Animal Action Grant Winners
Emily Weatherhead, 17
Spot the Checkerspot
Emily is working in her community in Ohio to save the Harris Checkerspot, an endangered population of butterflies. She has created an interactive, multi-level program called Spot the Checkerspot, which incorporates a hiking and nature trail aspect for youth, educational pamphlets and materials, and education programs at various nature centers. By encouraging others to learn about the important role of these butterflies, they will be willing to protect the butterflies' natural habitats, which are being destroyed. Emily hopes to have her listing proposal approved by the Ohio Division of Wildlife to protect the Harris Checkerspot butterfly.
Addressing the unique problem of overpopulation of college campus pets, Jena has established a program to provide college students with a discount on spay/neuter surgeries for their pets. Overpopulation of pets has occurred at her St. Cloud campus because many students adopt pets for company, but do not have the financial means to pay for expensive medical needs, much less for spay/neuter surgeries. Jena has established a partnership with a local veterinarian to offer discounted surgeries at $20 for college students. The grant money will go towards compensating the costs of these surgeries, as well as raising awareness of the importance of these surgeries.
Amanda Joy Smith, 17
Amanda Joy has found that many horses in her area are neglected or abandoned when people are no longer able to care for them. By teaming up her organization, RIDE (Rescue/Recreation Involving Deserving Equine) with the Animal Welfare Club at her school, Amanda Joy is working to raise awareness and raise funds to help these animals. RIDE has designed t-shirts with logos, which will simultaneously promote awareness and raise money. The Animal Welfare Club is creating goals to promote animal welfare throughout the community.
Adin Lykken, 17
Woofin' & Hoofin'
Adin and his group Woofin’ & Hoofin’, have a passion for eradicating animal cruelty and are taking action by holding a 5K and 1 Mile “Doggie Dash.” Animal cruelty is a subject which affects house pets as well as animals who are raised for underground sport, but this race will raise awareness and funds for local animal shelters. Races have been a success in their community and have raised up to $60,000. Following this trend, Adin and his group hope their race will be equally as successful. Adin is proud of his group of teenagers because they have fresh and creative ideas, a youthful vigor, and passion to see the fruits of their labor.
Briana Rutledge, 18
The University of Arizona Animal AdvoCATS (or UA2A) wants to host an Animal Awareness Fair (called Animal Wel-fair) to educate students about the responsibilities of adopting a pet. Too often students will adopt pets but not have adequate means to take care of them, and so this fair will educate students on the full realm of responsibilities that accompany pet ownership. Some of the events include: a doggie treat bake-sale; Woof-n-Walk, a dog walk day; Dog Wash day, to play with puppies from nearby shelters; a dog blood drive for dogs in need.
Erika Ferguson, 16
Build an Ark Conference
Erika is reaching out to local 6th graders of to promote both leadership and service learning while focusing on animal welfare. Helping 100 is a student led organization made up of high school students who will coordinate and lead the Build an Ark Conference to educate and increase awareness of abandoned and homeless animals, and to help aid to decrease these issues. At the conference there will be a panel of experts from the New Jersey Office of Animal Welfare Humane Society, as well as veterinarians, and animal professionals. Taking the information from this conference, the students will culminate with a service learning project to teach students how to make small fleece blankets to put in the dog and cat cages for local animal shelters. To spread awareness the students will also create a website as a resource for animal welfare information.
Maggie Maxwell, 10
Project HOPE (Helping Our Pets through Education) is working to spread the importance of animal welfare by creating public service announcements. They have contacted the local radio station who will play the PSAs, and are working to have them aired on their local cable station also. The project will focus around National Adopt a Shelter Dog month, and to correspond with this they will feature animals available for adoption at the shelter, while reminding listeners about the importance of having your dog spayed or neutered. Maggie is also reaching out younger kids in her school through a picture book featuring a shelter dog, to teach them the importance of spaying/neutering their own pet.
Callie Rowe, 18
Ross County Humane Society
Callie has designed a collaboration between the elderly groups in her area and the local animal shelter. Inspired by her grandfather she is working to make the shelter more accessible to the elderly so that they can help with the animals and the shelters as well. By bringing in these outside groups Callie hopes to aid the animal shelter and therefore improve the lives of many pets, while simultaneously providing an opportunity for senior citizens who may not be able to take care of a pet themselves, but are looking for some animal companionship.
Hayden Whitt, 14
Working at the local Animal Shelter
Hayden began working at his local animal shelter and quickly saw the need for help from outside resources, because the shelter did not have adequate resources. Hayden and other volunteers continued to help walk dogs, but additionally they began to raise money for the shelter to purchase necessary medical supplies, food, and supply medical attention. In addition, through fundraising, Hayden has raised awareness in his community, and is also helping these animals find homes by placing pet adoption adds in his local newspapers.
Sophia J. Evans, 15
Paws for the Cause
Sophia is taking action to help homeless animals in her community, and has to date raised over $5,000 and 3 tons of food for animals in Southeast Kansas. By placing donation jars in local stores and submitting articles in local newspapers Sophia is reminding her community of the importance of the welfare of these homeless animals. Sophia hopes to build her program by recruiting more volunteers, and by placing ads in papers accompanied by photos to remind readers of the importance of saving these animals.