86 posts categorized in "Volunteer"


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.

Volunteer Spotlight - Randi Hagen and Coyote pup“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!

Become a PAWS volunteer today!



Having too much choice when you're shopping for groceries, or a new pair of pants, can be overwhelming. But that's exactly what Antonia Sanchez loves about volunteering at PAWS—the vast array of volunteer opportunities! From walking dogs and petting cats to hand-feeding baby birds, there's no shortage of new and exciting jobs to explore.

Volunteer-Spotlight - Antonia Sanchez"When I first looked into volunteering at PAWS, I had no idea how extensive the opportunities were," says Sanchez. "I was interested in wildlife, outreach and education, dog walking and some of the other shelter activities... it was so hard to choose!"

Sanchez started out as a volunteer at the PAWS Wildlife Center, tending to baby raccoons, squirrels and other native wildlife. But she was eager to explore other areas of PAWS, so she began picking up shifts at community outreach events. She soon discovered that her experience as a wildlife volunteer made her an even better Community Outreach Volunteer.

"Having the experience with wildlife has really helped my outreach duties," she says. "I find is that it gives me the experience to speak about all facets of PAWS."

In fact, she loves being a PAWS volunteer so much that she's recruiting others to join her!

"I love talking with people about volunteer opportunities at PAWS—there are so many ways to get involved. People say, 'oh you volunteer?' and I say 'you bet, let me tell you about it!'"

The best part about being a Community Outreach Volunteer, she says, is when people come up to tell her about their great experience with PAWS.

"I had one burly police officer come up to me at an event and start flipping through photos of his adopted 'kitty cat'," recalls Sanchez with a smile. "That's one of the things I enjoy most about doing outreach—hearing all the happy adoption stories. It’s heartwarming to have folks come up and say what a great experience they had adopting their pet from PAWS."

Antonia, thank you for being a rockstar volunteer! Your dedication and willingness to help out wherever needed is much appreciated, and we’re thankful to have you as part of the PAWS team.

Become a PAWS volunteer today!



Cate Callahan has met more than a few characters in her life, but none with more personality than the felines she cares for during her shift as a Cat Room Attendant at PAWS.

Volunteer Spotlight - Cate Callahan“They are all so special, each in their own way” says Cate about the four-legged friends she spends time with during her volunteer shift at PAWS every Monday afternoon.

But when pressed, Cate admits that there are a few special kitties who stand out in her memory.

"Every animal we care for is wonderful, but Larry really captured my heart," recalls Cate. "He was a very special and loving cat—he and I used to do 'the Vulcan Mind Meld', trading deep thoughts with each other."

Then there was "Bowie the Escape Artist," who kept Cate and her fellow volunteers on their toes with his constant escape attempts.

"That smart cat kept opening his cage—even jiggling the lock off! He managed to get out a couple of times," she says with a smile. "He seemed so proud of himself!"

Outside of PAWS, Cate is a proud mother of two, and grandmother of four! When she's not caring for the cats at PAWS (or keeping them from escaping!), Cate loves to make homemade jams, crochet, read books and travel.

Cate, thank you for your commitment to the kitties at PAWS! Your dedication, dependability and great attitude is truly appreciated, and we’re thankful to have you as a volunteer.

Become a PAWS volunteer today!



Volunteer Appreciation Night 2013
PAWS volunteers Kalehua, Antonia, Kathleen, Alexandra and Danica pose for a photo

What do you get when you put more than 200 PAWS volunteers in a room with fun games, delicious food and incredible raffle prizes? One heck of a Volunteer Appreciation Party! (and a few jokes about animal poo, too).

The annual PAWS Volunteer Appreciation Night, which took place at the Edmonds Conference Center on Tuesday February 19, brought together PAWS staff and volunteers for a fun evening of socializing, celebration and recognition of the countless hours of service that our volunteers dedicate to improving the lives of the animals at PAWS every year.

In the 2012 alone, PAWS volunteers donated more than 70,000 hours of service, providing direct animal care, educating the public about animal welfare, assisting at PAWSwalk and other community events, providing administrative support and much more.

Whether they're walking dogs, hand-feeding baby birds or fostering a litter of kittens, PAWS volunteers provide an invaluable service to the animals at PAWS—and they have fun doing it!

"I love interacting with potential adopters and being there when a dog goes to his or her forever home" says Andrea Goldsmith, who works with dogs as a Kennel Attendant.

"It's fun to see the animals come out of their shells and get to know their real personalities," adds PAWS foster parent Devin Barnes. "It's really not what I do for the dogs, but more what the dogs do for me!"

A special thanks to Whole Foods Market Lynnwood, Starbucks and Veggie Grill for providing the delicious refreshments for our volunteers!

Interested in becoming a PAWS volunteer? Sign up today!



As an Oceanographer, Dale Ripley knows everything there is to know about creatures under the sea. But when it came to land-dwelling animals, Dale had a lot to learn when he started as a volunteer at PAWS.

Volunteer Spotlight - Dale Ripley“I went to my first volunteer orientation with the thought of working with dogs and cats at the shelter, learning about different breeds. But then they mentioned the PAWS Wildlife Center, and the idea of working with native wildlife intrigued me. A lot of people know about PAWS, but not necessarily that they have a wildlife rehab program.”

Dale will be the first to tell you that life as a PAWS Wildlife Center volunteer isn’t always clean or easy—but it sure can be funny!

"The task of collecting squirrels out of the small mammal enclosure is absolutely hilarious,” says Dale with a grin. “They’re racing all around the cage, and you have to grab them. Picture a bunch of staff and volunteers running around, chasing squirrels with a net in a 10x10 enclosure. It’s hilarious pandemonium."

