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"Pet Project" by
Laurie Dias-Mitchell and Jackie Francisco
Dartmouth High School students, including those considered special needs, travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana during spring break -- April 2009 -- to volunteer with Animal Rescue New Orleans [ARNO] and also participated in on-campus, pre-excursion curriculum activities — to include making “adoption packets” [collars and leashes] for the adoptive families of the shelter’s dogs and cats. A week before the group headed to New Orleans, Dr. Pitcairn, a Darmouth, MA veterinarian, offered an assembly at Dartmouth High School for all NOLA Rollers. The veterinarian talked about displaced pets following natural disasters and what to expect as volunteers in a shelter.
Animal Rescue New Orleans [ARNO] is an organization created and dedicated to the rescue and aid of abandoned and homeless animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi. Their mission includes: responding to the immediate needs of those animals requiring medical care, or who have been neglected, abused and deprived of love; promoting the foster, adoption, and reunion of pets with caretakers; the spaying/neutering of all companion animals; and, relying on an army of volunteers, maintaining 4,000 feeding stations throughout New Orleans. Last spring, a group of 40 Dartmouth High School students and 8 chaperones spent their April 2008 vacation working for ARNO [as well as for Habitat for Humanity and Beacon of Hope]. The 2009 group of students [aptly nicknamed “NOLA Rollers,” as they “rolled” to NOLA in a coach bus: focused more attention on ARNO and its needs, and chose to make “adoption packets” for the dogs and cats – which included handmade collars and leashes.
Adoption packets included: books. treats, toys, -- and the collars/ leashes were handmade by NOLA Rollers!
NOLA Rollers volunteering at ARNO