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April 23, 2014

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Coronado club members aim to help four-legged friends

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Heather Cory

Coronado Humane Society Club co-vice president Thomas Gratz goes over a volunteer opportunity with club members during their weekly meeting.

Coronado Humane Society Club

From left to right, members of the Coronado Humane Society Club, Ryan Hulsey, president, and Nikki Wogalter, co-treasurer, have a small discussion at the beginning of their meeting. Launch slideshow »

Coronado High School juniors Allison Mora and Ryan Hulsey were talking one day during lunch about what it would be like to have a club at their school dedicated to helping animals.

"We said, 'Let's make it happen'" Hulsey said.

The two recruited other students, then went to U.S. history and sociology teacher Kimberly Reed to ask if she would be the adviser for the Humane Society Club.

"They knew I would say yes," said Reed, who has decorated her classroom with figurines and photos of animals from dogs and cats to penguins.

Hulsey and Mora now serve as co-presidents of a club they have been told is unique in the Clark County School District.

The first order of business was to adopt a club T-shirt — a design by junior Taylor Bearden of the planet Earth surrounded by paw prints of different animals.

The members then discussed opportunities to volunteer helping animals in the community, an effort that has run into some barriers. In order to volunteer at stores such as PetCo and PetSmart, volunteers must be at least 18 years old, they found.

"We will do a lot of fundraising and donating to help out if we are not able to actually volunteer at certain places," said Thomas Gratz, co-vice president.

In October the club held a food and blanket drive and collected more than 200 pounds of dog and cat food, as well as blankets, collars and toys, which they donated to the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

After winter break, the club had planned to sell Penguin-Grams, miniature stuffed penguins with notes, during school hours. The money raised will be donated to an animal shelter chosen by the club's members.

The club is currently signing up to work with the Las Vegas Humane Society and Heaven Can Wait animal shelter.

The members of the club hope to send a message to the community.

"Take care of your pets," secretary Nikki Wogalter said.

"And get them spayed and neutered," Gratz added.

The club is also open to suggestions from the community.

"If people have volunteer opportunities, we would love to hear about them," Reed said.

Anyone with volunteer opportunities for the Humane Society Club is asked to contact the front office at Coronado High School at 799-6800.

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