Our team in the Netherlands

In the course of time Patricia Jussen infected people with her love and passion for this kind of charity and volunteering, which resulted in a small team of volunteers and many people who collect and donate goods and fundings.

Assisted by the helpful volunteers, Joukje van Oorschot en Gertie Willemsen, the organization We help Paws has emerged.

Joukjes story

I am asked to write something about myself.

Pooya not easy to write why I do what I do for We help Paws.

Actually, I'm afraid of dogs, especially the ones I don't know. I think cats are much more fun. Although I know that I can't save all animals. I can't bare to see animals suffering.

I always had cats and usually that were stray cats or cats that couldn't stay with their owner for any reason. I never said no to those cats and took them in.

My volunteering for We help Paws started after Patricia volunteered in a shelter on the Canarian Islands in 2016 Happy dog Maspalomas owned by Silvia Hollanda.

Patricia came home with lots of stories about stray dogs in a shelter over there.

She inspired everyone around her with her stories and asked several people to come along also to the Canarian Islands. So we did in 2017.

I (not to fond of dogs) and two other friends went with her and got inspired with the rescue virus also. It was a very special experience and Patricia's and Gertie's enthusiasm worked contagious. Back in the Netherlands it was natural for us to raise money for Happy dog Maspalomas so that they could continue their work there.

After that Patricia located a few other organisations via Facebook and got really exited to help them as well.

I like to organize the collected goods and I see it as my contribution to help all animals. So these projects expanded.

My planned trip to Vietnam was cancelled instead I went to Cambodia with Patricia on holiday. There are many stray dogs in Cambodia, We fed them whenever we could. In our last week there we met a Cambodian veterinarian. She started a project on the island. We volunteered there. We helped deworming the pups, washed them and vaccinated them. We donated money and took care of the dogs on the beach.

After this trip I was also completely infected with the rescue virus and only wanted to help all animals. I decided to join Patricia on her trip to India to volunteer at Animal Aid Unlimited for 5 weeks. We carried 96 KG of medical supplies which we collected in The Netherlands.

Carrying medical supplies

After we got back in The Netherlands we started all over again to collect goods and raise money.

Gertie's story

Why commit to fight animal suffering?

  • Why not?

  • Pure love for animals?

  • Giving a voice to animals, they can’t speak for themselves?

Or in my case:

  • sometimes things happen just like that ...

On a very young age (3 maybe 4 years) I was already in love with my neighbor dog, Bambie.
A small self-willed little pincher. For that reason I was more at the neighbors than at home.

My greatest wish, to have a dog of my own as a child, was never fulfilled.
So ... as soon as I had my own dorm room, I went to an animal shelter with my roommate and dog "Dennis" entered the student flat. The agreement was that Dennis would stay with me after our student days.

At last ... my first own dog

Dennis and I

After that many more would follow. Preferably a bit of "pathetic" dogs, dogs who had little chance of adoption. Difficult behavior, handicapped, too old etc. etc..

I also spent a lot of free time in an animal shelter.

One day I met Patricia and we made plans to set up a retirement home for dogs. Unfortunately it remained with plans. We did, however, with the help of dear sponsors, bring over an old, unplaceable galgo from a killing station in Spain. Galgo "China" came to live with me and in that way had a nice old age.


Our first common project was a fact.

After we had done volunteer work with 4 ladies in an animal shelter on the Canary Islands and Patricia and Joukje had been active as volunteers in Greece and Cambodia, Patricia founded We help Paws just like that.

Knowing Patricia (whatever she starts, she does not give up, shows unbridled commitment and makes it a success) I was naturally happy to, in a modest way, cooperate in this latest initiative: We help Paws.