Why I Volunteer

Intervention Programs

I’ve had the pleasure of serving as a board member for the Palo Alto Humane Society for more than two years. During that time I’ve met some truly dedicated people, which has made me want to help this small but mighty organization even more. Our mission at PAHS is to create compassionate communities; we are unique because we don’t operate a shelter. While we do partner with local rescues and shelters, these same groups are often our partners in education and advocacy as well.

Before I tell you what I do for PAHS, let me tell you a little more about what it is that I love the most. I love…

  • Animals in nearly all shapes and sizes. I get a little squeamish with creatures with more than four legs and I don’t mind snakes.
  • Writing. I’m an occasional blogger and you see my work here.
  • Helping others, especially when I see an area where I can lend a hand.
  • Marketing, especially content marketing, social media marketing, and user experience design.

I’ve spent my career in marketing and I now work at Facebook, where my team creates scaled mobile solutions and programs. Oftentimes this career doesn’t include as many of the “things I love” as I would like. I volunteer with PAHS because it gives me an opportunity to do what I love, give back to a cause I care deeply about, and spend time working on projects that really energize me.

Why Palo Alto Humane Society?

  1. PAHS is a true steward of animal rights, working with local governments to change laws to improve conditions for animals. We partnered with Assembly Member Kevin Mullin who helped make possible to pass Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 144 — Public Schools: Charter Education. This resolution, which highlights the teaching of humane education and kindness to animals as an integral component of character education, was passed unanimously by both the California State Assembly and Senate in fall 2016.
  2. The team at PAHS are experts at delivering awesome programs that teach kids about compassion. I’m a firm believer that we can all use a little more kindness in our lives. Follow us on Facebook to see what we’re up to with Critter Club and Kiddies 2 Kitties!
  3. PAHS’ Pet Help program helps provide veterinary care for families who otherwise couldn’t afford to care for their animals in times of need. Not only does this unique service keep animals from being surrendered or euthanized, but it also keeps families together. Pet Help indirectly helps animals in shelters have a better chance at adoption by keeping more animals out of shelters. Learn more about Pet Help.
  4. PAHS’ Animal Rescue Fund allows them to be one of the few area organizations providing veterinary care for strays found in the community by individuals or organizations. Public shelters are nearly always required to accept animals only in their jurisdiction. These shelters are usually unable to justify the costs of providing any kind of veterinary care beyond the very basic, so they often euthanize animals that in other circumstances could be saved. By partnering with rescue organizations that pull animals from public kill shelters through funding veterinary care for such animals, PAHS helps these organizations save even more animals from public shelters. One of PAHS’ Animal Rescue Fund success stories is now a children’s book, Saving Travis: A Rescue Story.

I will be the first to admit that one reason I volunteer is because it feels really good to know that my efforts matter. Volunteering can take so many shapes and forms. I’m fortunate enough to be able to use my skills and time to help PAHS. I’m even more fortunate that the PAHS team is really excited to work with me, hear my ideas, and put what they’re learning to work.

If you’re not volunteering in some capacity for a cause or organization that matters to you, I highly recommend you check out some local nonprofits and get involved. If you love animals and want to make a difference in your immediate community, we are always looking for volunteers to:

  • Become content creators! Photograph our events, interview attendees, and help us tell our story.
  • Teach in our humane education programs.
  • Join our animal education teams with your pet, service, or therapy companion animal!
  • Work hands-on with animals by becoming a feeder for one of our area feral cat colonies or by becoming a foster family to help save a pet.

If you’re interested in volunteering or learning more, please reach out to us at pahs@paloaltohumane.org. Students of all ages receive community service hours by working with us.

If you’re interested in donating to help us create compassionate communities, you may make a tax-deductible donation here.


About the Author


Teeda lives in East Palo Alto with her husband, Ryan, and two adopted dogs. Portia, a miniature Schnauzer mix, was around 7 years old when she joined their family in August 2009. Penne, a Havanese mix, was around 9 years old when she joined their family in July 2018. Since moving to California in 2015, Teeda has fostered six dogs and one kitten.