OUR TEAM

Meet the Animal Lovers of Paws for Life

Courtney P.-S.

Founder & Executive Director

Courtney founded Paws for Life in 2007 and serves as Board President and executive director. She has 20 years of experience in animal welfare and, in addition to managing the Rescue, also serves as an Advisory Board Member to the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance, Board Trustee and spokesperson for Michigan’s Political Action Committee for Animals, member of the National Disaster Animal Response Team and presenter and speaker at various state, national and international animal welfare conferences. Courtney’s family consists of two supportive parents, two sisters, a brother-in-law and niece Riley, a future animal rescuer herself. Her fur kids are all Paws for Life rescues: dogs Peanut, Tyson and Baku and cats Marley, Bob and Shad. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Courtney enjoys traveling, camping and river kayaking. Courtney’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Jump in with both feet. It’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. Rescuing an innocent life from unspeakable conditions, nursing that animal back to health and providing all the TLC possible, then watching that forever-grateful life find a forever family. You will experience gratitude and selflessness that you never dreamed possible. Their lives are worth every moment you give.”

Joanne Z.

Director of Development and Fundraising

Joanne is Paws for Life’s director of development and fundraising. She leads the teams responsible for donations, sponsorships, partnerships, fundraising and grants. Joanne herself is our rock star grant writer who more than doubled Paws for Life’s grant funding in just one year. She is known as a mentor in all things fundraising. Joanne has also fostered both cats and dogs and regularly volunteers at Paws for Life events. She has successfully roped in every one of her immediate family members to adopt or volunteer, too. Her family consists of her husband John and their four children Jake, Joel, Julia, and James. Of course, Joanne and John have also adopted two Paws for Life rescue cats Oscar and Mia. Recently retired, when Joanne isn’t volunteering, she enjoys bargain shopping, but most of all, she loves to travel. Joanne’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “It takes a personal commitment to volunteer and you need to do your best to make it happen. Also, it’s really important to be a team player, be flexible and be a problem solver. Don’t wait for an opportunity – there is no shortage of tasks to do in the rescue and every job makes a difference. You know more and can do more than you think, and sometimes the biggest contribution you can make is the one you least expect.”

Caitlin R.

Director of Volunteer Services

Caitlin is Paws for Life’s director of volunteering. She recruits new volunteers and helps them get started on Paws for Life’s various teams. She also runs the volunteer retention and recognition program, tracking volunteer hours and accomplishments. Caitlin is also temporarily serving as Paws for Life’s customer service manager, answering emails and returning phone calls. She is also a member of the Dog Team and has a great eye for photography, responsible for many of our fabulous dog photographs. Caitlin’s family consists of animal lovers. In addition to her fur-children, she has two amazing parents, a great brother and sister-in-law and two super adorable nieces, Ruby and Violet. Caitlin’s parents fostered, then adopted, two cats from Paws for Life and her mom also has a service dog named Reggie. She says he’s one of her children too. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Caitlin and her dogs enjoy going for long walks around the neighborhood and she loves to read. She also really likes bullet journaling! (We’re not sure either. Time to work the Google.) Caitlin’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Do not limit your imagination. You may think that volunteering means only one activity, but really there are so many ways to get involved. From helping with thank you cards or shipping items from our online store to scanning medical paperwork or helping people navigate our website, there are so many ways to help. And that’s not even counting our dog walking or cat adoption events, where you get to spend time with our available pets!”

Vicki B.

Director of Cat Team

Vicki is Paws for Life’s director of cat care and adoptions. She leads the cat team, directing cat intake into the rescue from partner shelters, ensuring medical care is up-to-date and overseeing adoptions and placements. Vicki also fosters cats and specializes in pregnant and nursing mama cats, bottle-feeding babies when necessary. She is also our resident foster care home for golden retrievers in need. Vicki’s family consists of her husband Brian, two dogs, four cats, two adult children and their spouses, plus four granddogs. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Vicki enjoys loving and caring for her own pets, spending time with family, cheering on her favorite MLB team the Detroit Tigers and gearing up for March Madness. Vicki’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Start out slow. Come by an adoption event and get to know us, see what we are about. It is very rewarding. You provide joy to those who adopt and save lives at the same time. I’m not sure it can get any better than that. And, don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Anne G.

