Celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Week

We say it often because it’s true — Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando (PAGO) simply could not do our lifesaving work without the help of our volunteers. It takes a village of altruistic pet enthusiasts to make sure our shelter dogs and cats are happily enriched while in our care.

In celebration of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando staff spent the week of April 6-12 honoring the volunteers who so graciously give of themselves in the service of our shelter pets. And of course we did it with our PAGO flair.

From a five mile hike with our Bark Buddies and shelter pups at Spring Hammock Preserve, to kitten yoga with our Kitty Cuddlers, we showered volunteers with gratitude, education, love, snacks and fun! We wended our purrfect week with the Second Annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet — The Volees! (Check out photos from the event below.)

Volunteers from both our Orlando and Sanford shelters gathered for a night of appreciation. “At Pet Alliance, we rely heavily on our dedicated volunteers who are involved in every aspect of our organization,” says Volunteer Manager, Destiny Houghton. “The Volees are our opportunity to show our gratitude, but also call out the folks who go above and beyond the volunteer job description.”

And that’s thirty-four volunteers to be exact! With award titles like “To the Rescue!”, “Lionheart”, and “Shelter Hero”, you’d think PAGO volunteers are something out of a Marvel movie… you’d be right. 

Destiny explains, “It take a special kind of person to keep coming back to a volunteer position—we know that much. But our volunteers go beyond just showing up. They love these animals and are committed to helping them.”

From all our PAGO shelter pets, tail wags of gratitude are swaying your wa

Volees Honorees

Shelter Hero

  • Megan Oates
  • Sally Edmonds
  • Stephanie Merlin
  • Laurel Stevenson

Dynamic Duo 

  • Julie & Justin Petrak
  • Judy Gracey & Sue Leister

To the Rescue!

  • Penny Stewart
  • Santa Paws
  • Eileen Gregory
  • Richard Brickey
  • Mary Toothman

Perfect Attendance  

Craig Husk


Heart of Gold

  • Lorraine Lavoie
  • Denise Paine
  • Ray Thornton
  • Di Schoeppner
  • Katie Woodson


Events Enthusiast 

  • Miranda Paredes

Lionheart 

  • Robert ‘Tito’ Monzon
  • Linda Chistopher
  • Terri Kane
  • Barbara Ramos

Offsite Superstar

  • Cheri Cutter

Bark Buddy Most Hours Volunteered

  • Tom Haney (189 hours served in 2018)
  • Jole Levine (460 hours served in 2018)


Kitty Cuddler Most Hours Volunteered

  • Kim Grant (555 hours served in 2018)
  • Celine Gasco (478 hours served in 2018)


Foster Care Most Hours Volunteered

  • Jeff Higbee & Lis Krakowsky (1,500 hours served in 2018)
  • Kim Pallon (387 hours served in 2018)


Cat Condo Care Most Hours Volunteered

  • Lois Simth (193 hours served in 2018)


Pet Therapy Most Hours Volunteered

  • Robert Fields (186 hours served in 2018)

Thank You to our Event Sponosors