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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA AdvoCATS aim to help pets

    Caring for pets is something students may not think takes a lot of thought: feed them, love them, and play with them and that’s all they need.

    But this is just the idea that the UA Animal AdvoCATS are trying to get rid of by teaching students to take responsibility for their pets.

    The club has been active on campus since September, said one of the founders, Tammy Fahrenreich, a veterinary sciences junior. She said the Foundation for Animals In Risk (FAIR) has been trying to get people together at the university and create an outreach program.

    “”I think they just wanted a group they could connect with on campus,”” Fahrenreich said.

    The small club only has six active members right now, but Brittany Caldwell, an animal sciences senior, said they are still growing.

    “”It’s not about our numbers really, it’s about getting the information to people,”” said Fahrenreich.

    The AdvoCATS want to teach students the responsibilities of being pet owners before they get a pet, said Fahrenreich. Right now, the group is working on a presentation educating students in the dorms before they move out to place where they might be allowed to get pets.

    The group advocates adopting pets from a shelter as opposed to pet stores or breeders, Fahrenreich said.

    The AdvoCATS also pass out this information in pamphlets on the UA Mall about twice a semester said Anna Pali, a business junior.

    The main reason FAIR wanted to create a group on campus is because of the feral animal problems around the university, said Caldwell.

    She said there are 17 feral cat colonies in the campus area, and the animals reproduce exponentially. If one male and one female cat start reproducing, in six years there will be 100,000 cats.

    The reason there is a feral cat problem in the campus area specifically is because many students who live in the area think it would be really great to get a pet, but when they graduate two or three years later, they don’t know what to do with the animal so they just let it go free, Caldwell said.

    “”People just decide that they don’t want them or can’t take care of them anymore,”” she said.

    This is why AdvoCATS wants to teach students about pet responsibility.

    “”There’s so many abandoned animals. It’s sad,”” Pali said.

    “”We just hope that there’s some ways we can help,”” Caldwell said.

    For fundraising, the club made homemade dog treats and catnip bags last semester and sold them on the UA Mall and at dog parks. They said the dog treats were a success and they plan on doing it again, but the catnip bags were not as popular.

    The clubs work with FAIR and the Pima Animal Care Center volunteering and taking care of animals, Fahrenreich said. FAIR provides a foster care system for pets that needs to be adopted.

    The PACC is a shelter where the students volunteer to work with the animals occasionally, she said. PACC is at Pets Mart on Saturdays adopting pets.

    Fahrenreich said she has fostered dogs before, and that fostering an animal is a great way for students to see if they’re really ready to have one of their own.

    “”We’re all animals lovers, but it’s a diverse group,”” Fahrenreich said.

    “”Anyone’s welcome to join,”” Pali said.

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