May Volunteer of the Month: Christy Chichester

Christy and Kronk
May 14, 2021

When did you start volunteering at PAWS? In May of 2018.

What jobs/roles have you performed at PAWS? I'm a kennel assistant, dog foster, dog-bio-writer, transport volunteer, pet partner, and occasionally, a fundraiser.

What do you currently do as a volunteer? These days, I'm working as Samantha Bee's pet partner, actively writing and updating dogs' biography information on our website, and volunteering for events like Centre Gives and puppy showings. And of course, I'm foster mom to The Infamous Silly Girl, Queen of the Universe, First of Her Name, Slayer of All Plush Toys.

Why do you volunteer at PAWS? Earning the trust of an animal is the purest way I've ever experienced love. I'm fulfilled by helping dogs and cats learn that they are safe and protected and seeing their personalities shine! PAWS has been especially good for my mental and emotional health during the pandemic, and I've made some of my closest friends here.

When you're not at PAWS, what do you like to do with your time? I teach English at Penn State, dabble in gardening, work on home improvement projects with my husband, immerse myself in fantasy and science fiction, snuggle with my three pit bulls, and advocate for the marginalized.

What do you like best about being a PAWS volunteer? What do you find to be the most rewarding? Befriending the shy or scared dogs and witnessing them getting the zoomies for the first time!

If someone asked you why they should volunteer at PAWS, what answer would you give? I say this all the time around the shelter: "it's hard to be sad around here!" These animals really do seem to understand that they've finally found a safe, loving place at PAWS, and working with them is incredibly rewarding.