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Past Speakers

Paula Fasseas

Founder of PAWS Chicago
On May 30, 1998, PAWS Chicago was launched with an adoption event, Angels with Tails. The message that homeless pets needed to be saved was taken to the public. The event was held on the streets and in the boutiques of the Magnificent Mile where local businesses enthusiastically agreed to showcase the animals in their storefronts. That single event brought the plight of homeless pets to the foreground, leading to continued public and media engagement that evolved over time: First, a volunteer-run storefront Adoption Center on Clark Street Next, the opening of the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic Then, the momentous inauguration of the Pippen Fasseas Adoption Center And the most recent openings of the Training & Foster Care Center and the Glenn L. Felner North Shore Adoption Center Through it all, the growth and evolution of PAWS Chicago has been driven by public awareness and the recognition that every person can take action to help homeless pets. This has culminated into a collective action that has had transformative results, with the killing in Chicago declining by more than 80% since PAWS Chicago’s founding Paula Fasseas honored as Chicago magazine’s Chicagoan of the Year In January 2008, PAWS Chicago founder Paula Fasseas was labeled a Transformer by Chicago magazine and honored as Chicago magazine’s Chicagoan of the Year. Oprah Winfrey Features PAWS Chicago’s Lincoln Park Adoption Center on Her Show On April 21, 2008 Oprah Winfrey aired her visit to the Pippen Fasseas Adoption Center, showcasing the state-of-the-art facility and lifesaving work. It aired on her show as a part of a three-part series on puppy mills. The show put PAWS Chicago on the map as a national leader in No Kill. Maddie’s Fund Grants Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and PAWS Chicago Shelter Medicine Grant No Kill leader Maddie’s Fund helped launch the field of shelter medicine in veterinary schools through generous grant-making. In September 2008, Maddie’s Fund granted Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine one of its largest grants, with a portion of the program develop a teaching medical program with residencies and fellowships available for veterinary students at PAWS Chicago.