Mary Lin Elementary School is the first school in Atlanta Public Schools to start a Homeless Pet Club, a group that supports the rescue of homeless pets in the community. As members of the HPC, students can share their love of animals and be proactive by promoting animal rescue, responsible pet ownership, and adopting animals from community shelters.
The HPC team plans to promote their cause by creating posters and other marketing materials, holding collection drives and writing articles for local newsletters. Funds raised by the Mary Lin HPC will support the LifeLine Animal Project, a non-profit organization that strengthens the animal welfare community, and benefit DeKalb County Animal Services.
“I’m looking forward to working with the kids who have a natural inspiration and innate desire to care for animals,” said HPC parent sponsor Kelly Crutcher. Crutcher wants to help the students develop that desire to care for animals so that they can make a difference in their own communities.
On December 10th, the HPC club held its kick-off meeting, which featured an appearance by special guest Xena the Warrior Puppy. Xena is the ASPCA’s (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) 2013 Dog of the Year.
Linda Hickey, who adopted Xena, shared the story of how Xena was rescued from mistreatment, and how she recovered after from her grave physical condition after being given less than a one percent chance of survival. Hickey said Xena has been a friend and a therapist for her eight-year-old autistic son, Jonny. The inspirational story of Xena and Jonny has spread around the world to 103 countries.
“I’m very passionate about this club ‘cause it’s helping dogs in need and helping other pets that need homes,” said one fifth-grader at Lin. “Xena has inspired me to do all of this stuff.”