Hill County Paw Pals, Hill County, Texas

Community Spirit - Amazing People in Action

You may wonder what it takes to run an animal shelter; especially one that is funded solely by donations and manned by a 100% volunteer staff.  Well, at Paw Pals we would have to say that it takes a substantial number of people whose gifts, talents, and contributions are unsung.  These wonderful folks come together not just because they love animals but because they care about this community and they are giving their precious time and money and laboring each day to make Hill County a place they are proud to call home.

I spent an entire day at the Hill County Paw Pals Pet Adoption Center (PAC) and feel honored to have witnessed the essence of these extraordinary persons in action.  This article describes just that day.  It does not even recount the many people that are contributing from behind the scenes working at administrative tasks or connecting with other area rescue groups to save animals in need, or planning the next low cost spay/neuter clinic.

A day at the PAC:  Holly Holland, Team Leader for morning shift, arrived before sunrise and early for her 7:00 AM shift.  The many four legged boarders stirred awake as Jean Pope also arrived.  Shortly, they were followed by Roberta Skelton, Bob Treadwell, Annetta Dean, and Clare Earhart.  The animals need care whether it’s raining, snowing, freezing, or one-hundred degrees outside, and the amazing team never disappoints.  As the morning advanced, Warren Smith arrived with his pickup truck loaded with carpentry tools. He then proceeded to spend the day doing a major renovation, volunteering his time to carve a new access into the kitchen area.  Mid-morning, JD and Jean Landis, the newly appointed Paw Pals’ quarter masters, came in with supplies.  Everyone cheerfully unloaded bags of dog food, paper towels, and miscellaneous provisions and the day pressed on.   Shortly thereafter, Randy and Jackie Chance from Southern Hill County, brought in pallets of cat litter that had been donated to their organization but was more than they alone could use.  Again, the team rallied to unload the much needed kitty litter.  Lunch time arrived and a working lunch was organized to build the bond between the adoption center and the Hillsboro Animal Control Officers, David Haarkinson and Travis Thurson.  Barbara Diltz, Sue Ponde, Cathy Boothman, Mike Hendricks, and Warren Smith attended and worked on goals and expectations to build the working relationship between the City of Hillsboro Animal Control and the volunteers of Paw Pals.  Shortly after lunch, Hillsboro High  School Life Skills Class made their way through the doors for a scheduled work session.  Joyce Dutton is the Paw Pals coordinator and supervised the work of bagging surpluses of donated foods for pets of patrons at the local food bank.  Barbara Diltz and Cathy Boothman came promptly to begin the afternoon shift at 3:00 pm and were soon accompanied by Chase Curbo, Lorraine Easterling, Heather Mobley, and Annetta Dean.  They went straight to work walking dogs, scooping cat litter, preparing the animal’s evening meal.

I had an amazing opportunity to witness these generous, giving people in action.  God has not made man to do it all or do it all by himself.  We are meant to live in community, each individual contributing a gift to make our lives full and meaningful. 

This day was just one of the 365 each year that offer an opportunity for any interested persons to become involved in what we at Paw Pals see as an essential component of a community.  We believe we are to care for animals that cannot care for themselves and end the preventable burden of pet overpopulation by advocating responsible pet ownership that includes spaying and neutering pets.  These generous and kind volunteers are welcoming to others that would like to become part of this growing group of committed citizens.  For volunteer opportunities or to fill out a Paw Pals volunteer form, visit our web site at hcpawpals.org or call our volunteer coordinator, Cathy Boothman at cathy@eddco.net.