I have volunteered for PAW Team for over 4 years and have seen the organization grow tremendously to meet the equally growing need for services in our community. Because I believe strongly in the mission of the organization and greatly respect the work that was started by the founding members and board, I have become more involved as a Core Team volunteer and in late 2011, became a board member. PAW Team is emerging from a transitional, growing period as a strong organization, well suited to meet our mission and have a great impact on the homeless and extremely poor of Portland. I'd like to address some of the inaccuracies mentioned in a previous review, for clarification of the record: PAW Team is indeed a membership organization, as detailed in our bylaws. The founders hired Cindy Cumfer, a well-respected non-profit attorney in Portland who has authored 7 editions of the "Non-profit law in Oregon" book. Cindy was consulted by the founders when they began the process of adding a larger Board of Directors and paid staff in 2009. Cindy recommended and set up the organization as a membership organization at that time. There are currently 3 members, 2 of whom founded the organization; only 1 is paid staff, the Executive Director, whose dedication and incredible work ethic are admirable and beyond the call of duty. There are a number of "Core" volunteers who handle primary day-to-day operations, clinics preparation, and follow-up with clients. A larger base of volunteers fill the many roles needed for our successful monthly clinics, at each of which we see around 100 companion animals and their people. The Board of Directors retains ALL powers of oversight and any other financial and accountability issues, including oversight of the Executive Director; this and a wealth of other information is provided to all Board Directors in a comprehensive Board Director Information Packet (including bylaws and detailed financial reports). The commentor below may have been misinformed; I personally have the aforementioned packet, have read it all, and can attest to the clarity and transparency of all relevant information that a board member would need to know, as well as the willingness of the members and Executive Director to answer any questions and communicate openly with the Board and volunteers. I am excited about PAW Team's future, am thrilled to be a part of it, and am thankful for the compassionate and hard-working staff and volunteers who have put so much into realizing the mission of this great organization. The biggest payoff is hearing our clients' stories. They are so grateful to PAW Team for caring about the bonds they have with their companion animals; many of them would not be able to properly care for or keep their companion animals-- a vital part of their lives-- without the services, medications, and education that PAW Team provides.
PAWTeam is a sound and thriving nonprofit. It is not flawed, structurally or otherwise. Quite distinct from having any sort of "control" or "oversight" problems at all, the organization has in fact been admirably managed and operated past a series of difficult obstacles, financial and administrative, including by overcoming a recent inexplicable attempt by newcomers to derail its forward progress. PAWTeam's exemplary leadership extends well out into the Portland veterinarian community and beyond, its strength arising directly from its core, founder Wendy Kohn, who was the first person to recognize and confront a critical need in the Portland community - that of obtaining accessible veterinary care for low income and homeless citizens - by creating a rich network of professionals and laypeople committed to betterment in both animal and human welfare. PAWTeam is and has been a powerful force for social change in our city, a trajectory that will not be thwarted simply by some personal bitterness voiced by the disgruntled and vocal few.