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  • Writer's pictureRenee Schmidt

Get to know P.A.W.S volunteer Shelbie

Shelbie became a PAWS volunteer in March 2019, after seeing a

flyer asking for volunteers in the Greenfield, Indiana, PetSmart.

She has discovered her passion for helping animals pursue better lives and her love for PAWS through her volunteer experience. For a brief period of time, Shelbie had to take a break from her volunteer roles. The PAWS community instantly offered support and guidance during her break. During this time, Shelbie saw first-hand that PAWS helps people and animals. Outside of volunteering with PAWS, Shebie enjoys spending time with her fur babies, Lucifer (2); Sylvie (1), and getting lost in a good fantasy novel. Her current read is Fairy Tale by Steven King.


What is your spirit animal?

Shelbie’s spirit animal is a humpback whale. She chose a humpback whale because when you see them in the ocean, you see this large animal that explores areas humans

have never seen but still comes to the surface. They embody a majestic nature and

beauty that is marvelous to witness.


Do you have any pets?

Shelbie adopted 2 cats, Lucifer and Sylvie. Lucifer is older than Sylvie by a year, but they are still best buds. The dynamic duo even helps Shelbie foster animals that PAWS help support.


When did you realize you loved volunteering?

After she became a volunteer in early 2019, Shelbie fostered Sunnie, who was and still

is a total love bug. Through her foster experience with Sunnie, Shelbie, realized the impact she can have on an animal's life and the lives of their future family members. Sunnie was on the euthanasia list at an animal shelter, and because Shelbie offered her support by fostering, Sunnie was able to fulfill her purpose. Today, Sunnie is in training to become a service animal and will soon begin helping her owner. The best part is that Shelbie developed a friendship with Sunnie’s owner and still is able to keep in touch.


What have you gained from your volunteer experience with PAWS?



Shelbie has gained a better understanding of what it means to be a foster parent to an animal in need. During her time volunteering with PAWS, Shelbie has fostered bunnies, dogs, and kittens. Most recently she fostered a litter of kittens, better known as the Bridgerton kittens (Lord Anthony, Lady Edwina, Lady Kate, & Lady Eloise)! Her fostering journey has tugged on her heartstrings one, or two (or numerous), times. Fostering gave

Shelbie a deeper understanding of what it means to be selfless and grew to appreciate the heart animal fosters all over the world have.


In your opinion, why is it important to have a community of volunteers to support

PAWS?

In Shelbie’s eyes, PAWS volunteers and fosters pave the way for animals to have better

lives. The animals are not the only one who benefits from the PAWS organization, the

volunteers and fosters receive the opportunity to make an impact. Shelbie mentioned

that the more fosters and volunteers PAWS has, the more animals that can be helped.

There is no maximum to the number of volunteers and fosters that can support PAWS.

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