By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Eleven members of Girl Scout Troop 7635 are hosting a donation drive to collect leashes, collars and pet food in a bin at Paws N Claws on Marquez Avenue to support the work of Deity Animal Rescue.
“Animals are like people or even family, they all deserve help and love,” Girl Scout Soyer Pernin shared. “That is why we need to do our best to help them.”
The Los Angeles-based nonprofit animal rescue, run by Ellen Ballon Dante, has rescued, fostered and found forever homes for hundreds of at-risk dogs from high-kill shelters since its founding in 2003, according to information provided by the troop.
The scouts’ donation drive will support animals that belong to people experiencing homelessness throughout the Los Angeles region.
“COVID-19 has had an impact on people that could no longer afford rent, and when they leave their home, they leave with their pets,” Troop Leader Carole Pernin explained. “Since most shelters don’t allow pets, these people tend to live on the streets with their pets.”
Instead of separating from their pets, people are staying with them, sleeping in their cars or encampments.
“This is important to me because I can’t imagine being separated from my pets that I love so much,” Girl Scout Olivia Lipsky shared ahead of the drive.
The Marquez Charter Elementary School-based Girl Scout Juniors are working toward their Bronze Award, which is the highest honor they can receive at this level.
“When Girl Scout Juniors team up to make a difference in their community, they learn important leadership skills, discover new passions and watch how seemingly small actions make a big difference,” according to the Girl Scout website.
Donations of new or gently used items will be collected between February 12 and 26. Blankets or beds will not be accepted, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“The project will help many people and their pets in need across Los Angeles, and participation in these types of programs help the programs to continue,” Troop Leader Julie Treibatch shared. “Part of the Girl Scouts project is creating an awareness of an issue. The awareness spurs interest by the community who then steps up to help out. If the community can help out with the basic needs of homeless people and their pets, possibly this support can lead to getting them housed and to keep them housed. It provides help and hope.”
The scouts—Olivia Lipsky, Soyer Pernin, Presley Treibatch, Althea Gottlieb, Samara Gottlieb, Eleanor Mammen, Ellerie Newell, Jesika Popovac, Clarisse Grusky, Gabby Henderson-MacLennan and Misha Heindel—will each fill a box, decorated with positive messages, with supplies.
“The whole idea of Girl Scouts is to help people and make the world a better place,” troop member Presley Treibatch shared, “not just for people, but for pets too.”
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