Director of Dog Team

Anne leads Paws for Life's dog team, from intake to behavior evaluations and training to adoptions. As a certified behavior trainer, Anne’s knowledge and experience is critical to helping Paws for Life’s rescue dogs learn appropriate manners and to solve any behavior problems. Anne works with both foster care homes and permanent adopters to make sure the dogs are adjusting well. She has fostered cats and dogs for Paws for Life, taking on some of our most challenging pups. Anne also serves on the fundraising and events team. Anne’s household consists of her husband Joe and their two rescue dogs Barry and Ginny Grace. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Anne likes to spend time with her personal dogs and foster dogs, go for hikes and spend time with her human friends and family. Anne’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Please don’t hesitate. The animals need you now and we are happy to have you come aboard. We will find you a spot in the rescue to support lifesaving efforts in whichever ways best suit you! Whether it is working with cats, dogs, running adoptions, helping fundraise, transporting animals to adoption events, fostering or dog walking, we have you covered. One thing I struggled with at first was finding balance – I dove in face-first and quickly devoted my entire life to rescue, which I’d never change, even if I could go back in time. It was so rewarding that I sometimes forgot to take care of myself, too, but luckily, our director and fellow volunteers in the rescue supported me and helped me to avoid something we call ‘burn out.’ They helped me establish a better balance. My biggest piece of advice to a new volunteer is to make sure to find your balance early on. PFL is wonderful at taking care of its volunteers and making sure we are able to stay volunteers for as long as possible."

Santa B.

Cat Care Coordinator

Santa is Paws for Life’s coordinator of cat intake and foster care. She works very closely with our partner shelters to determine which cats and kittens need rescue, then works to place them in foster care. Santa also has the eye of a photographer and is responsible for many of our amazing cat photographs. Santa also transports animals, runs adoption events, serves as an adoption counselor, fosters kitties and has extensive experience and education in TNR. There is truly no task that she won’t take on. Santa’s family consists of her husband Patrick and their household of felines. Both Santa and Patrick spend their Fall weekends working at the Renaissance Festival. Santa’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Don’t be afraid to volunteer and don’t be nervous to foster. We can’t save lives without your help! One person can make a world of difference for so many. Even if you can’t foster, you can transport, you can fundraise, you can help at adoption events, etc. There is so much you can do as a volunteer and all of it helps. So don’t be afraid to step up and do it. We need you, and I promise you, it’s a life changing experience!”

Alex C.

In-store Cat Care Coordinator - Farmington Hills

Alex is a key member of the Paws for Life team. She volunteers on the fundraising and events team, the dog team and fulfills a coordinator role on the cat team, managing the care and adoption of cats and kittens living at the Farmington Hills Petco store. As a Petco Foundation partner, Paws for Life is allowed to have a selection of adoptable cats and kittens live inside Petco stores. Alex manages the Rescue’s relationship with the Farmington Hills store and leads the team of volunteers who go to the store daily to feed, clean and care for the cats and kittens living there. Alex is a foster care mom, adoption counselor, transporter and helps with cat intake from partner shelters. In her spare time, Alex enjoys hanging out with her husband and family, watching good movies or playing games. She is also passionate about cooking and baking, so you can often find her in the kitchen or cozied up with a pile of animals reading a good book. Alex is also an avid outdoors-woman and absolutely loves hiking, biking and exploring, and doing zoomies in the yard with her dog Mac. Alex is married to her high school sweetheart and together they have four fur babies who love having foster siblings to play with and raise. Alex's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Do it! It's fulfilling and fun and there are so many benefits. It can be short term or long term, but we'll take any help we can get. It's SO worth every second of your time. There's no feeling quite like looking into an animal's eyes and seeing them trust you for the first time."

Anne L.

In-store Cat Care Coordinator - Rochester Hills

Anne not only coordinates the care and intake of cats and kittens at our partner Petco store in Rochester Hills, she is also a foster mom for the dog team and a volunteer on the fundraising and events team. As a Petco Foundation partner, Paws for Life is allowed to have a selection of adoptable cats and kittens live inside Petco stores. Anne manages the Rescue’s relationship with the Rochester Hills store and leads the team of volunteers who go to the store daily to feed, clean and care for the cats and kittens living there. When she isn't working or volunteering, Anne likes to spend time with her dogs, Nelly and Dozer. Anne's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Please do it! The reward of knowing that a cat or dog is getting a better life is everything."

