A love for animals and a bad case of allergies sparked sophomore Cherie Lo’s creation of the Protecting Animal Welfare Society, also known as the PAWS club.
“I’ve always loved animals, but I have allergies to basically everything that moves,” said Lo, for whom pet ownership is out of the question. “Because I can’t have a pet and I really love them, I wanted to do something involved with animals,” she said.
However, Lo’s plan to join an animal-orientated club at the high school stalled when she realized there wasn’t one. That’s how her idea to start the PAWS club was born. After presenting her idea to the Student Council executive board, Lo’s club was exempted from the test period and given club status due to general consensus by council. Social studies teacher Paul Kelly, Lo’s former teacher, agreed to advise the club.
Lo said the club’s goals will be to raise money for local animal shelters as well as awareness about animals without homes. The club also plans to send groups of students to volunteer at local animal shelters such as the Cleveland Humane Center and the Animal Rescue Center. “I hope [PAWS] will raise awareness in the high school about animals,” Lo said as well.
Lo already has several ideas of how to raise money for the local shelters. She listed ventures such as selling animal-shaped cupcakes and creating quilts to be sold.
About 20 students attended PAWS first meeting held Feb. 6. At future meetings, members will elect officers and choose a theme for the year.
Freshman Maisy Hanley attended the first meeting of the PAWS club. “I want to help animals because they do more for us than it seems,” she said of her reason for joining the club.
Sophomore Ana Mitchell’s reason for joining is simple. She said, “I want to help animals.”
A version of this article appeared in print on 20 february 2013, on page 4 of The Shakerite.