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Choffin students aim to provide holiday cheer for homeless pets

Published: Fri, November 30, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.

Choffin students collect Christmas gifts for Valley dogs, cats in need tydings of joy to dogs, cats in need

SEE ALSO: 5 dogs, 4 cats likely died of starvation in Warren, officials say

By Denise Dick



Choffin Career AND Technical Center students want to make the holidays a little brighter for some Mahoning County residents who can’t speak for themselves.

The students in the center’s biotechnology tech prep and health magnet programs are collecting items for homeless pets at Animal Charity, West Side Cats and the Mahoning County Dog Pound.

A Christmas tree in the Choffin lobby is decorated with laminated paper dog bones and photos of dogs and cats at the rescues.

“I’m sensitive to animals,” said Charidan Hilson, 16, a junior in the biotechnology tech prep program. “If no one is going to help them, then I think we should help them.”

Charidan, who plans to be a veterinarian, has a dog at home who just had puppies. She points to Dexter, a black and white pitbull, as her favorite animal featured on the tree.

“He’s so cute,” Charidan said.

Calisa Jackson, 16, and also a junior in biotechnology, said she feels bad for the dogs without homes she sees running in neighborhoods. She wants to help organizations that help the dogs.

Juniors Sarina Chatman, 16, who’s in the biotechnology program, and Jamaiza Bates, 16, a student in the health magnet program, said they worry about homeless pets too, especially as the weather turns colder.

The idea for the community service project came from the girls’ teachers Holly Welch, Stella Camuso and Brenda Barton.

Renee English, Choffin spokeswoman, said both programs are highly selective in picking students and each has a waiting list. Students earn college credit.

Items such as large blankets, bleach, dry dog and puppy food, dry or canned cat and kitten food, copy paper, sheets, towels, toilet paper, tissue, hand or dish soap, newspapers, small plastic bags, cat litter, rawhides, dog treats, rubbing alcohol, disinfectant spray and plastic totes with lids may be dropped off at the school on Wood Street during school hours.

Tax-deductible monetary donations may be made by check or money order to the charity.

“One of the units they study is veterinary medicine, so this fit right in,” English said.


1Crazygal(6 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Great charity to help, animals neglected and left on the streets definitely need this kindness, thank you..great career for animal lovers..

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2janeyblue(227 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Please spay or nueter your pets. One litter of puppies or kittens is far too many.

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3ulistenup(95 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Why don't these students try to help hungry and homeless PEOPLE? Not that animals don't deserve compassion - but c'm on! - college credits?

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4gr8bnretired(21 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

College credits are earned through the biotechnology programs, not the community service program to assist the animals.

It is very likely that the students and teachers try to help hungry and homeless people through individual efforts outside of school such as monetry donations and volunteer time offered to charities.

Any act of compassion offered to any species makes the world a more gentle and habitable place.

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5ulistenup(95 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago


"Any act of compassion offered to any species makes the world a more gentle and habitable place."

So you're lumping together the human "species" with animals. Wow!

How 'bout "The Sermon on the Mount." I don't see Jesus lumping animals in with humans - who have an immortal soul.

Today the thing is "life rights." Everything is equal. Even plants and insects are equal to animals. It's a perversion of values.

Anyway, what's biotechnology have to do with the welfare of dogs and cats.

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6mudduck(31 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I think the students are doing a great service and are stand up individuals for their community. Its great that they are helping out animals in need. And to you "ulistenup" get a freaking life. What does it matter to you whom they are helping. What good are you providing the world besides consuming oxygen you mouth breather. Shame on you to critizes young adults. LOSER.

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7charms(228 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago


"What good are you providing the world besides consuming oxygen you mouth breather."

anger much...? I agree with ulistenup.

These kids are fiddling around giving dogs "holiday cheer" when there are people at the Rescue Mission who could really use their help.

Our society has elevated dogs to equality with humans and in the process have diminished the compassion we should have for mankind.

Feed dogs, yes... but holiday cheer - save that for people.

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8mzkymm(2 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

This is awsome. The agencies taking care of all these homeless animals needs as much help as they can get. Good Idea.

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9gr8bnretired(21 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Dear Ulisten,

Perhaps you misunderstood my comment. I did not lump humans with other animals, subordinate our species to any other, or say that everything is equal. When did advocating and appreciating a general spirit of gentleness and compassion become "a perversion of values"?

I, too, am familiar with "The Sermon on the Mount" and its blessings for the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers, and the pure in heart among others. You have the opportunity to be merciful if you try accept that I am pure in heart. In meekness and without rancor we can respect each other and move ahead as peacemakers to soothe the harshness of the world wherever we find it.

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10ulistenup(95 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago


Hard to not agree with such a magnanimous statement.

Peace to you too!

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11prodgodq(172 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I love this message board. For those who think what these kids are doing is a waste of time....why don't you tell them yourself? Somehow I think you wouldn't be able to do it. Personal contact with other human beings is a good thing.

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12Sparkle(12 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Bravo to these kids helping animals. Animal Charity and the Mahoning County Dog Pound are reputable groups that truly care about animals.

As far as West Side Cats - better be sure to give them food, litter and supplies for the cats. Any money donated goes right out the door for fine meals for the leader and her friends. Bill collectors are knocking on doors, but they all eat well. They give all rescue groups a bad name. They could not be more disgusting!!! God help those poor cats.

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13gr8bnretired(21 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Dear Ulistenup,

Gee, I think I like you! It's nice to see what folks who on the surface disagree can accomplish with open talk, open ears, and open HEARTS. Think someone would send us to Washington to work with the folks in congress?

There are probably service projects on which we actually agree! Considering that we both cited the beatitudes from "The Sermon on the Mount", maybe we each could send a $5 check to Beatitude House in care of the Ursuline Motherhouse on Shields Road.

This exchange was really rewarding for me. No politics, name calling or high blood pressure... just a willingness to be open to each other's point of view.

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