Students Raise Awareness for Dog Shelter
Who could resist the chance to hang out for the day with some dogs? The girls from Year 9 Frayne certainly enjoyed the opportunity when they visited the Shenton Park Dog Rescue Centre as part of their Strive9 project recently.
Throughout Strive9, students are challenged to think about issues that surround them and their local community. They start off identifying issues that matter to them, followed by collaborating as a group to select a broad topic. This is then narrowed down to something more specific. From there, the Frayne girls established a good relationship with Dogs Refuge Home.
Frayne House Coordinator Amber Kelly said, “In the early stages, it was evident that most of the girls really wanted to do some work in relation to animal welfare. They spent some time contacting numerous animal shelters and organisations. They received an enthusiastic response from Dog’s Refuge Home, who were so pleased to have Santa Maria College advocate for their dogs and the work that they do.”
To raise funds for the shelter, the girls held a raffle, organising prizes, selling tickets, and drawing the raffle.
On Implementation Day, they presented the refuge with a cheque and took part in service activities at the shelter. The day started with a tour of the facilities where they learnt the process of accepting new dogs. They met some of the workers and volunteers and saw how many people are needed to run a shelter.
The girls then met some puppies and long-term dog residents who came for cuddles and scratches. Then, the students met some of the other dogs waiting on their forever homes, and read to them. The workers said it was the quietest they’ve heard the dogs because being spoken to by the girls was so soothing and calming for them.
The girls were shocked by how many dogs are surrendered each year and the reasons why. One of their main observations was the impact of COVID, and the number of dogs surrendered due to housing shortages and landlords not allowing pets.
How did the girls’ project make a difference? Homeroom Teacher Jessica Ieritano explains, “I think the project has made a positive impact in many ways. The girls did a great job promoting the work of Dogs Refuge Home and raising awareness about animal abuse. Sadly, many of the hundreds of dogs they take in each year have been badly abused and neglected. 80 years on from its original opening, the shelter is still saving more than 1000 dogs in need every year and has become an integral part of the Western Australian community. As a self-funded organisation, they rely solely on the generosity of the community to continue the work that they do. I believe our donation has made a positive impact, whether it goes towards assisting with the maintenance of amenities or perhaps being used to purchase dog food or toys for them to play with.”
Year 9 Frayne student Samantha Johnston said, “We hope our donations will help greatly in providing better food, housing, and toys for the dogs.”
Jessica added, “The most rewarding part of this process was to see how pleased the girls were with themselves when they finally started to see the project taking shape after putting in the hard work. As soon as the donations started coming in, I could see the excitement on their faces about the amount of money they were raising thanks to the generosity of the Santa Maria community.”