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Dawgs 4 Dogs debuts at Tech

April 26, 2012

 

Puppies at Dawgs 4 Dogs were dressed to impress the students. –Photos by Jessica Van Alstyne

Students were more than happy to pet puppies in between classes. The Dawgs for Dogs pet adoption opportunity was held Wednesday in the Quad. –Photos by Jessica Van Alstyne

GRACE MOORE
Staff Reporter

 

Dawgs 4 Dogs was hosted by Tech students Wednesday where their canine friends wore neck bandanas that read, “Adopt me and I will love you forever.”

 

The Applied Organizational Communication class required its five students to choose a single topic, increase understanding for that issue and make a measurable impact.

 

“Our goals are to raise awareness for spaying and neutering cats and dogs, and the adoption of them,” said Bryan Babcock, a senior speech communication major. “Along with these efforts, we hope to establish a dog park in Ruston.”

 

In preparation for this event, the class contacted several businesses for donations.

 

Ruston’s 4 PAWS organization offered seven dogs for adoption or foster care, as well as student coupons for discounted spaying and neutering.

 

Greco Pet Supplies of Baton Rouge and the Houston Humane Society donated dog food, dog treats and toys to fill “doggy bags” for each new owner to get them started. In addition, the Ruston Sonic Drive-In restaurant donated hot dogs for the event’s attendees.

 

Babcock said the class also met with Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth and Wes Barton, the director of Parks and Recreation in Ruston, to move closer toward its goal of implementing a public dog park. There was a petition at the event students could sign to support the cause.

 

Ashley Birch, a senior speech communication major, is of the five in charge of the event.

 

“We are just trying to make the city aware that this is a problem, and it needs to be addressed,” she said.

 

The class chose approximately five potential locations for the park. Its initial idea was Cooktown Park, Babcock said, but the class is still exploring each option thoroughly.

 

“We are in the process right now of writing a proposal to get the park established or get it in motion,” he said. “The Ruston community doesn’t really show awareness for animals in our area.”

 

Though the students primarily work as a group, Birch said each student was responsible for contacting certain organizations to make this event possible and progress further in establishing a park.

 

David Miller, a senior mechanical engineering major, said he thinks the City of Ruston is lacking in several areas, moreover for pet owners, which is reason to build a dog park.

 

“I think it doesn’t really feel welcoming for dog walkers,” he said.

 

Beyond the prospective dog park, Birch said the key issue remains the lack of spayed and neutered cats and dogs around Tech’s campus and in Ruston.

 

“Obviously the cat population at Tech is very large, so we encourage off-campus students to take in the animals on campus to give them shots and a good home,” Babcock said.

 

The local agency, 4 PAWS, is a non-profit organization that aims to limit the number of stray and mistreated dogs in the Lincoln Parish area, by rescuing and adopting them out to better homes.

 

Ruth Logan, a 4 PAWS board member and volunteer, said she has eight foster dogs and has been fostering dogs for approximately four years.

 

She said too often animals are abused, neglected and thrown away.

 

“The most important thing is for people to be aware of the problem,” she said.

 

Without organizations like 4 PAWS, several dogs would be euthanized each year to control the growing population of strays, Birch said.

 

“I think pet owners need to understand the responsibilities of taking in an animal,” she said. “And if everything fully aligns, you should adopt or foster animals.”

 

Email comments to gmm008@latech.edu.

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