A Bright Future for PAWS

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A Bright Future for PAWS

courtesy of PAWS club

courtesy of PAWS club

courtesy of PAWS club


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From a couple members you could count with just your fingers to an entire classroom brimming with students, PAWS has exponentially grown in just the span a year. This was possible through the hard work of Tran Luu, Kristen Eng and Scott Lai.

PAWS has come to be known as one of the most active clubs in school, but it was not always like this. Junior Kristen Eng, the secretary of PAWS, remembered when she first joined in freshman year.

“During our freshman year we didn’t seem to have that many events or hands-on activities with animals.” Eng said.

Junior Tran Luu, the current president of PAWS, also joined in her freshman year. The club was very different three years ago.

“In my freshman year, only about five people were active, not including the officers,” Luu said. “The only thing we did was the food drive, but that was really unorganized because each person was assigned around five teachers, which was way too much for each person to handle.”

Because of this, Eng and Luu decided to work hard to change PAWS. They worked with Ms. Anderson, the club’s sponsor, to get into contact with shelters to provide members with more opportunities to actually work with animals.

“We were both very passionate about this club,” Eng said. “We treated it like a place where other students could come together and volunteer simply because they love it. We coordinated with shelters, and made our club known through school wide food drives, and got to know our members personally through club events. Since we were so active, other students heard about what we do and wanted to check it out. The club grew because we realized a lot of people shared the same passions as we did, and when they heard about what our club had to offer, people were motivated to join.”

Building up the club from scratch was not an easy task. They had to go through many hardships due to many circumstances, for one, most shelters were located downtown or at least very far away from school.

“It was definitely hard to get the shelters to take us seriously,” Luu said “Because we were a bunch of high school kids, they believed that we had no sense of responsibility. It took a lot of effort to build up a good reputation.”

Finally, they received confirmation from Pets Alive, a shelter both reputable and near school. The members could volunteer there every Thursday.

“When I went to the animal shelter for the first time it was like a dream come true,” Eng said. “I was finally able to work with the cats and help out, and I just wanted to keep going back.”

PAWS has been partnering with Pets Alive for over a year now, but a problem has recently surfaced.

“We have been trying to contact them for the past two months, but all that we have gotten back was that their renting situation is not on a stable basis and a lot of their employees left.” Luu said.

However, PAWS still has many more upcoming service projects that members can look forward to.

“We are planning on going to the Humane Society and CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection) for shelter tours to hopefully be able to volunteer there,” Luu said. “Currently, we are writing letters to CAP to thank adopters for adopting rather than buying, and of course, we also have our food drive in December, which is our biggest volunteering event of the year.”

The future of PAWS looks bright. The hard work and dedication Eng and Luu put into the club has definitely paid off. Junior Scott Lai, the vice president of PAWS joined his sophomore year and has high hopes for the future.

“I hope to see our members really contribute,” Lai said. “I hope for our new freshmen members to take initiative and become leaders. I hope they will become passionate about the club so it can survive for years to come.”



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