Community,Our People | December 19 2018

FCA Community: Creating “Happy Tails” for Animals Across Michigan

From wildfires to hurricanes and animal hoarding to dog fighting, Courtney Protz-Sanders is skilled in triage and emergency sheltering for animals. She’s also founder and executive director of Paws for Life, a non-profit, foster-based, all-breed rescue for dogs and cats that has saved nearly 3,000 homeless animals from shelters and the streets of Michigan.

“I come from a family who taught me kindness and compassion for all living things,” says Courtney, communications manager at FCA US. “As a child, I rescued animals that I would find on the streets and I would leave bowls of water outside for wildlife on hot days.”

Founded in 2007, Paws for Life operates with her team of 75 dedicated volunteers where every penny donated goes directly to the animals in their care.

“What’s really great is the support from my colleagues, who have adopted pets from Paws for Life and even volunteered to help out at our events,” explains Courtney.

Courtney’s passion for animal welfare extends beyond her non-profit. Her resume includes:

  • Advisory Board member with the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance
  • Member of the National Disaster Animal Response Team
  • Member of the Michigan Rescue Certification Task Force
  • Member of the Committee to Reform Michigan Animal Shelters

After 18 years in animal welfare, she is now a renowned animal advocate, speaking at national, international and statewide animal welfare conferences and workshops, and is a spokesperson for Michigan’s Political Action Committee for Animals, assisting local communities with developing and passing animal welfare ordinances, resolutions and legislation.

Paws for Life’s next mission is a capital campaign to raise the funds to build an Adoption Center, which would include housing for adoptable dogs and cats, an Education Center and space for a TNR surgery recovery area for cats.

To learn more about Paws for Life or to become a volunteer visit or

 About FCA Community Stories:

FCA Community explores the efforts of FCA US employees who see a need beyond the walls of their work sites and devote energy outside their daily job to be a source of comfort and a force for change.