Cheryl K.

Cat Behavior Coordinator

Cheryl volunteers with the Paws for Life cat team, fostering cats and kittens and helping out at adoption events. Cheryl’s very large family consists of her husband Aaron, six cats, two chinchillas, a guinea pig, rosy boa snake, blue dumpy tree frog, Pac-Man frog, a couple fish tanks and foster kitties that come and go as needed. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Cheryl enjoys spending time with her family, sewing or doing needle-point and other crafts. She and her husband go to every Lions home game; they are both huge football fans! They also enjoy having friends over for game nights. Cheryl’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue, “Being a foster care volunteer can be hard work and it can be hard emotionally, but it is also THE most rewarding thing you can do. So many pets need our help and they seem to know when we help and are so grateful. It is so wonderful to help a ‘baby,’ then see him/her go to their forever home and watch them get spoiled, like they deserve! Then you are able to take in a new foster and help yet another pet in need. Being a foster care volunteer allows you to ‘play’ with dogs/cats all the time, help care for them until a good forever home is found, then bring in a new dog/cat(s).”

Patty V.

Cat Follow-up Coordinator

Patty is Paws for Life’s follow-up coordinator for adopted cats and a foster care parent for cats and kittens, specializing in kittens with extreme medical needs. Patty is a wife and mother of three girls and grandmother to four boys and one girl. And, let’s not forget about her five feline fur-babies. When she isn't volunteering, Patty enjoys riding her motorcycle and traveling abroad. Patty's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue, “it is very rewarding and fulfilling to know you are saving a life. It costs nothing to foster and in return you are saving a life and you get lots of love in return.”

Heidi S.

Accounting Coordinator

Heidi is Paws for Life’s numbers gal, our accounting coordinator. She handles all of our financial reporting, taxes, expenses and revenue tracking. Heidi’s family consists of her daughter Jessie and son Cole, plus her furry four-legged mutts, who all hold advanced degrees in eating, sleeping and squeaker killing: Zurich, Cheli and Stella, who is deaf, and her senior cats and PFL alumni: Cena and Tanzen. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Heidi enjoys spending time with friends, reading, binge watching Netflix and reality shows and learning Spanish. Heidi’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Do it! Please! We need help and, most importantly, the animals need you! It’s extremely rewarding and worth all the happy and sad tears. So many people tell me they want to help, but it would be too hard leaving them at the shelter and they would want to take them all home. I try to explain that you must think about the animals and not yourself. Just 10 minutes of playtime with a shelter dog can do so much for you and it will mean so much to that dog!”

Mark H.

Web Hosting, IT and Administrative Coordinator

Mark has been a volunteer with Paws for Life since the very beginning, when the Rescue was first founded in 2007. He has filled many roles in the Rescue, including managing our storage unit and supply inventory, supporting event logistics and transport, and helping with the original legal paperwork and founding of the organization. Mark recently retired and moved out of state, but has stayed on as a volunteer supporting from afar in any way possible and continuing to manage Paws for Life’s IT needs. Mark’s family consists of his wife Elizabeth and their Paws for Life rescue dog, a male chihuahua mix named Shaba. When he isn’t volunteering, Mark enjoys spending time with his family. Mark’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Becoming a volunteer for Paws for Life Rescue is very rewarding to your heart and your soul. There is a wide variety of tasks to choose from as a volunteer. You can work directly with the animals or behind the scenes with administrative tasks. Adoption events are fun as you get to meet the animals in need of loving homes. If you are on the sidelines thinking about volunteering, stop by one of our adoption events and meet our volunteers. They can answer your questions. Tell us what type of things you like to do. Chances are we have a position for you.”

Ashley M.

