Newsome High School’s Paws with a Cause officers, Hannah Hanson (secretary), Samantha Dolski (founder and president) and Carlie Tryon (vice president) recently attended an adoption event at the Summerfield Crossing Sunday Market.

A group of Newsome High School students are using their time to help local furry friends in need. The teens started Paws with a Cause, a volunteer club providing students the opportunity to volunteer their time helping animal rescue organizations, in 2018 with the goal of finding forever homes for local animals.

Founder Samantha Dolski came up with the idea of the group to help animals while allowing high school students to get experience and log volunteer hours.

“The primary aim is to provide high school students the experience with animal care, running adoptions, traditional and social media advertising and the general rescue process while obtaining volunteer hours in exchange for helping rescue groups,” she said. “Rescues around Hillsborough County area are overwhelmed by taking care of homeless animals; the high school volunteers provide invaluable support to help in all ways possible.”

“Not only are the rescues able to process more animals through to adoption, the students are able to learn what it takes to work within a nonprofit organization,” Dolski said.

The club officers, Dolski, Vice President Carlie Tryon and Secretary Hannah Hanson, organize weekend shifts of three students twice a day to volunteer for the local rescue organization—Rescue Cats of Florida at the Lithia PetSmart, which takes animals from kill shelters.

The students clean kennels, change litter boxes, socialize the animals, aid with the adoption process, set up PetSmart events and help with any needed paperwork. The students learn valuable skills, including organization, responsibility, care and dedication.

In addition, the Paws with a Cause club has led holiday supply drives to collect blankets, food bowls, toys and treats from the community to donate to various rescue shelters, such as Tampa Bay Humane Society. The club members work on donation collection and event advertising through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, flyers, posters and the Newsome Morning Show.

The latest event the group attended was held at Summerfield Crossing Sunday Market, where Rescue Cats of Florida, the Community Pet Project, Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue and Newsome’s Paws with a Cause volunteers came together to put on an adoption extravaganza with a dynamic setting of games, raffles and bouncy houses.

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