The work is also incredibly rewarding, says Dale. “Feeding the young mammals, like Raccoons and possums, is amazing. You have to be so careful with them because they’re so small, barely just born. It’s rewarding to know you’re giving them a chance at life.”

Outside of PAWS, Dale is an avid snorkeler—even in the freezing waters of Puget Sound. He’s met some incredible creatures along the way, including a face-to-face encounter with a three-foot-long Barracuda!

Thank you for your passion and commitment to the animals, Dale. Your dedication and hard work are truly appreciated, and we’re grateful to have you as a PAWS volunteer.

Become a PAWS Volunteer today!



What weighs 700 pounds and will help PAWS save the lives of thousands of homeless animals this year? The incredible supply of pet food donated by YOU during the Whole Foods Market "Feed Fido" pet food drive!

PAWS Food Room - After!

Last month, Whole Foods Market hosted a pet food drive for PAWS, with all six Seattle-area stores providing donation bins and encouraging shoppers to donate pet food items from the PAWS Wish List.

With more than 700 pounds of dog and cat food and treats contributed by caring members of our community, our pantry is full and will help fill the hungry tummies of the dogs, cats, puppies and kittens who arrive at PAWS, in need of warmth, love and a second chance.

A huge thanks to Seattle-area Whole Foods Markets, and to everyone who participated in the Feed Fido pet food drive—your donations make a difference in the lives of injured, orphaned and sick animals in need.

Here are some other ways to help PAWS this year!



As 2012 draws to a close, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you for your support.


Over the past year—with your help—we have transformed the lives of more than 6,000 injured, orphaned and abandoned animals. Together, we provided much-needed shelter, care and love for the cats, dogs and wildlife who arrived at our door, in need of a second chance.

Your year-end gift to PAWS will help animals like Clementine the kitten, who was rescued along with her brothers and sisters from an overcrowded shelter in Eastern Washington. At PAWS, Clementine and her siblings received the attention they needed to grow healthy and strong.

In 2012, PAWS rescued a record-breaking number of cats, dogs, kittens and puppies from overburdened shelters around the state, providing each of these animals warmth, love and a second chance at life. Your gift today will help us care for many more animals like these throughout the coming year.

Please, take a moment right now and make an end-of-the-year tax-deductible donation for the animals.

From all of us at PAWS, we wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and humane New Year!

Thank you for supporting PAWS!



We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting great shopping deals. Wouldn’t it be great to have a day for giving back?

Giving Tuesday#GivingTuesday is a nation-wide day of charitable giving and volunteerism, and a chance for you to make a gift that will save lives.

Join us today, Giving Tuesday, and help find homes for abandoned cats and dogs, save the lives of injured and orphaned wildlife, and give all animals a fighting chance. With your kindness, we’ll continue to make a positive impact on the homeless animals in our community.

To share your compassion, simply make a #GivingTuesday gift to PAWS.

Here are a few other great ways to help animals this Giving Tuesday:

1. Make wishes come true. PAWS has a Wish List of items we need for the animals, such as chew toys, jars of peanut butter, and other supplies. Donate an item from our list!

2. Donate your time. If you can't adopt a pet right now, become a volunteer! Whether it's walking dogs, playing with kitties, or caring for wildlife, an extra pair of hands is always needed.

3. Donate linens. Towels, sheets and blankets can be used as comfy bedding for cats and dogs.

4. Foster an animal. Through foster care, you can provide young, injured or sick animals a chance to grow and heal before we find them a forever home. Open your heart and home to an animal in need!

Give the Gift of Life this Giving Tuesday!




All across the country, animal shelters and rescue organizations are feeling a little extra love thanks to HSUS's National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week. While we don't get to take a day off work like we do with other holidays, this is a great opportunity to help homeless cats and dogs by celebrating the organizations that care for them!

National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation WeekThis week, November 4–10, take a few moments to support your local animal shelter or rescue organization. It's quick, simple, and easy to do! You can join the HSUS Facebook Event, or follow a few of the tips provided below:

  • Say "thanks!" Take a moment to thank your local shelter for the work they do. If you've adopted a pet from them, send an updated picture through the mail, by email, or by posting on Facebook to let them know how well your pet is doing!
  • Donate old linens. Towels, sheets, and blankets can be used as comfy bedding for cats and dogs.
  • Make wishes come true. Shelters like PAWS often have wishlists of items they need for the animals, such as chew toys, jars of peanut butter, and other supplies. Donate an item from their list!
  • Donate your time. If you can't adopt a pet right now, become a volunteer! Whether it's walking dogs, playing with kitties, or caring for wildlife, an extra pair of hands is always needed.
  • Keep your pet safe. The best thing you can do for your local shelter is to keep your own pet safe and happy at home. Spay and neuter your pets, get them microchipped, keep your cat indoors where they will be safe, and give your dog plenty of responsible exercise (on-leash, or at a designated off-leash dog park).

Support your local animal shelter for National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week!




Like a campaigning politician, PAWS needs your vote!  For the past year, we have been privileged to be a Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union Feel Good Checking™ partner. For every Feel Good Checking account opened, SMCU donates $20 to one of their seven non-profit community partners.  Since PAWS was elected as one of the non-profit partners in the Feel Good Checking program, we have received an incredible $3,860 from SMCU!

SMCU-checking-for-change-vote-300x300In order to remain a partner in the program, we need YOU to vote for us!  For just one week, November 1 to November 7, you will be able to vote for your favorite finalist. 

Only seven out of 21 finalists will be selected for the program—please help make PAWS one of them by voting now!

You can feel good knowing that your vote not only counts, but will help save the lives of more than 6,000 cats, dogs and wildlife in the year ahead. 

Please vote for PAWS!