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Bright minds, big hearts: New Bedford teens come up with creative way to help shelter pets


“Abby and Jesenia are working on earning their Silver Award in Girl Scouts (the highest award for their age level) it’s called Helping Paws and they are trying to create a database of volunteer dog walkers to walk shelter dogs.


There are so many dogs in shelters and are stuck in cages all the time. They want to make people aware of how many adoptable dogs there are out there in the community. They are also aware that many people love dogs but either can’t afford one, don’t have enough time to responsibly own one, or their housing situation makes it impossible to have one. They thought that it would be the perfect match to have volunteer people walking shelter dogs.

They are working with Lighthouse Animal shelter to formulate a list of registered volunteers that can stop by the shelter and walk a dog when they can.

This will enable a couple of things:

A) Let the dogs out to get fresh air, to explore safely with a volunteer, and at the same time, get seen by the public and someone seeing the animal might be interested in adopting the dog. Volunteer dog walkers need to be at least 18 and fill out an application through Lighthouse.

B) It would also provide feedback to shelters about the dog socially and temperamentally (they plan on having a short form to fill out after you walked the dog where walkers can provide feedback.)

They are creating “Adopt Me!” leashes for the dogs and are asking for donations of lightly used or new leashes and any plastic bags for ?. They had a table at the CARE 5k and will have one at Petfest on May 5. They will be collecting leashes and bags, and will have volunteer applications to fill out if you are interested in helping to walk dogs at your convenience.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions. Thanks!” – Amy Calnen Santos

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