Marketing Coordinator

Ashley is Paws for Life’s marketing coordinator and she also serves on the fundraising team, supporting events and gathering in-kind donations. She works with all of our teams to advertise and market our adoptable pets, fundraising opportunities, campaigns, programs and upcoming events. Ashley is also an integral member of the Paws for Life dog team, fostering adoptable dogs, transporting and placing dogs with forever families. Ashley’s household consists of her boyfriend Justin and their dog Josephine, plus whichever dogs they’re fostering at the moment. She comes from a large, loud extended family and, along with her parents, brother and sister, they enjoy getting together to catch up and nosh on tasty food. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Ashley enjoys cooking and trying new recipes. She also loves plants and can be found gardening indoors and out. Ashley’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “DO IT! Rescues are always in need of more help because the list of animals in need only gets longer. As little or as much time as you are able to contribute is always appreciated!”

Kneila K.

Dog Team Adoptions Coordinator

Kneila is a Paws for Life dog team volunteer, foster care mom and adoptions counselor. She coordinates incoming adoption inquiries, applicant conversations and placements, and also helps intake dogs and finds foster care homes for them. Kneila is a busy mom of five kiddos and five fur kids, three dogs and two cats. Her fun, outgoing family enjoys spending time together outdoors. Kneila is also the president of the PTO at her children's school. Kneila's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Just give it a try! It's the most rewarding thing, with people who will instantly welcome you."

Karen B.

Dog Team Medical Care Coordinator

Karen is Paws for Life's dog team medical care coordinator and an adoptions counselor. She also helps with fundraising, events and animal transport. Karen enjoys spending time with her rescued dog Sally. Karen's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Do it! There’s a spot for everyone. Afraid you’ll try to take home every animal you meet? (actually we’re ok with that). We need help getting donations for the critters, raffles, auctions … How about paperwork? There’s an amazing amount of paper generated. Have some fundraising ideas? There’s always room for more ideas. There are many ways to help with minimal risk of filling your home with fur! That being said, we always need foster homes, your chance to share the love!"

Ivy W.

Dog Team Volunteer

Ivy is a Paws for Life foster mom for dogs in need, as well as the occasional cat or kitten. She also does adoption meet-n-greets and placements, transports animals, volunteers at events and fundraisers and, according to her, does "anything that the adults tell me to do." Ivy lives with her boyfriend Cole, their dogs Goldie, Lucky and Jim. When Ivy isn't working or volunteering, she and Cole are probably cleaning, running errands or visiting family. They are pretty much always on the go. Ivy's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “BECOME A FOSTER PARENT. The feeling of nursing a dog or cat back to health and training and showing them how to be 'normal' is unimaginable. It could be difficult at times, but you must have some bad days to be able to have good days. It’s totally worth it. Not only are you making that animal's life better, but you’re also bettering yours by letting more love and opportunity in. You’re experiencing and learning new things. Animals can’t speak so we must speak for them and help the helpless as much as we possibly can. Why would you deny yourself this amazing opportunity? Save a life or two and foster. It’s the best thing you can do."

Cole S.

Dog Team Volunteer

Cole is a Paws for Life dog team volunteer, foster care dad and someone who is always willing to work wherever he is needed. Cole also helps with fundraising and events, from set-up to tear down, from dog handling to people wrangling. Cole lives with his girlfriend Ivy and their dogs Jim, Goldie and Lucky. When he isn't working or volunteering, Cole can be found going to school, playing video games, spending time with Ivy or taking care of the dogs. Cole's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “I would have to say if you are even thinking about becoming a volunteer, at least apply and talk to some of the people in the rescue. Many people say that they couldn’t work in a rescue because they would want to take them all home or they’d foster fail every time. Just at least try it. It’s hard, but it’s rewarding and we need the volunteers. If you don’t have the time or physical ability to volunteer, donate or participate in our awesome events! We can use all of the help we can get, and who knows, perhaps it’ll even be you on the volunteer spotlight in a few years!"

Jason G.

