Dog Appreciation Club joins the list of after-school activities at RBHS this school year. Students made the club to promote awareness about dogs in need or without homes and for students to volunteer at animal shelters, club president freshman Sophia Guest said. Though the goal is similar to the Humane Society section of Rock Bridge Reaches Out, Guest sees her organization as another opportunity for students to involve themselves in school-related extracurriculars and give more awareness to dogs.
“[Freshman] Lauren Bandy, [freshman] Claire Forshee and I created this club together because we wanted to raise awareness for our furry little friends,” Guest said. “Dogs are so special because they provide us with the love and the company we deserve, so it is so important to give them our appreciation with this club.”
The group plans on spreading their love for dogs through school wide fundraisers and community-based volunteer work. Club sponsor Civics Studies Matthew Johnson is excited for the organization’s future and hopes to see more students joining.
“I decided to sponsor the Dog Appreciation Club for a couple of reasons. I have been around dogs all my life and they really are our best friends. I donated a lot of time in both high school and college working at animal shelters and have been around adopted dogs my whole life. It hurts me to see so many dogs living without a loving home and family and anything I can do to help them out I am more than happy to do,” Johnson said. “I would say my job is to give the student leaders guidance whenever they need it. The students have done a great job of reaching out to local groups about volunteering already so I see myself as someone to provide guidance to the students.”
The club plans to have a fundraiser the week before winter break, Dec. 11 through 21. They will collect dog food, toys, collars, leashes and any other goods to donate to local shelters and wish all students will participate.
“I think the coolest thing about the [Dog Appreciation Club] is that the students want to get involved in the community and volunteer at shelters. There are so many different groups here in Columbia and Mid-Missouri that are helping take care of stray dogs and being able to go in and help them with whatever they need is an important aspect of the club,” Johnson said. “This is more than simply sitting around and looking at cute puppy videos, It’s about going out into the community and making a difference in the lives of these dogs.”
Guest hopes more people will join the club, adding the club has Snapchat and Instagram accounts, both @rbhsdac, for students to follow and keep updated about what goes on. Meetings are the first and third Monday of each month and any student is welcome to come at anytime.
“I feel that dogs are wonderful, happy animals that should be appreciated and given a chance at a healthy, safe and loved life,” club secretary Forsee said. “As far as our meetings, we are planning to volunteer at animal shelters in Columbia, such as Second Chance, and to invite all members to bring their dogs to the dog park as a social type event. To become a member, all you need to do is come to a meeting or contact us through our social media platforms, and we can add you to our GroupMe for future club updates and information.”