Helping Paws Animal Shelter



April 2012 Newsletter from Helping Paws


APRIL  2012  

hp header

The Rewards of Adopting from a Shelter   

By Debbie Rose, Helping Paws Volunteer   


When you adopt a pet from a pet shelter, you might not be saving the world but you are saving that animal's world.


When you adopt a pet from a pet shelter, you are refusing to support puppy mills, most of which breed their "stock" in deplorable and abusive conditions.


When you adopt a pet from a pet shelter, you are taking home a healthy animal that has been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and cared for with love.


And when you adopt an animal from a pet shelter, you receive the greatest gifts of all - love, companionship, entertainment and lots of laughs.


Here are just a few who can attest to that.



A few years ago, Diane Olsen and her family adopted two cats from Helping Paws - Cinnamon and Swirls. Last month on a routine trip to PetCo they met Coby, a little Yorkie mix, at a Helping Paws adoption event. Although they had never before owned a dog, Coby captured their hearts and two days later, he became part of the family. "Coby and the cats are cohabitating as best they can," says Diane with a laugh. "He goes for 3-mile walks with us and protects us from joggers! He recently made friends with two boxers who he adores. He is a very sweet dog and we couldn't be happier."

hannah and coby

                                         Hannah and Coby  


fiona and cinnamonfiona and swirls

          Fiona and Cinnamon                         Fiona and Swirls 



Two years ago Sarah Loeffler saw Simon, a two year old rat terrier, on Helping Paws' website and came in to check him out. Simon was a very shy, frightened little boy who hovered next to the door and ignored her. But Sarah had a feeling that if she was patient, he would come around. "Simon is doing absolutely amazing," she says. "He gets so excited when we go to the dog park that he starts making this yodeling sound. I can't say enough how lucky I feel to have him, he has brought us so much happiness. Such a big personality-from the way he scratches the bed and spins exactly six times every night to the way he'll come "give a hug" when asked and push his neck under my chin. He really is such a sweetheart." Sarah and some friends even started a rat terrier meet-up group for ratties and their people to get together, play and share stories.

simon meet up                                 Simon (front) and his pals


simon belly

                                    Waiting for a belly rub 


"Bruce is doing well in his new home," says Doug Tom. "This adoption has been great for all of us.  He is such a great dog and we love him very much. I cannot imagine our house without him in it. Thanks so much for taking good care of him for us!"

bruce 1bruce 2

    Bruce learning to play Frisbee              Chillin' out at home  


Those who 'opt to adopt' are special people. If you would like to share your Helping Paws adoption story with us, email it to and include your favorite picture.

Meet Tommy the Cat (aka Jolly Roger)
By Debbie Rose, Helping Paws volunteer

Hey, nobody's perfect. A few wrinkles here, a couple extra pounds there, one eye. We all know that it's what's inside that counts.


tommyTommy came to us with a severe infection in his left eye. Although our wonderful vets tried, they could not save his eye but that has done nothing to dampen this little guy's spirit. He is still very playful.  

He still loves to sit in the window basking in the sun and making sure all is right with the world outside. And he still loves to curl up on your lap purring his contentment.


"Tommy is a sweet, loving cat who just wants a lap of his own that he doesn't have to share with another animal," says Sherry, HP volunteer.  "You just have to spend a few minutes with Tommy like I have to see for yourself what a great personality he has."


If you are one of those people who know that beauty starts in the heart, come by and meet our little one-eyed boy. Tommy is seven years old and eligible for our Senior-to-Senior program.

Don't Forget to Register for The Human Race

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, Helping Paws is participating in the Human Race, a 5K Walk/Run supporting McHenry County Charities. The Human Race will be held on April 15 at McHenry Corporate Park, Prime Parkway. Help us help homeless dogs and cats by collecting pledges or designating Helping Paws to receive the donation of your registration fee. For more information or to register, please go to

flower sale

       Click HERE to download order forms


dog walkers
     Click HERE to download volunteer application

                    What's on Your Mind?

By Debbie Rose, Helping Paws volunteer


If you receive this newsletter, you have adopted one of our animals, donated money, sponsored us for an event, or volunteered your time to help us while they are in our care.


The team of Helping Paws volunteers who research, write, lay-out, and publish this newsletter want to make sure we continue to bring you interesting, informative articles. Therefore, we'd like to hear from you.


Send an email to and let us know:

  • What you think of the newsletter.
  • If there is a particular topic you'd like to read about.
  • If you have a behavior, wellness or nutrition question about your adopted dog or cat; we'll call upon our network of experts to answer as many questions as we can.

We look forward to hearing from you.