Dog Team Volunteer

Jason volunteers with the Paws for Life dog team, helping at events, fundraisers, walking dogs and introducing them to applicants. He has transported animals, fostered dogs and pups in the past and every Christmas he plays Santa Paws at our partner Petco store, posing for photos with dogs and cats to help the Rescue raise funds. Jason’s household consists of his Paws for Life rescue dog, an American bulldog named Boss, and three snakes. When he isn’t working or volunteering, and when the weather is nice, Jason enjoys taking Boss to the horse trails in Metroparks and walking a couple miles. He also likes riding his new Kawi motorcycle, mountain biking with friends through Hines park and traveling. Jason’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Just do it! It is the most rewarding, heartfelt feeling to be part of helping the helpless get a new lease on a life that they much deserve – dog or cat! I know I’ll always volunteer and rescue my pooches from PFL.”

Sheri S.

Dog Team Volunteer

Sheri is a volunteer on the Paws for Life dog team and the fundraising and events team. She has three grown children and works full-time during the day, as well as part-time some evenings. When Sheri isn't working or volunteering, she loves going Up North. It’s her great escape and she usually spends time with family and friends. Sheri also enjoys dog sitting for friends when they need their getaways. Sheri's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “It’s definitely worth it. A little of your time goes such a long way.”

Nicole D.

Cat Team Volunteer

Nicole is a veteran volunteer on the Paws for Life cat team. Nicole provides foster care to cats and kittens in need, transports kitties and serves as an adoption counselor. Nicole’s household consists of one boyfriend and four fur-babies: two dogs and two cats. Nicole has always loved animals of all kinds – pets and the ones found in nature. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Nicole and her boyfriend like to go hiking and kayaking. They also travel a lot and love the craft beer scene. Nicole’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Volunteering in any capacity is valuable; I think people feel that giving an hour here and there isn’t helping, but it is. It isn’t necessary to make it another full-time job to be important and make a difference. It’s rewarding in any capacity.”

Suzanne Z.

Cat Team Volunteer

Suzanne has been a volunteer with Paws for Life since the very beginning, when the Rescue was first founded in 2007. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our cat team. Suzanne fosters cats and kittens and regularly helps out at adoption events. She is an expert at TNR and is a compassionate colony caretaker. Suzanne is also on the in-store cats team, caring for the Paws for Life kitties who live at our partner Petco store in Farmington Hills. Suzanne’s family consists of her husband John, dog Wyatt and cats Cinco, Chauncy, Leroy, Magic, Edith and Lana. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Suzanne enjoys spending time with Wyatt and his friends at the dog park, gardening and, if she ever gets a vacation, traveling to her home state of California to visit the San Diego Zoo, the Wild Animal Park and Swamiis. Suzanne’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “You need to be prepared to sometimes go unnoticed, to sometimes never be thanked and sometimes no one even knows what you do. So, you need to offer your services knowing it is between you and whomever you are helping, be they human or animal. You will always receive more personal benefits from your volunteering efforts than you ever give out. It’s good for your soul and volunteers live longer!”

Sue L.

Cat Team Volunteer

Sue volunteers with the Paws for Life cat team and has been fostering cats and kittens since she came aboard. She also serves as an adoption counselor, placing her foster kitties in their forever homes. Sue helped forge Paws for Life’s partnership with one of our Petco partner stores - in Farmington Hills - and led the in-store cats team, managing volunteers and taking care of the adoptable kitties. Sue’s family consists of her daughter and son-in-law, her son and daughter-in-law, plus her two rescue cats. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Sue enjoys working out, biking, walking, listening to music and dancing. She is also determined to return to her passion of horseback riding. Sue’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue, “Try it! Save lives and meet other animal lovers. It’s the most rewarding feeling!”

Dave and Kathie S.

Cat Team Volunteers

Dave and Kathie S. are Paws for Life's dynamic duo kitty cat foster care team and event volunteers. They are retired empty-nesters, with kids and grandkids on the west coast of Michigan and on the west coast of the state of Washington. Dave and Kathie travel a lot to visit them and to see the world. But when they are home, they love to help out rescued cats and kittens. Dave is the softie who lets the foster cats roam his office while he feeds them treats. Dave and Kathie have two PFL cats of their own, Annie and Sebastian. Dave and Kathie enjoy going to the movies, to the DSO symphony and to dine out with friends. Dave and Kathie's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue, “For fostering cats, be prepared for some of the less socialized kitties to not be ready to accept affection, but need to learn to trust and then to love. And then, be prepared to fail ... that is, to love them so much and adopt them yourself! Practically speaking, you need to have some space to confine them, especially if you already have pets. And it helps if you are familiar with Facebook. Kathie is not terribly adept, but manages and Dave isn’t even on Facebook! But the joy of seeing them placed with a happy family, in a forever home is amazing.”

