last of my senior dogs, Casey, and was wide open for a foster and saw someone posting about Paws for Life on Next Door. I did a little research and filled out the foster app. Amazingly, I heard back within a few hours!! I brought Nero/Parker home and I consciously tried not to jump in with both feet, at first!”

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WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST OR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT VOLUNTEERING FOR PAWS FOR LIFE?
“Probably when I received a picture of my foster Pudge. It was a picture of the couple that adopted her, their two young girls, and miscellaneous other family members, and Pudge all on the couch. She was considered a part of the family and she looked so happy! That is all I could have asked for her.”

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DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS CONSIDERING BECOMING A VOLUNTEER? 
“Do it! There is a spot for everyone. Afraid you will try to take home every animal you meet? (actually we are ok with that). We need help getting donations for the critters, raffles, auctions, supplies … How about paperwork? There is an amazing amount of paper generated. Have some fundraising ideas? There is always room for more ideas. There are many ways to help with minimal risk of filling your home with fur! That being said, we always need foster homes, your chance to share the love!”

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Thank you, Karen, for all you do to help save lives, improve lives and give back to those who depend on us for a second chance at life! You make the Paws for Life Animal Rescue team even stronger and we could not do it without you!