May Volunteer Spotlight: Russ Souchak

Photo of Russ Smiling
May 17, 2022

How long have you been at PAWS?

I started volunteering at PAWS in 2007, after attending the first Open House after the current building was opened. 

What's your favorite thing about PAWS?

There's always something new to learn - each animal has different needs and I like that we keep each other informed about what is happening with the animals in our care and what we as volunteers can to do to help them. There are so many people who volunteer here who have different types of expertise [medical, behavioral, training] that it's kept me interested in continuing to volunteer at PAWS. 

What's your favorite thing to do at PAWS?

I enjoy walking the dogs [it's good exercise for me, too] but I also like doing all the other things [feeding, medications, even washing dishes] done during dog care shifts. I also enjoy working with the volunteer database, Volgistics, to get new volunteers activated and answer any questions they may have about keeping track of their volunteer hours.

What are your favorite non-PAWS hobbies?

I probably spend most of my free time reading [I'm not a TV watcher, in fact I dropped my cable subscription back in 1996 when I moved to Bellefonte]. I'm more homebody than outdoorsman, so I tend to do lots of stuff around my apartment: caring for my too-many houseplants, dabbling in some crafts, and I used to be a fan of flea markets and yard sales, though that's now turned into "going through" all these collections and donating them to the local thrift shops. And, of course, spending quality time with my "scaredy-cat" Annie who tends to run under the bed whenever I try to play interactively with her.

Where are you from?

I'm from Pottsville PA, famously home to Yuengling Brewery [and the Pottsville Maroons, if there are any football history buffs reading this].

How long have you lived in Centre County?

I've lived in Centre County since 1976 - I came here as a grad student, did not finish my Masters, but stayed in the area [how often does that happen around here? 🙂]

What's your favorite book?

Raintree County by Ross Lockridge [more than 1000 pages, but worth the time it takes to read].