Meghan M.

Cat Team Volunteer

​Meghan volunteers at fundraising events and on our in-store cats team, caring for the Paws for Life adoptable kitties who live in habitats at our partner store, Petco – Farmington Hills. Meghan's family consists of her husband and one rescue cat Ziggy. She is very close to her parents and has one brother and sister, along with a niece and nephew. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Meghan enjoys anything that gets her outside – hiking, kayaking and mountain biking are a few favorites. She also loves traveling, especially to National Parks. Meghan's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Jump in, the water’s warm! Even if you don’t have a ton of time to devote to volunteering, every little bit helps and there are so many different ways to get involved."

LeeAnn B.

Cat Team Volunteer

LeeAnn is a cat team volunteer who helps care for our adoptable cats living at Petco in Farmington Hills. She also helps with fundraising and events. LeeAnn's family includes her husband Dave and their rescue cats Zoey and, our newest addition, Eleonor Rigby (Ellie). When LeeAnn isn't working or volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends. She loves traveling and going to concerts, musicals and movies. LeeAnn also loves to bake sweet treats. LeeAnn's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: "I’d say that it is a very rewarding experience and, if you love animals, there are so many different things you can do with this rescue to help! Every hour I spend volunteering is an hour that the animals give back to me in love. It warms my heart each time."

Abbie N.

Cat Team Volunteer

Abbie volunteers on the cat team, fostering kitties in need. She is also a dog walking volunteer, taking care of Paws for Life adoptable dogs staying at the boarding kennel in Clinton Township. Abbie also volunteers at fundraising events. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Abbie enjoys reading, lifting weights, hiking, camping and hanging out with her two rescue cats, Molly and Oliver. Abbie’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “So long as you love animals and have a bit of spare time to dedicate to your volunteer duties, I say do it! There’s really no downside and the animals that you volunteer with have nothing but affection and appreciation for your efforts.”

Maria K.

Cat Team Volunteer

Maria volunteers with the Paws for Life cat team, fostering cats, many with major medical needs, and helping out at adoption events. She has transported cats, supported fundraising events and helped out with organizing the Paws for Life storage unit. Maria’s household consists of her rescued fur-friends: five cats, one dog and a cockatiel. Her three grown children have given her nine grandchildren. Happily retired from being a registered nurse, when she isn’t volunteering, Maria enjoys crocheting, sewing, reading and taking care of a wildlife sanctuary behind her house. She also cares for a feral cat colony of six cats and spends a lot of time posting animals in need on social media. Maria’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue, “Do not spend so much time thinking about it, and just do it. Give it a try! There are so many things that are needed in a rescue. There is a job that will fit. And, consider being a foster. It is so rewarding to be that bridge in an animal’s life. Providing the care and love this cat or dog needs until they are ready for their forever home, because without rescues and fosters, they would not be alive.”  

Sharon D.

Cat Team Volunteer

Sharon volunteers with the Paws for Life cat team, fostering cats and kittens and helping out at adoption events. Sharon’s family consists of her husband Michael, their 16-year-old daughter Anya and, of course, all of their furry family. They moved here to Michigan seven years ago and love their life here. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Sharon enjoys gardening, growing veggies and fruit for her family, and riding her motorcycle with her husband and sometimes their daughter and one of their dogs, too. Sharon’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue, “The best advice I can give to someone considering becoming a volunteer is to be ready to give back whole-heartedly.”

Lizzie T.

Cat Team Volunteer

Lizzie volunteers with the Paws for Life in-store cat care team, taking care of the cats and kittens who live at our partner Petco store in Farmington Hills. She and her husband have a sweet black cat named Pepper and a crazy little Cardigan Welsh Corgi named Murphy (after the Law of Chaos!). When she isn't working or volunteering, you can usually find Lizzie curled up under a blanket shamelessly binge-watching medical and/or mystery dramas, or training Murphy to show in AKC breed classes, rally obedience and agility. Lizzie's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: "Give it a try! There are so many ways to help, you can start doing one thing and if that doesn’t work well, try something else!"

