Students create outreach project to spread awareness of animal abuse

As part of their International Baccalaureate CAS project, seniors Emma King, Selah Pilkington, and Alathea Stone worked to spread awareness to the school and community about animal abuse through the distribution of fliers, a booth they set up during lunches, and requesting students submit pictures of their own pets to be displayed. 

“We wanted to do an event bringing attention to animal abuse because we are really passionate about animals,” senior Emma King said. “We want to make a change and we felt this was a prevalent issue that is often neglected. We wanted to bring light to it in a fun way to get people involved.”

The girls have also recognized how animals have had an impact on their lives by adding another layer to to their families

“We have found, adopted, or rescued all of our bigger pets,” Alathea said. “The animals have been a blessing to my family in such a big way. Being able to see how far they have come and how they are thriving now is cool to see.” 

For Selah, the project was personal for other reasons as well. 

“I’m going into the veterinary field and animals are important to me,” Selah said. “I hope we were able to grab the attention of the community and inspire them to care for the lives of their beloved animals.”

This campaign is not only limited to household pets, but also livestock and other animals. The seniors thought it would be an inventive and interactive approach to achieving community involvement by allowing people to send in photos to add to their booth. 

“I really enjoyed putting up pictures of everyone’s pets at our booth,” Alathea said. “It was cool to see people interacting with our booth and see that we were making an impact.”

The girls felt that having visuals of people’s pets and pets who had been abused next to each other would help others recognize the problems of animal abuse and neglect.

“The goal is to have animals taken care of and loved,” senior Alathea Stone said. “The contrast of seeing pets who are abused or neglected with pets in loving homes really made an impact.”

The booth was successful and got the attention from the general public, while also receiving support and questions about how to get more involved.

“We didn’t expect that many people to come to our booth,” Emma said. “Some people did just come over to pick up the free stuff at the booth, but many people wanted to donate or volunteer their time. People actually wanted to make a change so that was really inspiring.”

As graduating seniors, the girls hope that next year a current junior will be able to take over and continue the campaign to help raise awareness to animal abuse in the community.

“We kept putting it off as a CAS project, but it ended up being really cool,” Emma said. “Doing the research for our project taught us a lot about the topic and the interactive part really made it something beyond a check box for IB.”