Alpha Phi Sigma hosts food drive for animal shelter

by Dianne Riddles

The Cameron University Gamma Upsilon Chapter of the Criminal Justice National Honor Society, Alpha Phi Sigma, is hosting the Spring 2012 Lawton Animal Shelter Food Drive.

According to the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology professor Dr. Sheri Keenan, Gamma Upsilon hosts two service projects each year. The first service project is a can food drive in the fall to benefit the Lawton Food Bank, and the second is the spring dry dog and cat food drive to benefit the City of Lawton Animal Welfare Division.

Dr. Keenan said the Lawton community is very generous; however, because of the current state of the economy, donations have fallen short.

“In these economic times, donations are down and this is just our way of standing in the gap and filling that gap,” she said.

According to Dr. Keenan, Gamma Upsilon hosts several ongoing donation drives throughout the year.

“We collect greeting cards for the educational programming at St. Jude’s and we collect tab tops for the Ronald McDonald House year-round,” she said. “In fact, last year, we received a certificate from the Ronald

McDonald House in Oklahoma City for collecting six 13-gallon garbage bags full of tab tops.”

Dr. Keenan said this is the fourth consecutive year they have hosted the Lawton Animal Shelter Food Drive.

According to the City of Lawton Animal Welfare Division Director Rose Wilson, The City of Lawton Animal Welfare Division is grateful for all donations, including money, pet foods, treats, bedding, grooming tools, bowls, towels, leashes, collars and pet toys. Donations related to helping the animals are always accepted and 100 percent of all monetary donations go to the animals.

The primary functions of the Lawton Animal Welfare Division include providing 24 hour-a-day animal welfare services to ensure the public’s health and safety, controlling wildlife and strays and enforcing City Ordinance and/or State Statutes pertaining to animals.

The Lawton Animal Welfare Division also responds to injured animals, domestic animal bites, loose livestock on roadways and actual attacks by animals on humans and other animals.

Additionally, this division provides and maintains a facility where unwanted animals and strays receive general care, nutritional needs, sanitary housing and — when necessary — approved humane methods of euthanasia.

According to Wilson, though, the majority of the cats and dogs in the kennel are adopted or transferred to a rescue organization.

Various programs and services, such as animal adoption and redemption programs, are available through the Lawton Animal Welfare Division, as well as public education programs promoting the prevention of animal cruelty, humane treatment of animals and responsible pet ownership.

According to Wilson, the dog and cat food donations received from the drive will allow funds that are budgeted for dog and cat food to be spent on other items needed for the daily operation of the animal shelter.

“We also use items such as bleach, bathroom rugs with rubber backing and shallow plastic pans that are 12 to 14 inches long and 2 to 3 inches tall,” Wilson said. “These items are also appreciated donation items.”

Those who wish to participate may take donation items to the office of Dr. Keenan at Nance-Boyer 2083 until April 27.

For more information, contact Dr. Keenan by email at scruz@cameron.edu or by calling 580.581.2951.

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