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The Animal C.A.R.E. Club
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One of the things we love about having the IML blog is that we can write about something simply because we think it's cool. Like, a bunch of high school students starting a club devoted to helping animals. (We're big animal lovers ourselves; the IML office is home to not one, not two, but THREE very spoiled cats.)

sweetwater.jpgThe Animal C.A.R.E. Club at Sweetwater Union High School in National City, California was recently selected as the 2009 Humane Society Youth Club award winner by the The Humane Society of the United States. The award honors a K-12 youth club that has made a significant contribution to animal protection.

The club has a growing membership of about 100 students and works to educate their classmates and community about animal cruelty. For instance, recently they aired a PSA on dogfighting from The Humane Society of the United States for the entire school. The message was a powerful one for young people who live in a community where fighting and chaining dogs is considered acceptable by many residents. Here are some other amazing things they've done:

  • Hosting SNAP (Spay Neuter Action Project) on campus. Approximately 200 dogs were spayed and neutered for free or at low cost.
  • Organizing and promoting a free veterinary clinic where dogs and cats are seen by a vet, vaccinated and licensed for free.
  • Protesting a mall pet shop on Saturdays to educate the public about puppy mills.
  • Letter-writing campaigns, including recent letters to Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign bills to ban cow tail docking and to support puppy mill legislation.
  • Fundraising for favorite causes such as the Baja Animal Sanctuary in Rosarito, Mexico.
  • Advocating for the harbor seal colony living in La Jolla, CA.
Says the Animal C.A.R.E. Club founder and advisor Kristina Campbell: "One of the great things about the club is that all it takes is a desire and commitment to making a difference for animals. Students don't have to be academically brilliant or an athlete. In essence, anyone can participate."

Props to you, members of the Sweetwater Union High Animal C.A.R.E. Club! Just think about all the animals and people this small group of teens has impacted (and the great friendships that were probably forged in the process). And to all of our IML'ers: is there anything like this at your school? If not, could somebody start one? Even if you can't start a whole club, there's lots that one or a few individuals can do to make a difference for animals; read all about it in our Pets section.

You can learn more about the Animal C.A.R.E. Club and other youth groups at www.HumaneTeen.org.



We Love A Good Pet Rescue Story


pets6.jpgAnimals are amazing, and most IML'ers think so too! That's why there's a whole section of our Web site devoted to Pets. Pets teach us how to care for others and be responsible; give us unconditional love (and stress relief) when we need it; and sometimes, help bring our families closer together. You can probably tell from our Pets section that we feel passionately about the importance of spaying and neutering your pet, and adopting pets from shelters or rescue groups. That's because pet overpopulation causes tens of thousands of adoptable pets in the U.S. to be destroyed EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Fortunately, lots of small organizations are working to change that, one animal at a time. We heard about a cool contest you can participate in, from Purina Pro Plan's Rally To Rescue campaign. Their "Doing More For Pets" Rescue Stories Contest has chosen 10 incredible stories of animal rescue submitted by small rescue groups across the United States. From now until October 30, 2009 you can read and watch these stories at www.rallytorescue.org and vote for your favorite to win $5,000 worth of pet food. The contest aims to raise awareness and support for smaller rescue groups that are working on the frontlines to save animals from abuse, neglect, and homelessness.

If these stories inspire you to do more for animals in your community, there are many ways you can get involved. Even just educating yourself and those around you can make a big difference!