Event supports Paws for a Cause

Published 9:34 pm Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do you have an extra bottle of bleach, lots of batteries, a plethora of paper towels? You can donate those items to help save the life of an animal.

The Youth Public Safety Academy will be collecting these items and more at both Suffolk Walmart locations Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. as part of its Paws for a Cause campaign.

“There are so many stray cats and dogs that need to be cared for,” said Pam King, a fire investigator who works with the Youth Public Safety Academy.

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This event will give Suffolk citizens the opportunity to care for those animals and to help support the efforts of the Youth Public Safety Academy.

The youth have a goal of collecting 50 items from each location, King said.

The Youth Public Safety Academy is collecting items requested by the Suffolk Animal Shelter to keep their animals healthy and happy. They are requesting Purina Puppy Chow, bleach, Special Kitty cat litter, batteries, Hartz Corn Cobs, towels, leashes and collars.

They will also accept monetary donations and other items that may benefit the animal shelter.

The campaign was organized by youth ages 13-17 who are part of the Youth Public Safety Academy. The academy provides at-risk youth the opportunity to learn what it’s like to work as a firefighter or police officer.

King explained that the adults’ role in the program is only to facilitate the goals of the youth.

The young people came up with a list of about 43 areas of need, but ultimately they decided to focus on animal care and protection, King said.

King believes that the idea of stray dogs and euthanasia lay heaviest on the hearts of the youth. She said that the class was most concerned with educating the community about the large number of animals that need their help. When it came time to vote on which community service project to organize, “Majority ruled,” King said.

The students had 11 weeks to organize the event, King said. Assisting the animal shelter was a goal that they could accomplish within the 11-week period of time.

“I commend [the youth] and applaud them,” said King.