Angela R.

Cat Team Volunteer

Angela volunteers with the Paws for Life in-store cat care team, taking care of the cats and kittens who live at our partner Petco store in Farmington Hills. Angela and her boyfriend have two adopted cats Pebbles and Boots. when she isn't working or volunteering, Angela likes to travel, do yoga and cook. Angela's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: "Do it! It is a wonderful experience. There are so many animals who just want love and affection (and the occasional treat). I enjoy being able to provide this for the animals who do not have a family or home."

Nicki L.

Cat Team Volunteer

Nicki is a self-described "cat keeper." She is on the in-store cat care team, cleaning the cat enclosures, scooping the litter and making sure all the kitties living at our partner Petco store have fresh food and water. Nicki is also a feline foster care mom. Nicki lives with her senior cat Maeling, while her mother, brother and sister-in-law live nearby. When Nicki isn't working or volunteering, she likes to craft, paint and draw. She also enjoys movies and seeing friends. In addition to animal rescue, Nicki is involved in her church choir and co-directs their drama ministry. Nicki's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: "Do it! It’s easier than you think and the PFL volunteer coordinators and other volunteers are wonderful to work with. It feels great and you are helping so many animals. Get those feel-good feels!"

Kristen B.

Cat Team Volunteer

Kristen volunteers with the Paws for Life cat team, fostering cats and kittens in need. She has also been instrumental advising the development and fundraising team. Kristen’s family consists of her partner Joe and four fabulous cats: Marcus, Frankie, Leroy and Dexter, all adopted from Paws for Life. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Kristen is active with the Alumni Association at Cranbrook and she also enjoys working on projects around her house. Kristen’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “You won’t regret it! Just go for it; I am happy I did.”

Nikki W.

Cat Team Volunteer

Nikki volunteers with the Paws for Life in-store cat care team, taking care of the cats and kittens who live at our partner Petco store in Farmington Hills. Nikki and her husband Scott have two kids Joshua and Kaitlyn, two dogs Smokey and Daisy and a senior kitty named Boots. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Nikki enjoys playing board and card games, walking, doing Zumba and watching movies. She and her family also have a pop-up camper and enjoy taking long weekend trips. Nikki’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: "Have fun and love on the animals as much as possible!"

Randall J.

Cat Team Volunteer

Randall's volunteer specialty is feline handling and care, giving all kitties living at our partner Petco store, new and tenured residents, as much love as possible, as well as a clean habitat and fresh food and water. Randall and his partner reside in Belleville and have a Great Pyrenees that completes their pack. When he isn’t working or volunteering, Randall enjoys hiking, daily, with his dog. Randall's advice for those who want to volunteer with our in-store cat care team: "Know (or learn) how to read a cat’s body language. Some of the cats are new to the enclosures at Petco and may be scared at first. Treat every cat as an individual with its own needs and personalities. Be open minded, because anything can happen at any given moment."

Jennifer H.

Cat Team Volunteer

Jennifer volunteers with the Paws for Life cat team, fostering cats and transporting animals. She is a single mom of two incredible teenagers Gabe and Will and they have a crazy but awesome rescue dog named DJ. A family of animal lovers, they do what they can to help those who cannot speak for themselves. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Jennifer enjoys hanging out with her two dudes or getting out with friends. She loves photography and often "gets lost" with her camera. Jennifer and her boys love to travel and explore. She is also a self-professed Book Nerd (definitely a frequent visitor to the local libraries!). Jennifer's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue, “Go into it with your heart open. You'll be surprised at how much it can change your life for the better!”

Amy P.

Cat Team Volunteer

Amy is a loving foster care parent for Paws for Life cats and the occasional dog. Amy has one small dog Bum Bum, one large cat Thomas and one medium-size wife Tiffany. When she isn't working or volunteering, Amy likes to scour all the restaurants in the area for yummy vegan food, watch weird movies and take her dog on hikes. Amy’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “If you have some room in your house, foster! The animals ask for so little and it makes a huge difference. You might think you won't be able to give them up, but it’s not that difficult when you know they’re going home with someone who will love them.”

