When it comes to stellar volunteers, you don’t have to look much further than Phinney’s Director Starr Maxwell. A gardener, avid hiker, chef and animal lover, Starr has been donating her time for over two decades. And during that time, she’s helped a lot of people keep their furry friends close by.
Starr first started volunteering when Phinney’s was an extension program of the MSPCA. As a devoted animal lover, and dog mom herself, helping strangers keep their pets was what truly drew her to the program. Her first client, a blind man with HIV, needed assistance keeping his dog with him throughout his treatment, and Starr was more than willing to help make that happen. The experience allowed her to connect with a new community of people, and although a little scary, her compassion and desire to help was what truly shined and helped her continue on.
Being involved with an organization for as long as she has is sure to bring up some great memories. Her favorite part about volunteering with Phinney’s Friends? Getting to directly interact with the clients and their pets. She loves that she gets the opportunity to both meet new people and keep animals safe, happy and most importantly, out of shelters.
When she’s not volunteering with Phinney’s Starr enjoys spending time at home with her two dogs. Tristan, a 12-year-old Cavelier King Charles Spaniel, is a retired therapy dog for Pets and People Foundation with over 300 visits to nursing homes and other venues to offer people comfort. I guess you can say that helping others runs in the family! Her other pooch, Siri, is a 3-year-old terrier mix rescued from an illegal puppy mill by the MSPCA. For her troubled past, her silly, friendly, active demeanor shows how much of a warm, comforting home Starr has made for her.
It’s because of loving and dedicated volunteers like Starr that Phinney’s is able to do what we do and keep people and their pets together. We’re thankful and grateful to all of those who donate their time to help others in need!