Students' club works together on pet project

Some teens at John Burroughs High School are trying to bring a little peace and goodwill toward animals.

Members of the newly minted Animal Rights Club at Burroughs High School are collecting pet products such as leashes, bowls, bags and cans of pet food, towels and old bed linens to donate to the Burbank Animal Shelter.

“We wanted to do something for the animal shelter during the holiday season because there are a lot of clubs doing things for underprivileged families, so we wanted to do something that would include the animals,” said Nikki Cox, 16, co-founder and co-president of the club.

The club began taking donations on Dec. 3 from around campus, and so far its 10 members, which formed at the beginning of the school year, are seeing a modest turnout of offerings, Nikki said.

“We’ve got a few donations, but we are trying to do publicity to get a lot more,” Nikki said.

“Were trying to get a lot of stuff to donate.”

So far they have posted fliers around campus and made morning announcements to spread the word and motivate students to drop off items in their advisor Jill Tobin’s room.

The students, a group of animal lovers and vegetarians, stressed the importance of not neglecting needy pets during the giving season.

“We think [people] should donate things because we know that there are a lot of needy families, but there are also a lot of needy animals that need things too, and they shouldn’t just get ignored,” said Rebecca Hernandez, 15, co-founder and co-president of the club.

The Burbank Animal Shelter houses more than 130 stray animals, with 66 foster cats being cared for in volunteers’ homes, said Brenda Castaneda, senior Animal Control officer at the shelter.

But volunteers tending to cats in their homes over the holidays use food from the shelter.

“Usually the most we probably need is wet food,” she said.

“So either dog wet food or cat wet food. That’s usually something we are always looking for.”

The shelter receives donations from individuals and classrooms throughout the year, she said, but they are always seeking more.

Volunteers at the shelter put up a Christmas tree in the lobby this year adorned with ornaments that feature photos of adopted pets dangling from the branches.

Visitors to the shelter have come by this season and placed donations under the tree.

“We have citizens that come in and bring a case of wet food or treats,” she said. “So, you know, just every now and then people stop and bring things in.”

The Animal Rights Club at Burroughs High School will drop off their donations to the shelter on Dec. 21, the day after the drive ends.

“Basically, we just want to get the point across that animals should have not equal, but sort of equal rights to humans because they do have feelings too,” Rebecca said.

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