Jessica W.

Cat Team Volunteer

Jessica volunteers on our in-store cats team, caring for the Paws for Life adoptable kitties who live in habitats at our partner store, Petco – Farmington Hills. She also volunteers at adoption events, taking care of the cats, greeting customers and answering questions. Jessica’s family consists of her Paws for Life rescue cat Fitz, a nephew, who is almost 4 years old and a big part of her life, plus her sister and nephew live close by, as does her dad, while her mom lives in Canadian Lakes and Jessica goes there to visit her often. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Jessica enjoys attending any Detroit sporting event and just staying active, from snow skiing in the winter to wakeboarding in the summer. Jessica’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Go for it. Even if you feel like you are too busy and don’t have enough time, there are different levels of participation. Just helping take care of our cats in the habitat (at Petco) is rewarding and doesn’t take up that much time. We have a schedule and you can decide which days you go. Getting to spend some quality time with the cats in our habitat not only helps them, but also, for me, I always leave there happier."

Mitchell L.

Cat Team Volunteer

Mitchell is a caretaker for Paws for Life cats living at our partner Petco store in Farmington Hills. Mitchell has two cats, Kitty and J.C. When he isn't working or volunteering, Mitchell often spends his free time filmmaking and tea crafting, along with writing and spending time with his own cats and loved ones. Mitchell's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Be passionate about what you do."

Emily E.

Cat Team Volunteer

Emily is a feline foster mom and caretaker of cats who live at our partner Petco store in Farmington Hills. She says she gets her 'kitty fix' by volunteering with Paws for Life. When Emily isn't working or volunteering, she enjoys hiking and exploring new places, but also relaxing at home with a book (or friends – they’re great, too) and a nice red. Emily's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Consider your lifestyle and available time, and then make the call! Talk with one of the volunteer coordinators about the many ways you could give of your time and choose one. Just get started and build from there. You will find your sweet spot in no time and will be so glad you did."

Vickie K.

Fundraising and Events Team Volunteer

Vickie volunteers on the Paws for Life Fundraising and Events Team. She also helps out at adoption events and coordinates crafting projects with various volunteer groups. Vicki’s family consists of her two ginormous Tom cats, approximately 16 lbs. each, Wally and Foxy Frito. When she isn’t working or volunteering, Vickie enjoys arts and crafts, socializing with friends over dinner, exercising, learning Hebrew, Jewish history and culture, singing in choirs and bargain shopping. She dreams of owning a storefront of used goods as her retirement nears. Vickie’s advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Do it. It’s healthy work. You get exercise climbing up and down ladders, sweeping and bending over, you feel you are doing something worthwhile and, at the same time, you are getting an education. If you go to work as a volunteer in a bad mood, that will change fast; a soft stroke of a kitty’s fur with a brush of a whisker on your cheek and a gentle swat with a padded paw will change your feelings as a purr resonates in your ear.”

Haley B.

Fundraising and Events Team Volunteer

Haley is a Paws for Life dog walker and events volunteer who jumps in whenever and wherever needed. When she isn't working or volunteering, Haley enjoys hanging out with friends, art (typically drawing), reading, TV, working out and eating/cooking. Haley's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Volunteer as much as you can or are willing. Every little bit helps, so don’t feel bad if you can’t volunteer as much as you want to. I try to do something every month”

Aileen W.

Fundraising and Events Team Volunteer

Aileen is a Cat Team volunteer who helps care for our adoptable cats living at our partner Petco store in Rochester Hills. Aileen is also a fundraising and events volunteer, plus a feline foster care parent. Her family includes one grown son David who works full-time for the Michigan National Guard, a daughter-in-law Elizabeth and two grandchildren Luke and Annabeth, plus two senior cats. Aileen is retired, but keeps busy with her grandchildren. In addition to her volunteer work with Paws for Life, Aileen volunteers at Beaumont Troy once a week at the Cancer Center. She also volunteers at the zoo in nice weather. Aileen's advice for those who want to volunteer in animal rescue: “Just do it. I loved working the Santa Paws event, all the people are great and the purrs are so worth it.”