Members of Animal Awareness Club from left to right: Jordan Cohen (club president), Jenna Swiertz, Carol Cottingham (club sponsor), Mitt Ohlenbusch

The Animal Awareness Club at Franklin High School will be collecting donations the week of December 8 for dogs rescued from deplorable conditions in a puppy mill that was run out of Humboldt County.

About 100 dogs were rescued from breeder Laura Morris, who was incarcerated after the dogs were taken away on November 5 and charged with 95 counts of animal cruelty. The rescue operation was named Operation Home for the Holidays. Dogs in these types of operations are bred for profit and often become malnourished, unloved, and many will have urine burns, bald patches and parasites from never being cared for properly.

We spoke with three members of the Animal Awareness Club, president and sophomore Jordan Cohen, sophomore Jenna Swiertz, and junior Mitt Ohlenbusch about the club and the what they are doing to help the rescued dogs. The FHS Animal Awareness Club chose to help Operation Home for the Holidays and provide help for these dogs as a giving project.

“We’re collecting anything for dogs. We’ll be looking for stuff like blankets, towels, toys and food, anything,” Cohen said. “And then we’re gonna be going around during lunch, fifth and sixth period, and we’ll be collecting money.”

IMG_0380There will be a box outside the main entrance of Franklin High School where the community can drop donations for the rescued dogs, and boxes will also be placed around inside the school for students and teachers to make donations. The boxes will be out from Monday, December 8 until Friday, December 12.

The dogs rescued, both full grown and puppies, were mostly smaller dogs including Pomeranians, Maltese, shih tzus, poodles, Boston terriers, Yorkshire terriers and one pit bull.

The Animal Awareness Club has been around for five years and makes their mission to help animals in need and support animal rescues everywhere.

“It was just student interest that the kids came to me and asked if I would be their sponsor,” said Carol Cottingham, teacher sponsor of the Animal Awareness Club.

The club has eight members, each of which volunteer at the Williamson County Animal Control and Adoption Center every month to retain membership.

Monetary donations will also be accepted, but must be turned in at the front office with directions to give the to Animal Awareness Club for Operation Home for the Holidays.