THE JEFFERSON AWARDS: Our May winner donates her time to help shelter animals

Every month FOX 47 features someone in our community who is making a difference, and we honor them with a Jefferson Award.
This month’s winner is Lindy Hankel, a woman dedicating her time to helping dogs.

"They just get you," Hankel said. "They know when you’re feeling down."

Hankel has been volunteering at Paws and Claws Humane Society for the past 13 and a half years.

"I just think they can’t speak for themselves and they are just so giving and forgiving," she said.

On average Hankel volunteers at the humane society about 20 hours a week, and that’s on top of being a geriatric physician at Olmsted Medical Center in St. Charles.

"My husband always says I like the underdogs because I like older people and dogs," she said.

Hankel has done it all for Paws and Claws.
She started off dog-walking and now helps foster puppies and sick dogs, helps transport animals, and organizes the humane society’s fundraising events.
Some of the events she’s helped with are the Annual Rummage Sale, The Pet Walk and the Fall Auction.
The Paws and Claws Shelter Manager says Lindy has helped raise more than $500-thousand through all the events she’s helped with over the years.

"She is always willing to help no matter what you ask her she is always there and willing to help," Tanya Johnson, Shelter Manager, said.

Lindy also played a big role in the creation of the new Paws and Claws facility on 19th Street Northwest that opened in 2013.

"Being part of this shelter being built…what went into it was probably one of the best I’ve gotten to do in life…" Hankel said.

She says people should give back to something they are passionate about.

 "Whether it’s here, which I love, or somewhere else that means something to you, or the rest of the world to make it a better place. You can’t do a lot, but you can do a little."

To nominate our next Jefferson Award winner click here.

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