Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.30.55 AM

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.30.55 AM

Each year, I set goals for myself, and one is always to give back. I usually find some small way to do something, but it never feels like enough (for me). 2016 became the year I was finally going to take some action. So I joined my first professional board at PAWS animal rescue here in Chicago.

Rescue Dogs and PAWS Animal Rescue

Why PAWS? Here are some of their stats.

Back in 1997, 42,561 pets were euthanized in the city of Chicago. PAWS helped bring that number down to 9,817 in 2014 and it’s their goal to make Chicago a no-kill city. 
5,987 adoptions in 2015!
And 18,418 surgeries in 52015

So why animal rescue?

My family rescued my first pet, Missy (a terrier mix) when I was just 5 years old. She was found pregnant, sick, beaten, and in terrible shape on the streets of LA. There were lots of other rescues in my life–some from organizations and others we found in our own front yard. I adopted Spicy (a sick kitten with an eye infection) from the pound the day after I turned 18. 

And then there’s Buddy.

For those of you who don’t know his story, we met in December 2008 while living in Los Angeles. I was out running errands, walked past an animal adoption drive, and for some reason, decided to walk in and take a look. There were no plans to walk away with a dog, especially not a chihuahua which until Buddy was a breed I didn’t even like. But there he was. A tiny, broken (legged) boy, who looked up at me and whined. I’ll never forget looking at him and saying “oh sh*t, I’m getting a dog”.  It’s been a journey with this sweet little guy. First, he needed his patella luxation repaired (common) and then, in 2013, thrombocytopenia. Note to anyone looking to get a pet: invest in insurance before something big happens and it’s a pre-existing condition. Learned that lesson the hard way.

Getting involved with PAWS

Given my experience with rescues, this seemed like a perfect fit. Doing what I can to make a difference matters.  Joining is pretty easy, so if it’s something you’re considering, feel free to reach out with any questions! Happy to help. During my first board meeting, I signed up for the Animal Magnetism committee and dove right in, securing donations for the auction and raffle, donating a newborn photo shoot with yours truly, and selling raffle tickets. I

My next goal is to get involved with some organizations that help children in any way (especially orphans) both within and outside the US. Any recommendations would be very much appreciated.

Image by Jenna Kutcher