Teens unite to work for animals
and Jon DeBlock clean chipping paint off the animal
SPARTA — During recessions and natural
disasters animal shelters get overwhelmed with the number of
animals dropped off at facilities. Often families can no longer
afford to care for their pets or pets are not allowed in
apartments when families are forced to move.
and floods displace countless animals who become orphaned and in
need of care.
Some Sparta High School students want to
help. On Saturday, May 23, they volunteered at B.A.R.K.S Animal
Shelter in Byram.
The teens belong to an animal rights
group, started by sophomore Amanda Iannuzzi, to advocate for
laws protecting animals against abuse — including cruel science
and product experiments.
The group meets
every Tuesday, and has come a long way. They hope to become an
organized school club. They formed in early winter and on a regular
bases have about ten active members. In the future the group hopes
to sign petitions and really make a change in the lives of animals.
They also plan on helping out some local pets in Sparta who are
homeless and find them loving homes.
Teachers Robert Jones and Brigitte Egli assisted the group
with rides to and from B.A.R.K.S, and by helping out at the
“We are a voice to the animals, and that’s why
we need to do something. They are helpless without us,” said
students arrived at a seemingly small shelter, but soon
understood how much their work helped. B.A.R.K.S is a
non-profit animal rescue organization. They provide animals
with veterinary care, housing and permanent placement of
stray and abandoned cats and dogs.
The teens had their work cut out for them as they worked
long and hard hours cleaning, painting and scrubbing
“Cleaning the shelter and cages wasn’t the
best job, but knowing that the dogs were going to have
somewhere clean to sleep made me feel really good. Most
people think of volunteer work as hard and boring, but
helping B.A.R.K.S was fun and rewarding,” said Scott
The group had a booth at Sparta Day;
they volunteer at local shelters and, in the near
future, they will host a clothing drive. The students
hope raise awareness to what they consider unacceptable
treatment of animals.
“It’s a team effort and
every single person in the group is really showing their
compassion towards animals. Everyone really has such
great hearts and I’m so thankful that we all can come
together with good intentions,” said Iannuzzi.