By MARY BURGER – STAFF WRITER
Without a doubt, the best days on Centre’s campus are ones when puppies and kittens come. The excitement and joy can be felt all across campus as students find stress relief through playing with the animals, reminding us of the pets we left back home. Sadly, the puppies and kittens only come to campus about once a semester. Centre PAWS, however, gives students the opportunity to work with these fluffy creatures all the time.
Centre PAWS stands for Pets and Animal Welfare Society. What sets Centre PAWS apart is that this organization works with animal organizations in the Danville community. “Our main responsibility as an organization on campus is to connect students with animal organizations in town. We are mainly a contact and resource for the town. Every weekend volunteers are needed for the Danville-Boyle County Humane Society PetSmart adoption weekends.
Volunteer responsibilities include helping with adoptions and cleaning up, but mostly, cuddling puppies and talking with others who love animals,” junior and president of Centre PAWS Andrea Merchak said.
“You can directly work at the Humane Society, which is not very far from campus,” junior and the current secretary/incoming treasurer Beth Jun said.
“There are opportunities every weekend to volunteer at the rescue center,” sophomore and vice president Amanda Vokoun said. “We are also responsible for bringing puppies and kittens to campus.”
The organization does several fundraising projects for various animal organizations around Boyle County.
“This is less of the focus of the club, but it helps these organizations and it gives students who are unable to leave campus for any reason an easy way to help out,” Merchak said. One example of fundraising is the Angel Tree in the winter.
The most recent fundraising activity was in support of Hal’s Haven, a local cat rescue and adoption center in Danville. Centre PAWS sold Easter eggs that contained candy, prizes of $2, and occasionally the elusive $5 bill. This event made $250 for Hal’s Haven.
“In the past, most of our fund raising efforts have benefitted the Danville- Boyle County Humane Society, but we felt that it was important that some of the smaller, private organizations who do great work get recognized on Centre’s campus and a financial donation from our club. Name recognition is sometimes just as important as donations as it will hopefully inspire some Centre students to spend their time volunteering which is so important for rescue centers,” Merchak said.
Most students know that the Humane Society is a place where volunteering is possible, but helping organizations like Hal’s Haven definitely puts the name of these organizations on the radar of Centre students.
Looking for service hour s or want to relieve stress by cuddling these loveable creatures? Contact Merchak or Vokoun, who stress that Centre PAWS is not a huge time commitment. By emailing these two you are simply opening yourself to the possibility of working with these furry friends. As in the words of Amanda Vokoun, “Everyone loves puppies and kittens, so why not get involved?”