Meet the Staff

We are a committed & talented team working to improve the lives of pets. We are dedicated to the best interests of your pet and in love with animals. The unifying theme, when gathering the staff profiles for this website was integrity. We care about animal health and welfare. We care about customer satisfaction. We love dogs and cats. We love working at Friendly Paws because every animal is treated as if it were our own animal.

Shelley with Maui (adopted from Athens County Dog Shelter)

Shelley Lieberman, owner. Shelley grew up in Athens, graduated from Athens High School and received undergraduate and master’s degrees from Ohio University. Leaving Athens to work for the Atlanta Braves and other sports teams, her career took her into Alumni Development for colleges such as Georgia Tech and the College of William & Mary. After ten years away she returned to Athens to work at Ohio University. She found herself thrown into pet rescue due to stray & feral cats who were living in her mother’s yard – the rest is history. Shelley became involved with Trap-Neuter-Return, began rescuing dogs off chains with Dogs Deserve Better and using her PR skills to get the word out about puppy mills with people she met along the way. Eventually she joined the board of the Athens County Humane Society, serving 8 years at vice president and streamlining their spay/neuter programs and adoption programs. Lieberman says, “Purchasing Friendly Paws and creating a positive atmosphere to support local rescue animals is very important to me. I love talking to people about their pets and helping them solve any issues they may be having. Meeting the dogs and cats, makes it a joy to go to work each day.”

Shelley’s Pets:

Ali’ is 16 years old. He was found with a split lip and broken teeth, hence being named after the famous boxer. He lives a life of luxury and going on about 14yrs old still plays like a kitten but sleeps like a champ.

Carmella is 6 years old. Rescued by a young girl at a school who witnessed young boys throwing her against a brick wall.


She recovered at my home and was to be adopted but ended up being returned as she could not get used to the dog in the household. Carmella is beautiful – and she knows it!


Nova is 4 years old.  This guy has the longest tail you’ve ever seen and purrs all the time. He cries for me when I’m not there and just loves to snuggle. He hearts Carmella, but she does not love him – which makes for some interesting interactions.