PAWS pays tribute to its many volunteers

PAWS Animal Adoption Center was born in 1974, the moment one midcoast Maine man held his hand out to help a stray dog. Their bond ignited an unstoppable partnership between humans and animals in need that has resulted in thousands of lives saved.


In celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Week this week, PAWS Animal Adoption would like to pay tribute to 47 years of volunteerism within its organization, elevating the organization to one that creates long-term change for animals and those who love them in our community.


"The joy that my dog brings me every day is a reminder of why I volunteer as a veterinary surgeon at PAWS," shared Dr. Maria Salvaggio, VMD. Side-by-side with PAWS Staff Veterinarian Dr. Jodie James, Dr. Salvaggio has performed countless life-saving surgeries for homeless animals without an owner to turn to for help in their moment of need. "My hope is that others that adopt an animal will find companionship, psychological support in these difficult times, and the joy of living with a creature that brings love and positivity to every day," she expressed.


The medical clinic is just one way volunteers like Dr. Salvaggio make a difference at the organization. PAWS Volunteer Coordinator, Paula Horton (a volunteer herself), is in awe of the many ways volunteers help. "Whether at the front desk, dog walking, helping with events, fostering, fundraising, cleaning, donating, governing, assisting with administrative tasks, bottle returns, in the medical clinic, or posting insights on Facebook, PAWS volunteers contribute positively to the lives of animals every time they help," Horton expressed.


In addition to finding countless ways to help, many PAWS volunteers have also found a love of their own within the shelter's walls. "Molly changed our lives for the better in so many ways," Susan Rider, who volunteers along with her husband Rob, explained. "We adopted her from PAWS last year and she has made so many new friends."


PAWS staff largely credit the generous hearts of their volunteers for the organization's continued success. "It is so easy to see," explained Tabitha Lowe, Development Director for PAWS. "You can see the wagging tails and hear the purrs for miles every time a volunteer walks into our building. They mean so much to the animals and to us. I don't think we could be any luckier."



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