Students and animal shelter lend a paw to homeless pets

Students and animal shelter lend a paw to homeless pets

February 04
04:43 2016

Nikki Lyssy | Staff Writer

@Blindnikkii

A symphony of sounds greets anyone who walks through the doors of the North Texas Animal Shelter: barks; meows; the calls of animals waiting for a human friend.

Along with cats, dogs are one of the animals you can adopt at the shelter. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer

Along with cats, dogs are one of the animals you can adopt at the shelter. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer

Every week, the North Texas Animal Club gathers to interact and engage with shelter animals. Psychology sophomore Alyssa Gallacher, the club’s president, said former club president Mallory Schier created the club on the same principles as the all-inclusive, community-serving World Echoes club, which she was also part of.

“[She] started up the club because she had bounced around from club to club trying to find her niche,” Gallacher said. “A lot of people are more comfortable with animals than they are with people.”

Psychology freshman and NTAC vice president Karissa Deanbugai said the club was started to help people connect to like-minded individuals around them.

“A lot of people find it easier to talk with an animal in their hands,” Deanbugai said.

As club president, Gallacher is responsible for organizing events, one of which is Fuzzy Friday. The event, which will take place April 1, is the club’s biggest and will feature shelter animals from the community that UNT students can play with.

History sophomore Mia Rook said she has enjoyed being a member of the club.

“I like the fact that they do so much community work,” Rook said. “They work with a lot of shelters who have a high euthanization rate.”

Rook said her favorite event from last year’s Fuzzy Friday was designed for disabled dogs, called “dogs in wheelchairs.” She expressed her excitement for an even bigger event this year.

Psychology freshman Karissa Deanbugaj pets one of the cats at the shelter. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer

Psychology freshman Karissa Deanbugai pets one of the cats at the shelter. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer

The club’s advisor, English professor Kelly Mitchell, became involved with the club after Gallacher, who was enrolled in one of the professor’s classes, asked her if she would be interested.

“I have a love of animals, pets and dogs,” Mitchell said. “So I agreed to be an administrator for the club.”

As the club’s advisor, Mitchell approves meetings and content, as well as outings and events. She said the club gives her a connection to students with whom she works on a daily basis.

“I have a kinship with my students very often, so I want to help and participate with them, not only to be a mentor for them, [but also] to support such a good cause,” Mitchell said. “I personally have three dogs, and we’re trying to raise awareness and get these homeless animals adopted out.”

Featured Image: The Animal Shelter has seven cats up for adoption. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer

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