July Employee Spotlight: Lisa Bahr

Lisa and Pervis sunset
July 26, 2022

Role at PAWS 

As the Executive Director of PAWS, I generally ensure that our operations, finances, and development efforts are in line with the PAWS Mission and Vision Statements. I work closely with our incredible staff and volunteers to make this happen. 

Years with PAWS

I have been with PAWS for 15 years. I started as the Shelter Supervisor and held that role for a few years before being promoted to Director of Operations. This is my 3rd year as Executive Director, which has been a unique challenge with COVID-19 changing how the world operates!

Your pets at home

I currently have 4 dogs. Luna is a pit bull who was adopted from PAWS by my now husband almost 10 years ago. Luna’s foster parents actually introduced us and brought us together. Zanzi is a little white Chow Chow (we think). Monkee and Pervis are both senior Chihuahuas who have successfully made themselves the managers of our household. 

Thing I'm most proud of about time at PAWS

I’m very proud of the overall growth of this organization. When we opened the doors of our facility in 2007, I couldn’t imagine having a full cat wing, but that’s the everyday reality now. We were even lucky enough to be able to build an expansion thanks to the generosity of our donors. We have multiple dog transfer partners because we often find ourselves able to help out more dogs than are immediately in need in our area. I was the first employee hired by PAWS and now we have almost 30 part-time and full-time employees. We had dozens of volunteers when I started, and now we literally have hundreds. Our volunteers are the heart and soul of PAWS and have been absolutely vital to all of our growth. I’m also particularly proud of our Spay and Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) and how it has grown over the years. We assist in the spaying/neutering of over 1,000 cats and dogs per year. 

Favorite thing about PAWS

I never tire of watching the positive transformations that take place in the animals in our care. While it’s upsetting to receive animals in poor physical or mental condition, it’s incredibly rewarding to watch them heal.

Favorite book? Or read any good ones lately?

I’m a voracious reader, so it’s hard for me to pick a single favorite book, but I can name a few of my favorites. I have always loved "Anne of Green Gables" by L. M. Montgomery and have read it (and watched the iconic 1985 Canadian miniseries) many times. “Into the Wild'' by Jon Krakauer and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams continue to be favorites no matter how many new books I read. I believe that there are too many amazing books in the world to spend time reading ones you don’t enjoy. I  find, though, that I can quickly read and enjoy anything written by Kristin Hannah, Fredrik Backman, Mary Higgins Clark, and John Grisham. Some great books I’ve read within the past year and would recommend to anyone are “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah, “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, and “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir. 

What's the most recent concert you attended?

Guster! My friend Melissa and I go see them as often as we possibly can, and I’ve had plenty of my other friends tag along over the years, too. I’m also wildly excited to see The Killers live for the first time ever in October. My husband gave me tickets for Christmas last year and I can hardly wait to use them.