Animal Shelter Awareness Club helps local organizations and provides students enjoyment

Members of the Animal Shelter Awareness Club work on an activity during their Oct. 14 meeting.

Morgan Hinman

Members of the Animal Shelter Awareness Club work on an activity during their Oct. 14 meeting.

Morgan Hinman, Staff Writer

The Animal Shelter Awareness Club debuted three years ago and has steadily gained membership, despite the setback caused by COVID-19. Their goal is to raise money and awareness for local animal shelters while also educating the campus and community.

During the pandemic last year, many members felt overwhelmed, yet found joining the club helped relieve stress while offering the campus an alternative to help out the community. 

“(After) COVID hitting as we were just getting off of our feet, this year is really our first year working through everything and getting the hang of it all,” club president Eden Morgan said.

Animal Behavior major Gillian Bradley joined after hearing about the club at last year’s virtual Involvement Fair. 

I have always been interested in the well-being of animals and I thought that this club would be a perfect fit,” Bradley said.

In the past, members of the group made and donated homemade dog treats to various local shelters. Currently, the club is selling t-shirts for $10 that say “Lets Adopt, Not Shop” to fundraise for shelters. The club focuses on group activities. 

With about 57 current members, the club is open to welcoming any new ideas that will help animals.

“This year, we want to get involved with shelters in the area and be able to help them clean cages, socialize with the animals, etc.,” Morgan said. “We also have plans of getting together as a group and making blankets to donate to the shelters.”

The Animal Shelter Awareness Club has worked with Rome Humane Society in the past, but the organization no longer accepts donations. Now the club donates to Anita’s Stevens Swan Humane Society in Utica, with hopes of expanding their reach to other local shelters.

The goal is to “reach as many people as possible and as many shelters as possible,” secretary Julyanna Sauschuck said.

Student turnout and involvement has been positive. E-board members find it important to raise as much awareness among students as it is to raise awareness for the animals.

The club will host an upcoming social media event, an Instagram pet Halloween contest, where contestants will post their pets in costumes to compete for the best one. Visit @asa_uticacollege on Instagram for more details.

“We have a supportive advisor, Dr. Lundquist, who backs up our different aspirations and our members have a lot of great ideas,” Bradley said.

Students who love animals and want to help improve the lives of pets are encouraged to join. The club meets at 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays in Gordon Science Center room 167. Members can bring a friend and spread the word to get more students involved. Interested Utica College students can join the club by emailing an E-board member or joining on PioHub.