November 20, 2012
PAWS is an amazing organization in pretty much every way. They have a great mission and seek out clients who truly need their help the most. I have been volunteering for about 6 months now, and I have had an amazing experience. I do not have a ton of time to commit to the organization (though I wish I had more!), but one of the great things about PAWS is that you choose your level of commitment and you can pick a client who lives in a convenient location for you and work out a schedule that works for you. I walk just one woman's dog two days a week, but have done so consistently for the past 6 months, and I have built a strong relationship with both the client and her dog. PAWS will link you up with a client in need and make sure that the home is safe for you to go to, but after that you are free to build your own relationship with your client(s) and communicate directly with them if you need to change a time or miss a day, and I think the independence given to volunteers is great. On the flip side, if an issue ever came up (though I haven't had any yet!), I would not hesitate to contact Rachel, the founder of PAWS NY, as she is an extremely approachable, rational, understanding person. Her first priority is always to make sure the volunteers feel safe and comfortable, and she does that very well. If you are looking to make a difference on a very individual, personal level - for both a person and an animal - consider volunteering for PAWS!
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