Our Mission

Helping PAWS is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, dedicated to improving the lives of animals, alleviating their suffering and elevating their status in society through rescue and rehabilitation. We also want to educate our community on responsible pet ownership and animal welfare. Advocating the value of all animal life, in hopes to end the neglect and abuse animals and help control the pet population through spay and neuter advocacy.

                                Helping Paws Inc. is located in Indianapolis, IN

Our Directors


Syd Banch, Founder & Director of Fundraising

While looking to add a dog to her family in 1998, a relative told Syd to rescue a dog. She started calling local vets and asking if there were rescues in her area as she was looking for a Golden Retriever. After a few calls, Syd was given the information to the Rescue – Club Pet Adoption. She went out to look at dogs and they did not have one, but said they would call if one came in. In a week or two, they called and she went back. It was love at first sight with Toby.

After seeing the dogs in the shelter and talking to the owner of the rescue, her heart melted knowing there were so many dogs people didn't want. From that day forward, Syd began fundraising and doing events to educate people on the over population of animals in the area. Almost 20 years later, Helping PAWS continues to raise funds for rescues all across the country through online auctions on Facebook.

Syd’s dog family includes Falcora, Louise, Petey, Lacy (foster fail), Ottis (hospice foster), and Allie (her most recent foster failure).


Cari Harris, Director of Finance

Cari had a passion for helping animals at a very young age,  but her heart has always been drawn to helping those in need. Cari volunteered at shelter here and there as a young teen but really found her calling in 2014 when she starting regularly volunteering at a local Humane Society. That is where she was introduced to other animal rescues and found Helping Paws. She began volunteering with Helping Paws in 2016 and became the Treasurer in 2017.

Cari loves to foster but doesn't do well as she has already foster failed twice! Right now she has two pups, Barley, a German Shepherd Mix, and Boscoe, a boxer and Helping Paws Alum! Her husband Matt also supports her passion for rescue and helps with events, transports, and other odd jobs when needed! They have two children, Matthew Jr and Charlie, both love animals, love doing rescue stuff with her, and she hopes one day they will have the passion she does to help animals in need. Cari is proud to be a part of the Helping Paws family and is so excited to see us grow! 


Cheyenne hunter, medical Director

Having been raised to love and care for animals from a young age, Cheyenne has always had a special place in her heart for them. Beginning with their cat Jack, who patiently let her play house with him when she was young, to the pup she used to walk in her own doggie stroller, Cheyenne has a deep love for all animals. She started helping her mom with rescue while she was still in high school and has since been a part of Helping Paws for five years.

Cheyenne currently works as a veterinary technician and has been volunteering with Helping Paws for 5 years. Opening their home to fosters is second nature to Cheyenne and her fiance, Geoff. So much so, that they’ve been foster fails with Helping Paws four different times. Their furbabies Wiggles, Bella, Phoebe and Braum couldn’t be more loved.

Cheyenne’s job with Helping Paws is to make sure every medical need for animals in our care is taken care of. Her personal mission is to help save as many animals as possible and provide care for the ones who need it the most!


Lucy koss, foster coordinator

Bio coming soon...


Lee Sprong, Adoption coordinator

While animals have always been a passion of Lee’s, her career with animals started at sixteen years old with her first job at a boarding and training facility.  Since then, she has worked as a groomer, an adoption counselor, and a dog walker.  She adopted her first second hand dog in 1999 – a beagle named Bubba – and ever since has had a special place in her heart for animals in need. 

After moving from Wisconsin to Indiana in 2012, Lee began fostering for a small rescue and a brand new passion was ignited.  Over the last five years, she has fostered almost one hundred dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens.  In December 2017, she found Helping Paws when a very special boy named Boris needed a foster family.  Lee’s duties include screening potential applicants and making sure the pets she places are in the right home for them.  She likes to consider herself a bit of a pet matchmaker and enjoys being able to continue helping adopters long after the adoption has been finalized. 

Lee not only shares her home with five rescue dogs, three cats, and two rabbits, but also her very supportive husband, Matt, and two animal-loving boys – Myles and Grayson.  They spend a lot of time caring for the animals, transporting pets and supplies for the rescue, and attending adoption events.   The entire Sprong family is proud to be able to call themselves a rescue family and are proud to be HP!

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