Alexis (Chung Ah) first got involved with PAWS NY about a year ago, as she missed interacting with pets while in college and law school. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, she grew up with pets and her dad even started a pet food business, so volunteering with animals was an easy decision. One Google search later, and she was introduced to PAWS NY!
Alexis has fostered two dogs who were part of our Preserving Families in Times of Crisis program, which is funded by PetSmart Charities: Tiny and Noelle. “I remember waking up every morning to see Noelle staring at me because she wanted to go out, and it makes me smile,” Alexis says. “She was really like my Christmas gift last winter!”
Read her full Q&A below to learn more about her time with Tiny and Noelle!
Why are you passionate about PAWS and our mission of helping people by helping pets?
I grew up with a lot of pets and have a nearly 19-year-old(!) mini Yorkie named Louie back home. My dad has even started a pet food business back home in South Korea. My parents are extremely dedicated to providing good care to our pets and have instilled those values in me. I know what an emotional and mental boost pets can provide, so the idea of taking care of animals (and helping others through that same act) appealed to me.
What do you do as a PAWS NY volunteer? Which clients & pets do you help? What do you do with the pets during your shift?
I have helped and fostered two dogs so far: Tiny and Noelle. Tiny, I had for about a week. Noelle, over two months. I did what I expect volunteers typically do with their foster pets! I took care of Noelle as if she were my own pet: taking her out on walks in Bryant Park (I think I know every corner of Bryant Park by now), playing with her, bathing her, etc.
What is your favorite part about volunteering? Do you have any favorite memories?
I have so many fond memories from my time with Tiny and Noelle that it’s hard to choose a specific one. There are some sad memories from when I had to say goodbye to them, and especially with Tiny because he wasn’t going back to his owner and he was such an anxious dog. But I also look back fondly at the time when Tiny first sat on my lap (and pooped on me!) and my numerous walks with Noelle in the freezing winter weather. I remember waking up every morning to see Noelle staring at me because she wanted to go out, and it makes me smile. She was really like my Christmas gift last winter!
What do you do for work? What brought you / keeps you in NYC?
I’m a corporate lawyer and moved to New York in January 2020. After moving to the US for college I hadn’t been around a lot of animals and really missed the interaction. Louie’s mom, Poly, passed away when I was in law school and I had been looking to volunteer with organizations like PAWS ever since. I’m grateful that I learned of PAWS NY and that I’ve had such great foster experiences.
What do you like to do in your spare time (besides volunteer with PAWS NY)?
Pilates, golf, watching NBA games, independent movie theaters, cooking, shopping…
Thanks so much to Alexis for her support and dedication! If you’d like to volunteer for PAWS NY, sign up for an orientation now.