Saturday, May 27, 2017

Volunteer Champion

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PAWS Atlanta is extremely fortunate to have an enthusiastic “village” of dedicated animal lovers who care deeply about our work. Our volunteers arrive at the shelter every day to clean, landscape, perform clerical duties and socialize with our beloved animals and so much more. Stay tuned as we feature our dedicated volunteers and the many different ways they support us!

Masumi Matsuda

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HOW DID YOU FIND PAWS ATLANTA?
I was checking on the internet, trying to find out if any volunteers were needed to walk dogs. I wanted to find a No-Kill shelter. That was important to me, that PAWS Atlanta was a No-Kill shelter.

YOU ARE ORIGINALLY FROM JAPAN. DID YOU HAVE PETS GROWING UP?
Yes, I grew up in Osaka, Japan's second largest city. My mother was an animal lover. She would feed the stray cats, and they would stay at our place. She had 13 cats. We had a dog named "Chiro" for 18 years. He was a Japanese Spitz mix. He was a real brother to me, not just a dog. I loved him like a brother. Right now, I have three cats and a dog at my home in McDonough.

YOU VOLUNTEER WITH THE BIGGER DOGS, WALKING THEM. WHAT DREW YOU TO THEM?
Yes, I come on Mondays and Wednesday and focus especially on the big dogs. It's more challenging to work with them, and they stay in the shelter longer than the smaller dogs. The more I spend time with them, the more we bond with each other. We build a friendship. I usually take the dogs to the off-leash park with Mike, one of the staffers. Sometimes, we introduce a new dog to another dog, to see if they can make friends, and play together. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But when it does, that makes my day!

Some of the dogs are so afraid of people when they come into the shelter. Like Rico (a current resident), he was so frightened when he came here. And now he's very happy! That's the kind of feeling that keeps me coming back to PAWS Atlanta.

YOU FOUND YOUR DOG AT PAWS ATLANTA. HOW DID YOU DISCOVER HIM?
Yes, his name is Nimbus, and he's a German Shepherd and Plott Hound mix. I adopted him about two and a half years ago. He was one of the dogs I walked. He was the best dog! Very social, very smart, just a perfect fit for me. I thought he would find a home right away because he was so friendly. But he was at PAWS for about six months. So, I adopted him. I always feel like he's the perfect dog for me. I didn't have to teach him anything.

WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF VOLUNTEERING?
To me, it's relaxing. And, it makes me feel like my life is a little bit more valuable. I feel like I am contributing something to the homeless animals. It's a real social problem. I feel like I'm helping them find homes, helping them get adopted. Sometimes I feel like the dogs and the cats are making me a better person.

Previous Volunteer Champions

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Learn about our previous Volunteer Champions by clicking on a name below.
Jean Haworth
Rosa Moore
Jennifer Gregg
Sarah Miller
Cathy Evans
Harriet Ribbons
Chris Hughes
Martha McDermott
Copyright 2013 by PAWS Atlanta