This summer, a group of high school students from Nassau BOCES and their instructor, Paul Eidle, came up with a great way to benefit both the dogs and the dog walkers on North Shore Animal League America’s Port Washington, N.Y. campus. As a project for their class, they built three large, sturdy wooden benches that could be put in two of the dog parks.
After an initial walk around campus, a dog walker can bring a dog to the park to have some additional off-leash exercise time and the walker can take advantage of the chance to sit down, throw a ball, and still keep an eye on the dog. The staff and volunteer walkers are going all day long—they have many dogs to walk and they walk them multiple times a day! It’s just so important for the shelter dogs to have time outside and individual attention from people.
Staff also puts canine play groups together and the dog parks are where all the fun takes place. There are several staff involved in keeping an eye on the dogs and making sure that they are all playing nicely together. The benches will allow at least one staff member or volunteer to have some sit down time. And, who knows, a dog might get tired from the roughhousing and want to rest awhile on a bench too!
The students and their instructor were given a tour after they dropped off the finished benches so they could meet some of the pups and dogs that they assisted in their own unique way. They used their talents with building and woodworking to help Animal League America make sure that these older puppies and dogs have the best experiences while they are here waiting to be adopted by a loving family.
Last fall, Paul and another group of skilled students created feral cat shelters for the Adirondack Region Cat Adoption Center in Glens Falls, N.Y. A part of Animal League America’s North Country Initiative, the staff there helps to manage feral cat colonies and these wooden shelters were necessary to help the cats survive the cold and snow. Roofing shingles needed to be attached to the top of the shelters and the roofs needed to be hinged so they could be opened and the insides cleaned out. Sturdy legs had to be built as well since the shelters have to be raised off the ground. There’s no doubt that these well-made shelters kept the cats warm and dry!
“The reason we do projects such as this is to promote community service with the young people. We like to work with organizations that do good things,” said Paul. “Anything we can do to help out organizations like North Shore Animal League America while being able to promote community service among our young people is a win-win deal for everyone.”
Paul thought of Animal League America right away because he adopted an adult dog from us and he feels that if it wasn’t for our organization, his dog, Brody, probably would not have survived because he was in a municipal shelter. Now Brody goes with him to class and meets all the high school students and other staff who spoil him with lots of attention and treats.
There are many ways that groups of people are able to assist with helping the rescued pets here at the adoption center without being onsite. Collections for toys and blankets are always much needed. Schools and community groups can also create online fundraisers to help support our no-kill mission today and in the future. Everything we do is made possible by the generous support of animals lovers like these young students, and for that we thank you.