This month we feature Victoria Bottlick, a volunteer since October 2015 who makes sure our animals look their best. As the lead photographer and graphic designer, Victoria is combining her professional skills in visual communication with her love of animals and desire to do more. Victoria has also stepped up to overnight foster and help out at events. We’re honored to recognize Victoria as our June 2016 Volunteer of the Month.

victoria_VOMHow did you learn about DC PAWS Rescue? I joined DC PAWS in October 2015 after my husband encouraged me to start volunteering again. A neighbor put me in touch with Raffaele, and here I am!

Tell us about your current animals:  I currently have a dog named Sampson who, quite frankly, is perfect. We adopted him from another local rescue on Pi Day! 3-14-15. He is a chi-beagle mix, and I love him to death. He tolerates bow ties and sweatshirts. When my husband works from home he sends me photos of Sampson waiting by the door in the afternoons for mommy to come home.

Why do you volunteer with DC PAWS Rescue? I volunteer in general because I think it completes me. I am not a cut-throat, corporate kind of person and intrinsically need to feel that my work serves others. I volunteer with DC PAWS in particular not only because I absolutely adore animals, but because I admire the determined spirit of our most dedicated volunteers. To be a part of such a young, but powerful network of like-minded people makes me into the person my dog thinks I am.

What is the most rewarding aspect of volunteering? The most rewarding aspect is when I take a foster that I have seen from the moment they set four paws down here in Virginia, photographed and welcomed into my home, to their furever home. Each aspect of that process is rewarding, but the culmination of those roles, and the feeling of closure when the animal’s new life has begun, is amazing.

What was your role in helping animals find their forever homes? I am the lead event photographer at DC PAWS, photographing adoptable pets and the volunteers who help them to promote those animals and our organization in general. I also design all of our branded promotional materials and foster dogs ranging from Great Pyrenee size to Chihuahua size.

What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering for DC PAWS? I would say that they will get as much out of being a volunteer as they give. Its a large organization, but you wouldn’t know it, since our volunteers are spread out in location and areas of interest. Come to events, participate in transports, post on social media. Be as much a part of the rescue process as possible and you will feel the power of what the organization can do.

Ready to volunteer with DC PAWS just like Victoria? Here’s how to get started. You can join us short-term as needed, or put your professional experience to work. We can use more volunteers in the areas of fundraising, development, communication, event planning and more. 

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