The 411 on PAWS (Promoting Animal Welfare Society)

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Townsend Harris High School welcomed a new club called PAWS, or “Promoting Animal Welfare Society.” It aims to give Harrisites an insight on the problems that animals face throughout the globe and how they can help to amend these issues as a community.

In the past couple years, there were no clubs that advocated for animal welfare. PAWS was created to address animal cruelty as an issue most people tend to overlook.To rectify this situation, seniors Hye Mi Jeon, Ibnat Iqbal, and Michelle Shin created this club.

PAWS currently meets on Wednesdays in Room 411. At their first meeting on October 29, the new members of PAWS familiarized themselves with one another and discussed “Whiskers in Wonderland,” an upcoming event that they plan to attend.

“Whiskers in Wonderland,” a holiday pet adoption event hosted by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals in partnership with the Petco Foundation, will be coming to Union Square on Saturday November 15. There PAWS will partake in activities such as handing out flyers, interacting with animals, and most importantly, raising support for animal shelters and other organizations lobbying for animal advocacy. Additionally, PAWS will be holding a fundraiser to collect clean blankets, sheets, and pet toys to distribute to animal shelters. Michelle predicts the event to involve a lot of work, but expects at the same time that will be a lot of fun.

“Animals are being poorly treated,” mentioned sophomore Denise Obaji. She joined the club because she feels that “it is necessary for us to gain an understanding as to how we can help them.”

Ibnat mentioned that the goal of the club is to educate others, since “people do not know enough about animal cruelty.”

“A society can be judged on how well they treat their fellow creatures,” commented Social Studies teacher and PAWS advisor John O’Malley. Mr. O’Malley grew up with dogs, and exclaims that his pets “helped raise [him] by keeping [him] away from open stairways and dangerous objects.”

Ibnat, Hye Mi, and Michelle are eager to advertise and work for the club.

“We are all really passionate about animals and we want to see this club happen, Ibnat stated. “If you have a zeal for animals, join PAWS, a place where you can make a worthwhile difference, have fun, and foster your love for animals.