Sheltering animals

(May 24, 2013) — Many senior projects attempt to help a single person. Some try to benefit a certain group of people. Some aspire to better the entire human race.

Michelle Aguinaldo’s senior project aimed for an even wider scope.

As an animal enthusiast, Aguinaldo focused her senior project around improving animal adoption. “I wanted to see how animals in shelters and pet shops are treated, and hopefully improve things for them,” Aguinaldo said.

“I wrote my paper topic on the No Kill philosophy and how shelters are mistreating animals,” Aguinaldo said. The No Kill philosophy is part of the No Kill Advocacy Center, a movement to end the killing of animals in shelters due to overcrowding.

To earn service hours, Aguinaldo volunteered at Anderson’s Pet Shop in Montrose. “Actually, it’s illegal to sell dogs or cats here,” Aguinaldo said. “So, the shop consists of birds, rabbits, rats, snakes, spiders and hamsters.”

While working at Anderson’s, Aguinaldo contacted one of her manager’s friends who owns a private animal shelter. “We talked about how animals are treated in shelters, the whole process of how dogs and cats come into the shelters and eventually get adopted,” Aguinaldo said.

Aguinaldo faced a variety of challenges throughout the course of her project. “One challenge for me was that I didn’t know an organization that could provide me with dogs to put up for adoption,” Aguinaldo said. “But I looked around and found an organization called Sparky and the Gang, which gave me dogs to put up for adoption.” Sparky and the Gang is a charity that runs a multitude of animal rescue shelters. “I looked for interested owners, and after a lot of hard work, I managed to find a dog a new home. I’m definitely proud of that.”