To Randi Hagen, resistance would have been futile. She had always wanted to work with animals, but didn’t think she could escape the desire to bring them all home with her. So in order to avoid the temptation of adopting every cat and dog at the shelter, she chose to donate her time to the animals at the PAWS Wildlife Center instead.
“I knew it would be too hard to resist companion animals, so I was happy to learn about the PAWS Wildlife Center volunteer program,” says Randi. “With wildlife you don't have to worry about wanting to take them home with you!”
So far, says Randi, the experience has been incredible and, at times, adrenaline-inducing.
“Just after I started volunteering, I went up to feed the pigeons. However, I accidentally turned right instead of left into a small cage and looked up to see a Bald Eagle staring down at me!”
After making a hasty retreat, Randi was able to have a good laugh about the run-in. “I realized he could probably care less about me, but maybe I improved his self confidence knowing he could still scare the snot out of a silly human.”
Randi’s experience at the PAWS Wildlife Center has also been a moving one.
“There was a Coyote pup being treated in the ward,” recalls Randi. “He was very sick and suffering from a bad case of mange. He was such a sick pitiful little thing it nearly broke my heart, but what amazed and inspired me was his spirit—that he could be in such tough shape and still carry on.”
We’re happy to report that the Coyote pup eventually made a full recovery and was released back into the wild.
It’s these kind of experiences that keep Randi coming back to work with the animals week after week. When she’s not at PAWS, she works in a court office all day (which is why PAWS in such a nice change of pace, she says), then goes home to her dog and two cats. She enjoys hiking and being out in the quiet of the woods, and intends to travel around the USA “once I get old and rich enough to retire.”
Randi, thank you for your commitment to the wildlife at PAWS! Your dedication and your willingness to go the extra mile is truly appreciated by your fellow volunteers and staff. Thanks for being a volunteer!