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Patriot Paws assists rescue groups in North Alabama

MADISON – Madison teenagers are proving their interest and care for homeless animals by participating with the student club, Patriot Paws.

Patriot Paws members help local animal rescue groups by volunteering and conducting supply drives and adoption events. Nicole Coker, who teaches genetics and chemistry at Bob Jones, sponsors this club.

Patriot Paws supports Madison Animal Rescue Foundation or MARF (madisonarf.org); Friends of Rescue or FOR (forrescue.net); Felines & Canines Rescue Center (fcrescuecenter.org); A New Leash on Life at 1300 Slaughter Road in Madison (anewleash.org); and animal shelters in Athens, Scottsboro and Huntsville.

Patriot Paws students also volunteer with Athens Dog Pound and at weekend adoption events at Pet Supplies Plus. The club donates to Scottsboro Animal Control.

To join Patriot Paws, students must have at least two service hours per semester. Students can volunteer at shelters or donate food and pet supplies, according to “Patriot Pages.” (bjhspatriotpages.com)

Recently, Bob Jones and James Clemens students teamed up at Felines & Canines Rescue Center in Owens Crossroads. The teens helped by walking and playing with the dogs, and they moved large bags of dog food and numerous blankets.

Student Aubrey Anne Richards helped by walking the dogs and cleaning up the facility. “I personally walked a dog called Dave. Some of the animals previously have been abused, and I want to help animal shelters because they need all the help they can get,” Richards said.

Felines and Canines’ Hunter Stephenson Rescue Center is the first of its kind in the country, Coker said. The center recently won the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award for saving 3,737 lives in the brief time since its opening. The Stephenson Rescue Center serves as a safe house for cats and dogs in danger of euthanization in local shelters until transportation to Mid-West or northern states with a larger adopting population.

“The center always needs monetary donations and supplies to continue carrying out their mission to end the euthanization of animals in North Alabama,” Coker said. “They also need volunteers who can help care for the animals, just as Bob Jones and James Clemens students have done.” Centers always welcome donations like Clorox wipes, bleach and paper towels.

For the Christmas season, Patriot Paws organizes a Foster Animal Angel tree every year during December. The Angel Tree has photographs of dogs and cats in local shelters in clear ornaments on the tree. Anyone can choose a dog or cat and give items from a ‘wish list’ on the photo’s back.

Students interested in joining Patriot Paws can contact Coker.

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