About PAWS

Our Vision

To significantly reduce the burden on Vermont animal shelters, refuges and humane societies by supplementing their needs, allowing them to provide a cleaner, happier and healthier environment for homeless animals.

Our Mission

PAWS fundraises throughout the year as well as works with community business partners that provide donation sites during the holiday season, where the public can contribute items such as cleaning supplies, toys, treats and food, to benefit area shelters, refuges, and humane societies for homeless animals. PAWS then distributes them to the organizations at the end of the season.

“All of us here at NCAL are so appreciative of the generosity and effort that PAWS brings out from our communities, which is such a strong testament to the holiday spirit. The transition period while our dogs and cats wait to find homes can be stressful for them so the fact that the team recognizes the need to make them feel comfortable and cared for during this time, makes a big difference. Thank you for everything… your contribution has made ours that much easier!” —North Country Animal League


Starr Jewell

Founder/President: Starr has always been a huge animal advocate since at a very young age when she would find strays, and non-strays, and bring them home. She has been on the board of Therapy Dogs of Vermont and also did evaluations for the incoming dogs. She has a vast experience in the animal behavior world. She lives with her husband in South Burlington and they have 2 Bernese Mountain Dogs and three kitties.

Siobhan Philbin

Vice President: Siobhan began fostering animals in 2015 to test the waters after losing her 10 year old Great Dane, Dozer. Three successful fosters and one failure later she is the proud human-mom of Birdie. Little did she know that her foray into fostering would launch her into further involvement in animal non-profit groups. In 2017, Siobhan joined Claus for Paws to stay involved in the animal-loving community. Since joining, she has enjoyed creating relationships with local rescue groups and encouraging the community to give back to animals in need. If we all give a little, the animals get a lot!

Kathy Davis

Treasurer: Kathy is happy to use her myriad of experience in the non-profit world to help provide for animals waiting in shelters. Kathy and her family were the proud owners for 15 years of a special needs Chow Chow named Killy. During this pause from pet ownership, helping other pets in need feels like the perfect resolution.

Prue Milnes

Secretary: Prue works in health care and in her spare time, loves to be outside hiking with friends and their dogs. Animals have always been a huge part of Prue’s life and currently she shares her house with a rescue dog, Oreo and cat, Bentley. She has been with Claus For Paws since the beginning and is constantly in awe of the generosity of Vermonters who have helped us grow tremendously in just 3 years as we work to help the plight of shelter animals awaiting their new homes.

Susie McNamara

Although Susie earns her living in the business world, her heart has always been drawn to animals of all kinds with a special interest in dogs and dolphins. Since infancy, Susie has been loved, protected and befriended by a Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix named Corrie (who lived to be 19 ½) and three purebred German Shepherds – Princess, Samantha, and presently, the craziest and cutest of all, Lexi. Susie is lucky enough to be surrounded by a wide variety of dogs who stop by throughout the day to share a little love and request a pet or two (or ten), at her daytime job at North Star Leasing. She is honored to donate her valuable time to connect community and business donors with shelters to provide the food, supplies, toys, and other items our furry friends so desperately need.

Newsletter: Paws & Effect

PAWS*** October 17, 2016