April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month!
Read more at 



In This Issue
-Meet Tommy the Cat
-The Human Race
-Flower Sale
-Wanted...Evening Dog Walkers
-What's on Your Mind?
-Living with the Shy Dog

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List

Upcoming Events


1st Wednesday of each Month   

Fundraising Meeting - 7p.m. Helping Paws Shelter

Location may change, for current information, please call Sherry Gelasi at 847-658-6634 


2nd Thursday of each Month Board Meeting - 7p.m.   

at Helping Paws Shelter


Apr 7th - Adoption Event  

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Nature's Feed  

2440 Westward Dr.    

Spring Grove, IL  

(815) 675-2008  


May 5th - Adoption Event  

9 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Crystal Lake Post Office  

301 East Congress Parkway Crystal Lake, IL  

(815) 459-5979

May 5th - Wish List Day   


1410 S Randall Rd     

Algonquin, IL  

(847) 458-5620


Amy and Elaine:

Thanks for Everything  

By Steve Arnold, Helping Paws Volunteer

It is with no small measure of sadness that we recently said goodbye to two longtime volunteers of Helping Paws, Amy Edwards and Elaine Norkett. Their contributions over many years have helped the shelter become the strong organization that it is today.


Amy Edwards volunteered at the shelter for over seven years. Her many duties included serving on the board of directors, coordinating for four years the many adoption events that the shelter does throughout the county and serving as race director for the annual Panting 4 Paws 5K race held each November. Amy recently moved to Florida, but is continuing to assist in planning the 5K race.


Elaine Norkett worked at the shelter for over 30 years. Her work there began when she brought in a starving stray mother dog and her four pups. After seeing the care they received, she began volunteering. Her work included serving on the board, assisting with the 5K race, working on the Tag Days (soliciting contributions of supplies from shoppers at local stores such as Jewel/Osco and Walmart), working at the annual garage sale and manning the front desk to greet visitors to the shelter. Elaine recently adopted a kitten from Helping Paws and they have moved to Texas to be near Elaine's sons and grandchildren.


It is through the efforts of our volunteers that Helping Paws continues to serve abandoned and forgotten animals. Amy and Elaine are two examples of the level of committed service that has helped us do what we do every day. From all of us and from the animals to them: Thanks for everything.

Living with the Shy Dog   

By Kirk Halma, CPT and Helping Paws Volunteer

One of the canine personality types many owners struggle with is the overly shy dog.  Not to be confused with dogs that are fearful, these dogs may not be very troublesome but can be frustrating none the less as they refuse to engage with others outside the immediate family.


A shy dog displays discomfort or a lack of confidence around other living things.  These dogs may be comfortable around some individuals and not others i.e. humans versus other pets, family members versus outsiders etc.  This personality, although usually harmless to others, needs intervention to address this type of anxiety.  


The causes of shyness can be genetic but are typically environmental.  Most commonly there is a lack of early, positive socialization around people and/or other animals.  Shyness may also be encouraged by someone comforting the dog and reinforcing the behavior when they are demonstrating an insecure reaction.  Human insecurities themselves may also reinforce or increase the dog's timidity as they feed off the energy and emotions of their owners.


Behavior issues associated with the shy dog range from mild to severe, but some of the most common are, nervousness and anxiety including separation anxiety, excessive licking and submissive urination.  Severe shyness may lead to more serious nervous disorders and result in physical damage to themselves and other medical conditions.


Working with a shy dog requires patience and calm assertiveness at first.   Participating in formal obedience training builds trust and respect between the dog and their owner.  Then confidence building and people/socialization activities should be incorporated.  The dog must be encouraged to work through symptoms instead of being coddled.  Engage the dog mentally and interact physically by playing games or romping on obstacles with good positive rewards for compliance.  Praise should be genuine and cautiously upbeat, in these cases we are trying to ramp up their energy gradually and teach them to express themselves.


Progress can be slow with shy dogs, but over time they can learn that engaging with others can become its own reward.  An important thing to remember is that consistent socialization and positive interaction with others can be effective therapy for dogs at any age and with any severity of shyness.  


Helping Paws is funded solely through donations.  Please help us save the stray dogs and cats that come to us for help. A gift of any amount will help in the lives of these wonderful animals.

Follow Us........





Helping Paws Animal Shelter

Open Every Day 12 pm (noon) - 4 pm

Tuesdays & Thursdays open until 7 pm

2500 Harding Lane
Woodstock, IL 60098
Phone: (815)338-4400

Map to our shelter

Fox Valley Helping Paws Animal Welfare Association, a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, was founded in 1971. Helping Paws is a no-kill animal shelter for stray and abandoned dogs and cats in McHenry County and surrounding areas. The animals are provided a sanctuary where they receive medical care, spaying or neutering, daily care and love, and the opportunity to be adopted by a responsible owner.