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By Katie Amrhein, Community Education Coordinator

“It feels amazing to help animals who are in need because they don’t have their own voice.” It is not every day that one meets a 12 year old who is changing the world, one dog treat at a time.

Isabelle reached out to PAWS this past winter because she wanted to make homemade dog treats, sell them at a local dog park, and donate the money to PAWS. As we got to know Isabelle, we learned that her love of animals started at a very young age, and she wants to spend her life helping animals.


  Isabelle1_ServiceProjectIsabelle demonstrates making her homemade dog treats in her kitchen. Once complete, they get packaged up and embellished with paw print ribbon.

For the dog treat bake sale, Isabelle researched healthy dog treats, used her own dog as a taste-tester, and ended up with a delicious end product. She held her bake sale on an early spring day at a dog park, talking to visitors, hearing stories about other peoples’ pets (many of them PAWS adoptees!), and selling treats. She also received a surprise visit from her dad, who “came with warm drinks since it was kind of chilly, a donut for me, and my dog.” What a day!

Isabelle donated the money she raised to PAWS, and got a personal tour with her mom to see where her donation would be put to use. But the fun didn’t end there, because even though the minimum volunteer age at PAWS is 18 years old, there are other ways for teens to get involved!



Teens Helping Animals workshop explores the many ways they can get involved in helping animals. Isabelle teaches a dog to shake her hand.

Isabelle joined the Teens Helping Animals workshop this summer, where she had a chance to make baby bird nests for some of our wildlife patients, train an eager dog how to shake, and meet a few of our foster kittens.


Isabelle learned how to build a baby birds nest during the summer workshop.

What advice does she have for other teens and kids who want to help animals? “Sometimes, animals can’t help themselves, so they need our help. Wild animals, for example, can’t stop pollution, but we can, so things like that really help. I’m not old enough to volunteer and help at the shelter, but I still find other ways to help animals, so it doesn’t matter your age, just do what you can and try to find a way to help.”

Thanks for inspiring all of us here at PAWS, Isabelle!

If you know a teen or child interested in getting involved and helping animals, visit https://www.paws.org/kids/kids-events/ for some of our upcoming youth events, or contact the PAWS Education Team at education@paws.org and 425.412.4026.


My family is so happy that PAWS offers opportunities for kids to get involved! It is never too early to start volunteering and show compassion. We are very proud of Isabelle! Thumbs up to the Education Team and a big thank you to the dedicated staff at PAWS.

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