Craig Middle School students donate food to animal shelter |

Craig Middle School students donate food to animal shelter

Ben Bulkeley

— What started with a death of a pet will allow others to live on.

Mandy Duong and Ping Wu, a pair of 13-year-old seventh-grade students at Craig Middle School, decided after their Chihuahua, Jenna, died last fall, that they would help out other animals.

And what started with a few collection boxes around school ended in 408 pounds of pet food, $112 in donations from teachers and one chew toy going to the Humane Society of Moffat County.

On Tuesday, Duong, Wu and 21 other students from CMS who donated food dropped off bags of chow at Bear Creek Animal Hospital, which also houses stray pets.

Duong, who along with Wu and CMS librarian Mary Pressley organized the food drive, said she was happy with the amount of food her classmates donated.

“Yeah, I think it will help a lot,” Duong said. “It’s important to help animals because animals that are homeless need a home, too.”

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After touring the hospital, and handling a couple of pound puppies, Duong said she wouldn’t mind taking one home.

“But, I don’t think my mom would let me,” she said.

Pressley said the field trip was a reward to the students who brought in food.

“I think the kids did great,” Pressley said. “I think they really enjoyed getting a chance to see what goes on at the shelter.”

Carol Scott, Humane Society of Moffat County treasurer, said the food donated by the students would be given out to families struggling to feed their pets.

“People in the community who can’t take care of the pets because they’re sick, or they just lost their jobs, will be able to feed their animals,” she said.

Scott said a large portion of the money will be used during an animal’s 10-day holding period at the shelter.

“The first five days we wait for an owner to call, and the next five days the animal is put up for adoption,” she said. “After that, we try to transfer the animals to a network shelter.

“But, before we can do that, the animals need to be spayed or neutered and tested. And that’s costly, but it saves lives.”

Scott said the money raised from the school would be used to offset these costs.

Pat Pearce, Humane Society secretary, said having students at the shelter helped serve another purpose.

“It’s important to show kids that the cute puppy in the store grows up into a dog,” Pearce said. “It’s hard to keep an animal, and I think it’s good for the kids to see what happens to the cute puppy or kitten.

“It’s good for them to see what animals have to go through.”

Students were able to tour the facility, and each took away something different.

Seventh-grader David Allen, 13, said he didn’t learn anything new, because he already knows a lot about dogs. He said he is an animal lover, but dogs are his favorite.

“Animals deserve fair treatment,” Allen said. “They were put on this world for a reason, too.”

Eighth-grader Gaven Spears, 13, said he was more interested in the hospital’s technology.

“I didn’t know they had a carbon laser here,” he said. “Instead of a knife, they can use a laser to make the cut when an animal is in surgery.”

Eighth-grader Jacqueline Murray, 14, said it was easy to care for animals.

“Because they’re cute, and some don’t have homes,” she said. “A lot of animals need attention.”

Pearce said the Humane Society was happy to have a little attention.

“I think it’s wonderful they thought of us,” Pearce said. “We’re such a small group that we don’t always get publicity, but we’re all very grateful these kids were so generous.”

How to help

Bear Creek Animal Hospital is competing in the Animal Rescue Site’s $100,000 Shelter Challenge, together with…

Anyone can vote for a shelter once a day, every day, until the contest closes July 26. The shelter with the most votes wins a $20,000 grant.

For more information, or to vote, log on to http://www.theanimalresc…