Utica University students dedicate time raising awareness for furry paws in shelters


Photo from the Animal Shelter Association’s Instagram page, https://www.instagram.com/asa_utica

Breannan O'Hara, Contributing Writer

Local animal shelters are always looking for volunteers and donations to help provide care to their animals, which is why the Animal Shelter Association at Utica University was created. 

The Animal Shelter Association is a club that spreads awareness and supports local animal shelters in a variety of ways. The group dedicates their time to raise donations and spread love for the animals without a home. Through these meetings and events, friendships and good memories are also created. 

“It’s a fun group to be a part of and a way to make new friends,” said Gillian Bradley, a senior who is a member of the club. “During some of the meetings we make treats or blankets to be donated to the local animal shelters in which the group bonds in these shared activities together.” 

This club provides a significant amount of help to local shelters, especially the Humane Society of Rome. Last semester, $200 was raised by selling Utica Coffee and then was donated to the Humane Society of Rome. 

According to club president Julyanna Sauschuck, the club has made big accomplishments that impact local shelters and Utica students.

“Our major accomplishment is the Doggy Destress Day that has occurred for the past two years,” Sauschuck said. “We ask professors to bring their dogs and then anyone on campus is allowed to interact with them in hopes that it will bring joy and comfort to students.” 

The donations raised by the club significantly helps shelters by providing extra supplies for the many animals they take care of. The club also dedicates some of their time each week to physically go to these shelters to volunteer. Sauschuck said volunteers provide “extra love and attention” for the animals that need a home and “service” for the individuals that work at these shelters. 

“Our job when volunteering can range from walking dogs, cat socialization and cleaning everyday items used by the animals,” Bradley said. 

Since the club has been active, there has been growth in donations and time spent volunteering. Since the Animal Shelter Association gives a voice to animals that cannot speak for themselves, it needs help in maintaining active members.

“Our long-term goal is to ensure that we have new members stepping into the e-board positions for next year since the whole e-board is leaving,” said Michael McNeil, the vice president of the club. “That’s a big challenge we’re facing right now.”

If anyone is interested in helping the local animal shelters and spreading awareness for the animals without a home, they should consider joining the Animal Shelter Association here at Utica University.

“Most importantly though, we encourage people to volunteer at animal shelters whenever they can,” McNeil said. 

To learn more, check out their Instagram page by visiting https://www.instagram.com/asa_utica