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  • Writer's pictureRenee Schmidt

Volunteer Feature - Sara Johnson

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

The Partners For Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) of Hancock County would not be who we are without our amazing volunteers. This blog will allow you to get to know one of our volunteers, Sara!


In 2011, Sara and her husband moved to Indiana. When they moved to Indiana, Sara knew she wanted to support her local animal organizations. She began this journey by walking the dogs at the Greenfield Animal Management (GAM) organization at the former GAM location. Sara became a PAWS volunteer in late 2011, after attending one of the Tractor Supply Adoption Events.


She started to become more involved after a couple of volunteers introduced her to the Cat Nip Rounds volunteer opportunity. Sara enjoyed working with all the people involved in the Cat Nip Rounds, including those who helped sew the cat nip squares, order the cat nip, the veterinarians, office staff, volunteers, and many more individuals!


After becoming heavily involved with the Cat Nip Rounds, Sara eventually became a member of the PAWS Board of Directors. If you have ever attended a PAWS Adoption Event or our other annual events, you’ve likely had the honor of speaking with Sara and getting to know her joyful self!


Recently, we spoke with Sara about her experience with PAWS. Below we will summarize Sara’s responses to the questions we asked her.


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Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

Sara’s love for animals and having pets of her own began when Sara and her husband first moved to the West Coast and adopted two dogs. They had moved due to her husband being in the Marines. The adoption of their first two dogs on the West Coast was just the beginning of Sara’s love for animals. Since then, they have adopted/owned, and fostered many animals. Currently, Sara has four(4) cats and one dog of her own, while also caring for other foster cats through PAWS.


Finish the Sentence: “I realized I wanted to volunteer with PAWS when…”

Sara shared with us that it was the first PAWS & Tractor Supply Co., that she attended. She was amazed by the dedication the volunteers at the event had for finding the animals available for adoption a forever home. The PAWS mission of helping people and helping animals was evident to Sara that day and left her wanting to help out in any way that she could.


What have you gained from your volunteer experience with PAWS Hancock?

Through her experience with PAWS, Sara has gained some terrific friends. She shared with us that volunteering and fostering with PAWS has made her feel like she is able to help animals in need each and every day. This experience of helping these animals has been very rewarding for Sara. There are times she must remind herself that she cannot help all the animals who are in need, but she is still able to help spread the mission and vision of PAWS to recruit more volunteers and animal fosters.


How would you respond if someone told you they were interested in volunteering with PAWS Hancock?

Sara advises potential and interested volunteers to come see what PAWS does in action at our adoption events or our other annual events, such as the Pins for PAWS bowling event. To also come play with these animals in need who have the best personalities and nothing but love to give. And to come visit the PAWS center, foster animal or event.

Sara also shared that there is something special that you feel when you hold a young critter and see the love they give back.


How would you define what it means to be a volunteer and an animal foster?

The hours you put in can be long, but the reward of having the animal you are caring for trust you and move into your heart is priceless and worth every minute.


What annual PAWS event do you look forward to each year?

Sara shared that it is difficult for her to pick just one. But, she really enjoys the Riley Days Booth and the Pool Party annual events. Sara enjoys and finds it fun to reconnect with members of the community who come to the annual event to learn about what is currently going on within the PAWS organization.


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

Greenfield is a small town in a HUGE, rural smaller county and there are so many animals out there that need help and loving homes. Sara mentioned that we truly couldn’t make the impact we do without our volunteers and animal fosters. She also mentioned how the PAWS low-cost clinic connection benefits the farmers in our rural community. Our farmers have to have barn cats, to be able to keep their feed and other necessities free of pests. The low-cost clinic connection allows farmers for them to keep barn cat colony numbers down and give them the best quality of life possible.


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To learn more about how you can support Partners For Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) of Hancock County, visit www.pawshancock.org and/or email pawshancock1@gmail.com. All animals under the care of PAWS, except for the cats in PetSmart, are in foster homes. We are able to positively impact the lives of animals and people through the love and care of our fosters & volunteers. PAWS would like to give a special thank you to Sara for her passion for and dedication to PAWS! We are grateful we can share stories like hers and be able to get to know Sara!



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