By Denise Dick
The importance of spaying and neutering pets was the focus of a community- service project at Taft Elementary School by Choffin Career and Technical Center’s Health Magnet Program.
“It’s the kindest thing to do for you pets,” Dana Creatore, 18, and a junior at Ursuline High School, told the younger students.
Every year, millions of pets are euthanized in pounds and shelters across the United States.
If people spayed and neutered their pets, those numbers would decrease, the students explained.
They performed skits to inform the younger pupils.
Mela Snead, 17, a junior at East High School, donned a Snoopy costume for the skits to keep students’ attention and drive home the importance of responsible pet ownership.
“Where’s your bird friend?” one of the Taft fourth-graders asked, referring to Snoopy’s yellow pal, Woodstock.
“He’s on vacation,” Snead answered.
Melina Kline, 16, a junior from East, said veterinary care is one of the areas studied by students in the health magnet program, which is divided into three rotations for students in their junior year.
In their senior year, health magnet students have the opportunity to take courses at Youngstown State University or get a job in their field while taking their traditional high-school classes.
“That’s what’s so great about Choffin,” Melina said.
Stella Camuso, coordinator of the health magnet program, works to find students jobs in the field, she said. Melina plans to take YSU classes and to get a job.
The project allows the health magnet students to use speaking skills and creativity as a team in delivering the message of animal welfare.
At Taft, the future health-care professionals told a story about a dog and her puppies who were dumped at a shelter. The puppies all get adopted, leaving the mother alone to ponder her fate.
The younger students were asked to write an ending with illustrations for Hope’s story.
Most picked a happy conclusion for the dog.
In 9-year-old Tasan Sallie’s story, Hope awakens at home in her own bed, realizing the whole thing was a dream.
Mark Revere, 9, wrote about a family that comes to the shelter and adopts the dog, and Ja’Mya Jackson, 10, chose a similar outcome.
“Hope goes to a home with two other dogs,” she said.