Elon Volunteers! S.H.A.R.E. Program opens opportunities for students to play with rescued animals
S.H.A.R.E. enables students involved with Elon Volunteers! to play with shelter animals every weekend at the Burlington Pet Adoption Center. A new segment of the program, Animal Protection Alliance, also allows students to learn more about animal issues and awareness.
Every Saturday afternoon at the Burlington Pet Adoption Center, Elon University students have the opportunity to get off campus and play with rescued animals. S.H.A.R.E lies under the umbrella of Elon Volunteers! and includes roughly 300 Elon student members. On a regular weekend, the Burlington Pet Adoption Center could expect up to 24 student volunteers.
The shelter welcomes volunteers to play with the animals at their leisure. Many of the rescue cats and dogs are up for adoption, and these volunteer hours help the shelter raise awareness about the animals looking to find a home. Once at the shelter, students can take out one animal at a time. The animals are always excited to play outside, and the shelter provides leashes to take the dogs on a walk, or designated areas to run freely.
Students come to the shelter for multiple reasons, but mostly just to relax and take some time away from school. The animals always appreciate playing outside, and many students enjoy the rewarding feeling of helping homeless rescues.
“I like S.H.A.R.E. because it gives me an opportunity to help brighten the lives of shelter animals who were abandoned or found on the street,” said Azzurra Catucci, a first-year at Elon University.
“I'm a part of S.H.A.R.E. because animals have always been a huge part of my life, and I have always believed that they deserve happiness and security in this world and it is our responsibility to give them that. I may not be able to save the world, but I can help save little pieces of it,” said Virginia O’Keefe, a student leader for S.H.A.R.E. and junior at Elon University.
The newest segment of S.H.A.R.E. is the Animal Protection Alliance. Founded in February 2015, this portion of S.H.A.R.E. looks to raise awareness of animal issues to work towards ending cruelty of all animal species. The Animal Protection Alliance educates its members and the wider Elon community through campus events, such as speakers, movie screenings, and food giveaways. Some of the more successful advocacy efforts this spring were handing out leaflets at College Coffee and protesting the circus in Greensboro.