UNION — The dogs at the Union County Animal shelter got a present Thursday in the form of more than 200 pounds of dog food collected by some students at Foster Park Elementary School.
The students in Christie Hayes’ fourth grade class presented Union County Animal Control Officer Heather Sealy with 239.9 pounds of dog food Thursday afternoon. The students collected the food as part of an educational and community service program Hayes initiated three years ago after a friend told her about the animal shelter.
“This is the third year I’ve done this,” Hayes said. “I’m an animal lover and most of my pets are rescues. A friend of mine told me about the shelter in Union, that it was really small and could use all the help it could get. Then I decided to teach my students about what we could do to help the community and the shelter.”
That lesson involved learning about cruelty to animals and preventing it through a lesson plan that included reading the book “A Dog’s Life: Autobiography Of A Stray.” They then lead an effort in the school to collect dog food which they presented to Sealy Thursday afternoon.
“They learned about prevention of cruelty to animals,” Hayes said. “They wrote speeches that they read on the school news to inspire others to help us and they created posters which they hung around the school.”
Before she got the dog food, Sealy answered a number of questions from the children about the animal shelter including:
• How many animals are at the shelter? Fifteen cats and 18 dogs.
• How old do you have to be to work as a volunteer at the shelter? Eighteen if by yourself, any age if accompanied by a parent.
• Do the animals whine a lot? The dogs mainly like to bark and bark and bark, while the cats will meow at you when you come in but are otherwise pretty quiet.
• What is your favorite animal? One going to rescue or being adopted.
After getting their questions answered the students then each picked up either a bag or can of dog food and carried them out to the school parking lot where they were loaded into Sealy’s van to be taken to the animal shelter.
“They do a great job,” Sealy said. “Ms. Hayes and her kids raise food and awareness every year for the animals at the shelter.”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.